Large Fossilised Wood Section Monkey Puzzle Tree (araucaria) 28cm across
This large fossilised wood section is from the trunk of a ‘monkey puzzle’ tree, araucaria measuring 28cm across. It has a highly polished top surface with the sides beautifully preserved showing the actual fossilised bark. The back has been left smooth, but unpolished. This slice of fossilised wood is from the Triassic period and between 245 million to 200 million years old.
The Araucarias is commonly known as the Monkey Puzzle Tree. This was one of the very earliest species of tree, growing up to 60 metres tall. These ancient forests were growing at the same time the sauropod dinosaurs. These sauropods would have been a common sight feeding in these ancient forests. There is a convincing theory, that their long necks evolved to reach the upper branches of these araucaria trees. Fossilised wood from the Mahajanga region of Madagascar is famous for its stunning colours. These include reds and purples and also contrasting shades of brown and grey. The different minerals in the ground, iron or manganese for example during the fossilisation process, create these beautiful colours. Incredibly the araucaria trees still thrive in the area where this fossil came from. In Madagascar today its importance and history mean that it is now the country’s national tree.