Slice of Fossilised Wood from a Monkey Puzzle Tree (araucaria) Triassic; approx 245 million years old
This colourful slice of fossilised wood, is from the araucaria tree. While the highly top is polished and the sides show the actual fossilised bark. 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, and they grew to 60 metres tall. These trees were growing at the same time the sauropod dinosaur. These sauropods would have been a common sight 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.