Petrified tree up to 20 million years old found intact in Lesbos
February 25, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Experts have made an "extraordinary" discovery of a tree which is still intact after being petrified by a volcanic eruption 20 million years ago in Lesbos, Greece.
(CNN)Experts have made an "extraordinary" discovery of a tree which is still intact after being petrified by a volcanic eruption 20 million years ago in Lesbos, Greece.
Nickolas Zouros, a professor of geology at the University of the Aegean, had been excavating the fossilized forest ecosystem but told CNN he had never uncovered such a find.
Experts uncovered the huge tree, which measured 19. 6 meters (21. 4 yards) -- complete with branches and a root system -- during in an excavation along the Kalloni-Sigri highway.
"This is not something very often found in excavations," Zouros said.
"It's the only one found in the excavation found with the branches, the root system, and was found on a layer full of leaves -- we have all the organs of the tree in the regional system.
This is unique, until now -- we have been excavating for 25 years and have never found such a tree," he said.
Conifers, fruit producing trees, sequoia trees, pine, palm, cinnamon and oak trees are among the specimens uncovered in the petrified forest.
"These trees show that the climate changed in the area of Lesbos -- this tree is subtropical.
The climatic conditions were subtropical 20 million years ago when the tree was destroyed by the volcanic eruptions.
Nowadays by studying this flora -- the petrified forest -- we can have an idea on how climate change affects the ecosystem," Zouros said.
"Retrieving a tree with its branches, roots and leaves still attached is extremely rare, while 150 trunks recovered together will provide a unique snapshot of one point in time that will allow us to assess the biodiversity of the ecosystem. "
Tzedakis added: "More generally, although there are several petrified forests around the world, Sigri is exceptional because several trees are found in their original position, with their root systems intact.
The excavation during which the tree was found was completed in January, Zouros said.