Extraordinary 298-Million-Year-Old Forest Discovered Under Chinese Coal Mine
"American and Chinese scientists are flabbergasted after discovering a giant 298-million-year-old forest buried intact under a coal mine near Wuda, in Inner Mongolia, China. (...) Like Pompeii, this swamp forest is so perfectly maintained that scientists know where every plant originally was. (...) It's marvelously preserved. (...) They are in fact finding entire trees and plants exactly as they were at the time of the volcanic eruption, just like archeologists in Pompeii found humans, animals and buildings at the base of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples, in the Italian region of Campania. Except Pompeei was buried in AD 79 and this forest was covered in ash 298 million years ago, during the Permian period. The researchers discovered the 10,763-square-foot (1000-square-meter) area hidden under a coal mine using heavy industrial machinery. They believe that this frozen-in-time fossilized forest was covered under gigantic amounts of ash that fell from the sky for days. (...) " - Amira
"During the Permian, which extends from 299 to 251 million years ago, there weren't conifers or flowers. Plants reproduced like ferns, using spores, and the modern continents were still joined in a single mass of land called Pangaea. (...) During this time there were also animals. This is when the first groups of mammals, turtles, lepidosaurs and archosaurs started to roam the Earth. Scientist believe that the Permian—and with it the entire Paleozoic era—ended with the largest mass extinction ever, which obliterated 90 percent of the marine and 70 percent of the terrestrial species." - Amira