Rise of the Tree Mummies


Researchers in Ellesmere Port, an island off the coast of Canada, have made an amazing discovery. Buried underground within layers of sedimentary rock, an entire fossilised forest has been preserved! They measured the stumps and found out that the trees would have been about 1.8 meters high and they were very close together. Scientists believe the trees to be about 50 million years old, meaning they would have had to survive very a very cold Arctic climate, as well as months of complete darkness during the winter season.

By looking more closely at the ring that make up the tree stumps, the scientists could even see which years had been warmer than others, because those rings were bigger, showing that the tree had grown really well that year. So not only does this discovery tell scientists about the plant life growing in the Arctic circle millions of years ago, but it also helps them to understand what the climate would have been like.


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