20 million year-old fossilized tree found on the island of Lesvos

20 million year-old fossilized tree found on the island of Lesvos

A large fossilized tree 20-million-years-old, preserved intact with its branches and roots, was found on the Greek island of Lesvos.

It is considered an extremely rare find, as it is the first time since 1995 when excavations began in the area of Western Lesvos by the Museum of Natural History of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, where a fossilized tree with its branches has been located.

The tree is about 19 meters long, and is said to have been preserved due to the thick layer of volcanic ash that covered it after it fell.

20 million year-old fossilized tree found on the island of Lesvos

“It is a unique find,” Professor Nikos Zouros said, adding that it “is preserved in excellent condition and from studying the fossilized wood we will be able to identify the type of plant it comes from.”

The petrified forest, a 15,000-hectare UNESCO-protected site, is the result of a volcanic eruption 20 million years ago which smothered the island’s then subtropical forest ecosystem in lava.

In addition to the fossilised tree, a large number of fruit tree leaves from that time, along with animal bones, were found in the general area.

“During the excavations the various forests that existed between 17 and 20 million years ago on Lesvos are being uncovered and we can reconstruct the ecosystem that existed during that period,” he continued.

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