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Discovery in Portugal sheds light on Paleozoic era

Discovery in Portugal on Paleozoic era - Portugal news
Discovery in Portugal sheds light on Paleozoic era - Portugal Business News

Portugal news – A new discovery in Portugal sheds light on the Paleozoic era, 300 million years ago, at a time when the oldest animals on Earth appeared before the largest mass extinction of life on our planet when 96% of all species disappeared.

In Buçaco in Central Portugal, two Portuguese paleontologists discovered a rare fossil of a primitive conifer that is dated 300 million years when the region was yet tropical. Portugal’s famous Serra do Buçaco is a forest that used to be forbidden to women by a Papal Bull and that bears on its gate a threat to excommunicate anyone harming the trees. Its mild microclimate, with frequent rain and morning fog, lifts the veil on what the Earth looked like in the Paleozoic era.

The Buçaco mountain range was covered with conifers during an era when Portugal used to be tropical. At that time, the Pangaea supercontinent was formed and dinosaurs did not yet walk the Earth. The fossil that was just discovered belongs to a now extinct species known as Cordaitales, that are early conifers. The new species was discovered by Pedro Correia and Sofia Pereira, two researchers from the University of Coimbra who also recently discovered the first fossil of a primitive cockroach.

The fossil that was just discovered shows how early conifers reproduced and the taxonomy during the end of the Carboniferous Period, when much of Earth’s carbon-rich coals were formed and the super continent Pangaea was inhabited by giant dragonflies. During that era, the Earth was covered with primitive conifers that could reach up to 40 meters. The new fossil of an extinct seed-producing plant discovered in Central Portugal has received the name “Florinanthus bussacensis” and sheds additional light on one of Earth’s earliest geologic eras.


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