Huge Fossilized Forest Found in Coal Mine in Southern Illinois Could be 100 Miles Long

Posted on May 2, 2012

The New York Times reports on the amazing find of a fossilized forest in a coal mine in southern Illinois. The fossil forest can be found at depths between 250 and 800 feet. The scientists believe the fossilized ancient forest is 100 miles long. The forest was preserved when it slowly flooded. There are few animals among the fossils, because the flooding was slow enough that the vast majority of them were able to escape.

Kirk Johnson, a paleobotanist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, told the New York Times that the ancient forest is like a "Dr. Seuss world" with its unique scale trees.

NMA News has animated the fossil forest find. Take a look:

An older, but smaller, fossil forest find was reported in early March.

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