|From left to right: top to bottom, the stem of an aquatic |
fern, Equisetum leaf with fungal hyphae within the
structure, Chytrid fungus within a decaying plant stem
|From left to right, top to bottom: cross section of and |
Equisetum stem, cross section of a conifer cone,
longitudinal section of a conifer cone
Cryptocrystalline grains preserve fossils right down the the cellular level and lower, making them the highest quality specimens on Earth. Examples of this come from the Rhynie Chert in north east Scotland. 400 million years ago, the area was covered in a vast peat bog over a series of superheated springs. The boiling water spewing from the bowels of the Earth brought with it silica minerals which were deposited into the bodies of dead creatures, preserving them in perfect detail.
|The geothermal wetlands of Yellowstone national |
park are similar to those of Jurassic era Argentina
'We have the remains of everything from the bacteria living right around the hot spring vents all the way to the plants, crustaceans and insects living in wetlands further away and the trees and ferns from the forests around the margins......ultimately it's going to be just as important.'