Fossil Forests

The remains of ancient trees can help us better understand the effects of climate change on Earth.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM January 2, 2007

Fossil trees have a story to tell.

Earth has been around for about 4.5 billion years. The first traces of life appeared roughly 3.7 billion years ago. Land plants finally emerged more than 3 billion years later. Our immediate human ancestors showed up just 200,000 or so years ago.

Over eons, continents have collided and split apart. Islands have emerged and sunk. Icecaps have melted and refrozen. Earth's climate has warmed and cooled. Thousands of species, including dinosaurs, dodo birds, ...

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