Fir cone displaying a very interesting morphology, the fir cone which appears to be a mature female cone. Once the closed cone reaches maturity and after the male cone pollenates the female cone and the immature ovules or seeds within the scales, the seeds become ripened and fully developed, the female cone starts to break open and and fall apart, the seeds then fall to the ground, thus the araucaria family tree continued for hundreds of millions of years.
In this petrified and fossilised example we can observe just that process having begun to take place, the scales seem to be slightly open. An interesting feature of this cone is that the peduncle is seen to be in place, this was the stem which connected the fir cone to the branch of the living tree. The fir cone appears to have been quickly smothered or covered and fossilised. A unique occurrence from prehistoric Patagonian Jurassic forest.
The woody scales, which are actually appear as leaves of the cone, are open or were opening, the scales held the embryo seed, the new life of the forest. The now fossilised fir cone scales display a cream colour which has a ancient appearance adding to the intriguing nature of this gymnosperm time capsule. The cone has been flattened slightly in the fossil process, or perhaps before petrification and fossilisation. The quirky ovoid form allows a glimpse into the anatomy of the Patagonian fir cone.