Fir cones of the Patagonian highlands, Cerro Cuadrado petrified forests, what was once Pangaea, today the continent of South America. Fossilised trees from petrified forests of south America fascinate in their variety of colours and the enormous size some trunks attained, like the great sequoia of today reaching up to over 200 feet tall.
Extraordinary female fir cone, the female cones being much more ovoid than the pollen-producing male cones. Male cones are fairly uniformly similar, not round, but slender, tube-like. The modern-day Araucaria female cone can grow to maturity and attain sizes of between 50mm to 300mm. The exterior scales of this prehistoric fossilised example illustrated are well defined and display the familiar woody form which is recognisable to us today. From the Jurassic, some hundreds of millions of years ago through to today these genetic seed cones hold the blueprint of the araucaria family, the monkey puzzles and gingko, these fir cones do not seem to have changed very much.
The cone has charm and character being very woody in appearance, with attractive colour to the fossilised scales and having a peduncle a section of stem where it would have attached to the branch. The cone fully inflated and ovoid in the ventral and dorsal view, with slightly flattened form in the lateral view. Fossil cones of good quality, good preservation and of an attractive appearance are becoming exceeding scarce. It is absolutely forbidden to export fossil fir cones from some parts of South America, this has increased the rarity in Europe. The specimen cone was acquired some years ago and outside of the South American continent, from a gentleman's collection.
Genus: Araucaria Mirabilis.
Origin: Cerro Cuadrado, Jaramillo forest, Santa Cruz, Patagonia, Argentina.
Age: Mesozoic era, Jurassic approximately 205 - 135 million years.
Fir cone measurements.
Height: 6.9 cm
Width: 5.8 cm
Depth: 3.7 cm
Approximate weight: 0,197 g