An attractive pair of Araucaria wood bookends 317mm, displaying an array of circular rings revealing the years which have passed during the Araucaria trees lifeline. Finished with a high quality polish revealing the mineral inclusions of jaspers, quartz, silica and calcium carbonate within, all of which have been absorbed by the tissues of this once organic host from the extinct genus Araucaria, however the ancient lineage can be found among us today, known as the monkey puzzle tree. These ancient forests mainly consisted of Araucaria trees, other genera were the Schilderia, Ginkgo Biloba and Woodworthia.
The colours present in this specimen wood represent the minerals deposited in the tissue long ago, these minerals are represented here by reds irons, creams are siliciums, browns and yellow are uraniums, blacks are carbon and the slight green tones could be from nickel.
The petrified forests in Madagascar were possibly laid down in a similar fashion to the great petrified forests elsewhere in the world notably the Americas. the process was thought to be caused by huge floods stripping and lifting forests transporting them great distances before laying them to rest. Thence cataclysmic volcanic eruptions brought forth ash up to hundreds of metres thick which overlaid the sodden sediments or water. The anaerobic environment developed as the ash created an anoxic soup. This allowed the minerals by permineralization to be absorbed into the rotting tissue of the dishevelled trees. We find the trunks stripped of branches due to the tremendous distances and rolling actions caused in the movement of forests, possibly moved over hundreds of miles.
Madagascar continues to provide wonderful pieces of petrified wood consisting of many different varieties when it comes to colour and form, most of these tend to show a significant loss of cell structure, however on occasion you can find pocket remains with very nice preserved cells. Holding some of the oldest and finest wood specimens from the Triassic period, Madagascar is prolific for it's minerals and fossils, making pieces like this notable for their origin.