A Petrified and fossilised araucaria tree trunk section with a lineage of over 220 million years. Surmounted chrome and bronze base mounts.
The wonderful fossilised tree trunk has undergone several processes to be finally exhibited here; its story began millions of years ago. It is generally accepted that natural disasters felled these ancient trees, carried them in flash floods or landslides to be laid down in the sodden ground or shallow water, which were already or became mineral-rich environments.
The tissue of the wood may have started to decay. Later through the actions of volcanism, the deposited forests were covered with deep ash layers creating an anoxic atmosphere in water or mud. Later again; as metres of ash covered the trees, the depositing layers of ash and earth help the anaerobic environment to persist. Soluble minerals in the water were forced through the tissues of the wood at molecular levels, cell by cell the vascular system of the tree has been transformed, as mineral growth turned the tree into a quartz-rich, semi-precious stone, petrification had occurred and fossilised the tree for all time.
In this extraordinary deposition quartz, in the form of Jaspers and calcites have solidified over millions of years creating a solid stone tree. Growth rings can be picked out in bands of varying colours. Jasper has been absorbed by the internal trunk tissues and has created the attractive darker tones within the once living tissue of the tree.
Petrification takes place as the spore spaces in living tissues of the wood are replaced by minerals, through a process of permineralisation mineral-laden water seeping through the tissue of the once living wood and creates an internal cast cell by cell. In this way the wood is preserved at a microscopic level, minerals form on the cell walls and eventually fill each cell preserving the internal structure of the tree and replacing the whole body by the process mineralisation.
The genus type Araucaria is of the Araucariaceae family, related to the modern day more commonly known Monkey Puzzle tree lineage. Araucaria flora is often referred to as a ‘living fossil’. The trunk unearthed and cleaned. The cleaning and polishing resulting in a splendid and unique fossil specimen of the finest quality, an exhibit which would grace any enviroment.