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Pre-dinosaur driftwood unearthed in storms

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Pre-dinosaur driftwood unearthed in storms
Photo of a tree: Shutterstock
16:10 CET+01:00
The recent spate of bad weather in Spain has led scientists in Asturias to discover prehistoric trees, which would have been growing before even dinosaurs roamed the earth.

The fossilized trees, uncovered in Asturias, northern Spain, are said to be over 300 million years old. They were discovered along the Cantabrian coastline after it was recently battered by storms. 

The fossils were discovered on Arnao beach, close to the town of the same name. Scientists found tree trunk fossils that had been turned to stone, as well as roots embedded into the rocks on the beach.

The fossils were only revealed after the beach lost a significant quantity of sand after the recent sea surges caused by stormy weather brought waves crashing above the usual tide line.  

The trees were "perfectly preserved" according to Miguel Arbizu, professor of Paleontology at the University of Oviedo.

As well as finding fragments of fossilized broken trunks, scientists also found evidence of upright trunks that had been petrified while in a living position.

"You can see the trunk and roots in the subsoil that date back 300 million years," the professor told Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos.

The tree trunks date back to the Stephanian stage, between 304 and 299 million years ago.

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