A living fossil? Memories of a forest caught in stone.
Metasequoia occidentalis Age: Oligocene (30 -23 million years ago) Location: Muddy creek Formation, Montana, USA
Metasequoia (Dawn Redwood) were first described in the fossil record years before anyone found a living member of the genus. Imagine wishing you could have seen one of these trees; then being told one had been discovered alive and well in the middle of a forest.
The earliest Metasequoia fossils date from the Cretaceous period. The genus survived the end Cretaceous mass extinction event. They thrived and proliferated throughout the late Paleocene. During the Eocene and Oligocene they formed dense deciduous forests across North America and parts of Asia.
The item shown in the photograph with the all white background is the item offered for sale. Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 cm. All samples come with an information sheet about the fossil. This is a good starter fossil for someone starting a first collection. It would be good as a discussion point for a classroom or home school lesson.