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PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR

Puyango Petrified Forest, Ecuador

According to Robert E. Shoemaker, who discovered the Puyango Petrified Forest, in Ecuador between 1975 and 1976, the area has one of the greatest collections of petrified trees worldwide, and is comparable to Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park in the U.S.

 

Just 2,658 hectares, its sediments belong to 4 geological formations. These deposits are rich in both fossilized trunks and leaves - which belonged to the typical Mesozoic flora - as well as fossils of invertebrates such as bivalves, ammonites, echinoderms, among others.

 

The oldest fossils are of marine fauna. When the ancient sea dried up, it became forested leaving behind fossils dating back to that period. The fossils date back from 500 million to 60 million years ago.

 

The most spectacular fossils of Puyango Petrified Forest belong to trees of the Araucarioxylon genus, dating back to some 100 million years ago and are among the largest collections of petrified wood worldwide. The longest and most spectacular specimen measures about 1 m thick and 15 m long. Fossils of leaves seem similar to present day ferns and palms.


PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: Entrance of the reserve.PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: Greatest collection of petrified forest trees worldwide.

Entrance of the Puyango Petrified Forest, Ecuador reserve.

Just 3 petrified forest sites in the Americas.

 

PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: The trail head.PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: A resting site along the trail with a view of the pedestrian bridge and a 1.5m thick trunk slice.

The trail head.

A resting site along the trail with a view of the pedestrian bridge and a 1.5m thick trunk slice.

 

PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: A slice with the bark still in tact.PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: A 1.5m thick trunk slice.

A slice with the bark still in tact.

A 1.5m thick trunk slice.

 

PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: Petrified leave of a fern-like plant.PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: A forest of a large collection of fallen trees.

Petrified leave of a fern-like plant.

A forest of a large collection of fallen trees.

 

PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: The trunk of 15 m of one individual tree, measuring 1+m thick.PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: Half buried in the ground, this is one of the world's finest specimens of a petrified tree.

The trunk of 15 m of one individual tree, measuring 1+m thick.

Half buried in the ground, this is one of the world's finest specimens of a petrified tree.

 

PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: The current seasonal tropical forest is dominated by the largest tree of the forest, Cavanillesia Platanifolia, which can measure 1,5m in diameter.PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR:Cavanillesia Platanifolia is an interesting tree who's ringed marking are indicative of its age.

The current seasonal tropical forest is dominated by the largest tree of the forest, Cavanillesia Platanifolia, which can measure 1,5m in diameter.

Cavanillesia Platanifolia is an interesting tree who's ringed marking are indicative of its age.

 

PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: A splendid sample of an Cavanillesia Platanifolia tree.PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST, ECUADOR: A grove of several adult Cavanillesia Platanifolia trees.

A splendid sample of an Cavanillesia Platanifolia tree.

A grove of several adult Cavanillesia Platanifolia trees in the Puyango Petrified Forest, in Ecuador.

 

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