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How wonderdful the petrified wood can be

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10 December 2018
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How wonderdful the petrified wood can be


How wonderdful the petrified wood can be
Glen Rose, Texas is a place where the prehistoric and the modern are visibly intertwined. One hundred and fifteen million years ago, the area was a lush, marshy expanse teeming with dinosaurs. Trees were also plentiful - and many of them were gradually turned into a type of fossil known as petrified wood.

Resourceful citizens in Glen Rose also turned the wood into a major export. After all, there`s always been a demand for it. Artists in 16th-century Florence used petrified wood to make fancy mosaics. Hundreds of years later, sculptors are still carving the material into tabletops, necklace beads and countless other products. Nowadays, a good-looking slab of petrified wood can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

This is to say nothing of the wood`s scientific value - which is considerable. When we look at petrified wood, we`re looking at a long-dead tree that was turned to stone and yet still retained its basic structure.

The level of detail we find in some specimens is downright astonishing. Petrified logs with well-preserved knots, branches, and leaves have been found. Fossil-hunters also come across the occasional log with root structures attached to its base. Moreover, in certain petrified log segments, it`s possible to count the growth rings.

There`s also the matter of coloration. Cross-sections of petrified wood often showcase a glistening rainbow of colors, which is why the fossils are so beloved by artists. The different hues are produced by different minerals.
v Caches of petrified wood can be found all over the world, from New Zealand to Greece to Argentina. Within the United States, there`s an especially-famous motherload in eastern Arizona. Petrified Forest National Park is about an hour`s drive away from Winslow. Up in the Pacific Northwest, there`s a much younger petrified forest with a more dramatic origin story.


Source article and image: https://science.howstuffworks.com
April 13, 2018