Superb Jurassic Fossil Pine

Name: Agathis jurassica

Plantae Division Pinophyta, Class Pinopsida, Order Pinales, Family Araucariaceae

Geological Time: Early Middle Jurassic

Size: 130 mm x 165 mm

Fossil Site: Purlawaugh Formation, Merrygoen Ironstone, Talbragar Fish Beds, Farrs Hill, Glugong, New South Wales, Australia

Agathis jurassicaThis fossil comes the most famous mass mortality site in Australia, the Talbragar Fish Beds. Like the much younger Green River Formation deposits, large numbers of specimens that evidently died contemporaneously have been found. The ironstone has preserved all the details of the structure of the fish with remarkable fidelity. There are a large number of plants preserved as well, many with highlighting in silicalike this one. This is a leafy shoot from the Kauri Pine Agathis jurassica. The genus is something of a “living fossil” in that Kauris are still in existence today, confined to the last vestiges of rainforest that remain in Australia. The taxon was quite widespread in the Jurassic when the climate was more uniformly warm and wet.

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