Illinois cave reveals ancient pine

May 12, 2007

An Illinois scientist says needles from what could be the oldest pine tree found in North America were discovered in a limestone cave near Morris, Ill.

The cave, found four years ago by a class from the University of Illinois at Chicago during a visit to a Kendall County limestone quarry, contains a "treasure trove of exceptionally well-preserved life from 310 million years ago," the Chicago Tribune said Friday.

UIC earth and environmental sciences professor Roy Plotnick, who led the field trip, said the cave filled 310 million to 290 million years ago.

The newspaper said researchers found plant spores, scorpion parts and needles from an ancient coniferous tree believed to be the earliest predecessor to the modern pine in North America.

Plotnick said the oldest conifers previously described are at least 2 million years younger.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: New branch added to European family tree

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fungus that's killing millions of bats 'isn't going away'

Nov 05, 2013

University of Illinois researchers say that an infectious and lethal cold-loving fungus that has killed an estimated 6 million bats in North America can persist indefinitely in caves whether there are bats in them or not.

Bat-killing white-nose syndrome continues to spread

Apr 15, 2013

It was a typically cold winter day when Greg Turner, a wildlife biologist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, unlocked the gate at the historic Durham Mine in upper Bucks County, Pa., and stepped into the darkness.

Modified HDTV screens used for 3-D technology (w/ Video)

Aug 18, 2009

Surround 3-D TV is poised to take over your living room. For the first time, a team of researchers at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of ...

Recommended for you

New branch added to European family tree

9 hours ago

The setting: Europe, about 7,500 years ago. Agriculture was sweeping in from the Near East, bringing early farmers into contact with hunter-gatherers who had already been living in Europe for tens of thousands ...

'Hidden Treasure of Rome' project unveiled

Sep 16, 2014

For more than a century, hundreds of thousands of historical artifacts dating back to before the founding of Rome have been stored in crates in the Capitoline Museums of Rome, where they have remained mostly untouched. Now, ...

NOAA team reveals forgotten ghost ships off Golden Gate

Sep 16, 2014

A team of NOAA researchers today confirmed the discovery just outside San Francisco's Golden Gate strait of the 1910 shipwreck SS Selja and an unidentified early steam tugboat wreck tagged the "mystery wreck." ...

User comments : 0