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News pictures The Bletterbach Gorge  Author: Geoparc Bletterbach

Unknown prehistoric plants on the Unesco Dolomites

Bletterbach

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A survey sponsored by the Museum of Natural Science of Alto Adige, with the collaboration of the MUSE of Trento and the University of Utrecht, was carried on a sample of plant fossils coming mainly from the Bletterbach gorge, which is part of the Unesco Dolomites Heritage Site. The fossils date back to the Permian.

​The studies and analysis carried out reveal that many of these fossils are of unknown prehistoric plants. The preliminary results suggest the existence of extensive conifer forests, of equisetum (ancestors of ginkgo), seed ferns, and, for the first time, cycads, nowadays growing only in tropical and subtropical areas.

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