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Metasequoia

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This plant fossil is from the Metasequoia tree. It is a redwood tree and related to the giant redwoods of California. These plant fossils come from the Muddy Creek Formation, Beaverhead county, Montana. They date to the Oligocene epoch about 30 million years ago.

 
There are 3 species of fossil metasequoia, M. foxii, M. milleri, and M. occidentalis.

Metasequoia History
Metasequoia Covered much of North America from the Paleocene through the Miocene epochs of the Paleogene and into the Neogene Periods. Since then their numbers have steadily gone down. There are fossils of these trees as far back as the late Cretaceous Period. No fossils have been found after the Miocene and they were thought to have gone extinct. As a fossil it was first described in 1941. It was only recently discovered in 1944 in a remote valley in China where one species of Metasequoia are still found today, Metasequoia glyptostroboides.  Since its discovery the population of metasequoias have been nurtured.The seeds of the trees in China were sent to Universities and government agencies around the world. Today it is popular as an ornamental planting in parks and gardens both public and private in many countries around the world.

Metasequoia is a large cone shaped tree reaching up to 45 meters high (about 150 feet). It liks to grow in moist shady areas like stream banks and ravines. Unlike evergreen redwoods today,  metasequoia are and were deciduous.

Metasequoia is the state fossil of Oregon.

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