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A prehistoric discovery in the northern Maine woods is providing a look into what Maine was like 400 million years ago

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 12:30 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -A prehistoric discovery in the northern Maine woods is providing a look into what Maine was like 400 million years ago.  Megan Cole trekked into the woods to speak with the person who discovered them.

Chunzeng Wang of UMPI and his students are closely examining these fossils.  He says that he discovered them in 2020 while working on a different project.

“One day in…south of Fish River lake, west out of St. Froid lake, south of Red river, west of St. Froid lake, I find sandstones with plant fossils and that was exciting. Before this discovery there were only 2 places in Maine actually in the entire US with this plant one is in Mapleton and the other one is in the north part of Baxter State Park.”

“It really is a rewarding experience and it’s very helpful too when you’re studying your books and taking your tests and stuff it’s just a whole different experience when you’re out really living it.”

Wang says that this discovery also gives a glimpse as to what the area was like 400 million years ago.

“So the rivers around the valleys would bring sediments like mud, sand, soot, gravel to the lakes to drop them in the lakes that would you see layers and layers of mud, sand, gravel but later on they were solidified to become rocks but in that time, there were plants they live around the lakes and these plants are actually the very early species of the plants that started to build a vascular system.”

He adds he is having other professors from Colby College, the university of North Carolina and one in the UK to come look at the fossils so they can see what species of plants they are and also see what the ecosystem was like during that time.

“The ecology of the plants that they lived in during that time but because we find there are layers of the fossils. It look like charcoal…was there charcoal from fire? If so, that means even back to that time there was forest fires.”

Wang says the professors will be here in two weeks to look at the fossils.

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