A team of multi-national researchers discovered in Mozambique two new species of fossilized tree trunks, which have beed dated to 259 million years old.
In a scientific article published in the Journal of African Earth Sciences, Portuguese paleontologist Ricardo Araújo, Mozambican Nelson Nhamutole and South African Marion Bamford describe the two new species of fossilized trunks, which they baptised Protaxodioxylon verniersii and Protaxodioxylon metangulense.
The fossil finds were collected as part of a campaign carried out in 2018 near Lake Niassa, in Niassa province, and studied in a laboratory at the Institute of Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion, part of the Instituto Superior Técnico complex in Portugal.
The lead paleontologist explained that the fossilized trunks are of a genus that was already known in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, but was unknown in the Permian, about 259 million years ago, when dinosaurs did not exist.
“It allows us to perceive that the climate at the time was subtropical and humid, very different from the climate we have today” in this region, explained Ricardo Araújo to Lusa news agency.
The discovery of these new species of fossils also leads researchers to conclude that there was life in that area of the planet 259 million years ago, which corroborates other evidence which had been previously announced by the discovery of fossils of a dicynodont, an ancestor of mammals, which the team came to designate of Niassodon, from the same period.