Arancaria Pine Cone

Name Arancaria Pine Cone
Scientific Name Araucaria mirabilis
Category Fossils
Origion Cerro Cuadrado, Patagonia, Argentina

Historic Background of Arancaria Pine Cone

Under the family of Araucariaceae, the now extinct specie of Araucaria mirabilis covered the areas of earth during the middle Jurassic Period about 135 to 180 million years ago. Nowadays, the best preserved araucarian forest in the Cerro Cuadrado Petrified Forest in Patagonia. Tree trunks found at the site proven some of these trees stood some 100 meters or 329 feet tall. These ancient giants were cut down by a series of volcanic eruptions, covered by ash, and preserved. Over time, water seeped into the deposits, digesting the ash, and depositing minerals that resulted in the panoply of colors as they gradually turned to stone. Hence, the place is very unique for its beautifully preserved petrified Araucaria mirabilis cone that canít be found anywhere else around the world.

araucaria pine cone

Compare to pine cone, it have a single seed in the cone scale rather than a pair. Its closest relative today are the Monkey Puzzle Tree of South American and the Norfolk Island pine.

Monkey Puzzle ConeNorfork Island Pine

Araucaria mirabilis fossil

Now the excavation and exportation of Araucaria mirabilis fossil are strictly forbidden by Argentina law. Only a handful of pine cones that were exported outside the country can be seen in the market nowadays. For the private collectors, it is important to verify the origin of the pine cone before purchasing.

Physical Description

The specimen is about 3 inches long and weight about 0.17 lb; it is a rather large size pine cone. The specimen has been cut in half and polished to display its intricate internal structure. The features are beautifully well preserved and individual sees can be seen and a few pieces of them can even be carefully extracted from their scales. The piece is purchased from a retired science teacher who purchased it long before the Argentina law that prohibits the exporting of these treasures fossils.