310-million-year-old trees dug up

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The Independent Online
An ancient ancestor of today's Christmas tree has been uncovered at an opencast mine.

The conifers, believed by experts to date from 310 million years ago, are now extinct. The fossilised remains are the first to be found in Britain. About 14 of the 10m high trees were discovered at RJB Mining's Prior's Close site at Great Lumley in Co Durham, at depths of between 5 and 33m.

Tons of the fossils have been sent to the Geological Survey's Edinburgh headquarters.

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