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Photos: Fossils from a Dino-Era Forest in Canada

An ancient forest

(Image credit: Larsson/Bamforth)

Scientists recently discovered evidence of a dinosaur-era forest fire locked in stone in southern Saskatchewan. Plant fossils found in the region revealed that forests rebounded from fires much like they do today; plants like alder, birch and sassafras show up first, while gingko and sequoia take much longer to come back.

Stuck in stone

(Image credit: Larsson/Bamforth)

"We were looking at the direct result of a 66-million-year old forest fire, preserved in stone," study author Emily Bamforth, shown here, a paleontologist at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, said in a statement.

Plant fossils

(Image credit: Larsson/Bamforth)

The plant fossils date back to the Late Cretaceous era, just before the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs.

Canadian badlands

(Image credit: Larsson/Bamforth)

Dry, treeless badlands cover much of southern Saskatchewan these days, but 66 million years ago, the region filled with wet forests.

Grasslands

(Image credit: Larsson/Bamforth)

A view of the badlands in Grasslands National Park in 2009.

Salix leaf

(Image credit: Larsson/Bamforth)

A fossil of a leaf from the Salix genus, which includes willows, found during the study of 66-million-year-old plants in Saskatchewan.

Megan Gannon
Megan has been writing for Live Science and Space.com since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.