A fossil discovery in Parkville is opening a whole new look at Kansas City’s history. The plant fossil is three times older than a Tyrannosaurus rex. (Park University)
PARKVILLE, MO (KCTV) –
A fossil discovery in Parkville is opening a whole new look at Kansas City’s history.
The plant fossil is three times older than a Tyrannosaurus rex.
At the time the plant was alive, the climate of Kansas City was comparable to the Florida Everglades, and the land we’re on right now was actually a coast.
“When this plant was living, the entire northern hemisphere was covered in a swamp,” assistant biology professor Patricia Ryberg said.
Ryberg travels the world searching for rare fossils, going as far as Antarctica. And during all those trips, it turns out the extinct plant was right in her backyard.
“I never really expected something like this to come out of the Park University campus,” Ryberg said.
University of Kansas paleontologist Tim Northcut found it.
They’ve officially named it the Parkvillian Northcuttian, which means if its ever found again – even across the globe– it must be called by its name.
“This was a significant find,” said Scott Hageman, an associate professor of geology.
Hageman has seen this fossil from its discovery in 2009 to recent confirmation as a one-of-a-kind find.
“It just wasn’t like other things we were pulling out of there,” Hageman said.
For the Parkville team, it has been an exciting adventure 306 million years back in time.
There will be a discussion about the fossil at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the National Archives building near Union Station. You can ask the man who found it questions and learn more about how it was made.
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