Araucaria araucana
Monkey Puzzle Tree
CopyrightStone Museum of Geology

This member of the Pinaceae family is also known as the Chile Pine or, more colloquially, as the Monkey Puzzle Tree tree. Reaching a height of 80 feet (24 meters), these trees were widespread across the ancient continent of Godwanaland and are still found only in the southern hemisphere.

The most famous location for fossils of this tree is Cerro Cuadrado in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina. Here, many specimens of fossil trunks, foliage and pine cones have been preserved. The fossil cone shown below dates from the Jurassic and is from the species Araucaria mirabilis. The seeds within the cone can be clearly seen in the image on the right showing the internal structure of the cone.

Pine Cone
CopyrightStone Museum of Geology