Smivs passes along a report up on the BBC about the fossil forests found in coal mines in Illinois. "The [US-UK] group reported one discovery last year, but has since identified a further five examples. The ancient vegetation — now turned to rock — is visible in the ceilings of mines covering thousands of hectares. These were among the first forests to evolve on the planet, [according to] Dr. Howard Falcon-Lang... 'These are the largest fossil forests found anywhere in the world at any point in geological time. It is quite extraordinary to find a fossil landscape preserved over such a vast area; and we are talking about an area the size of [the British city of] Bristol.' The forests grew just a few million years apart some 300 million years ago; and are now stacked one on top of another."