These pine needle-like leaves are from an extinct redwood tree that lived in prehistoric forests up until just 3 million years ago.
The Metasequoia occidentalis was dispersed throughout Asia and North America beginning in the Late Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago. There are only a few known locations of it being found in Europe, such as Greenland.
M. occidentalis very closely resembles the only living metasequoia member, the Dawn Redwood. This giant tree could reach heights up to 190 feet.
It was a deciduous tree that dropped its foliage each year and regrew them, just like living metasequoia. They had small, round seed-bearing cones that were arranged on specialized stalks. The leaves were long, thin and oval in shape and were only about one-inch in length.
Type: Metasequoia Leaves
Species: Metasequoia occidentalis
Age: Eocene (55 - 33 million years ago)
Formation: Challis Volcanics
Locality: Lemhi County, Idaho
Size of Plate: 2.25 x 2.13 x .44 inches
Size of Specimen: 1.5 x .38 inches
Weight: 1.75 oz.