Laurissilva from a scientific perspective,
and how Madeira was "made" along the geological
is a geological and natural relic from the Tertiary
period on the world geological time scale. That means
that the forest grew during the period of geological
history when the planet was still forming itself.
From the Paleocene epoch through to the pliocene epoch.
The Laurissilva as we know it today has been
very little tainted across the two epochs of the quaternary
period (the current geological period we are living
in). That is, until the arrival of man in the late
0.01 to today
recede. Sea level rises. Climate becomes more
flourish again. Humans acquire agriculture and
glaciers melt periodically causing seas to rise
plant forms perish. Small mammals abundant. Primitive
and oceans adopting their present form. Present
climatic distribution established. Ice caps develop.
sharks extinct. Many fish varieties.
plants and mammals die out. Primates flourish..
recede further. European and Asian land masses
join. Heavy rain causes massive erosion. Red Sea
fish common. Giant sharks.
widespread. Grazing mammals become common.
recede. Extensive movements of Earth's crust produce
new mountains (e.g. Alpine-Himalayan chain).
mussels, and snails evolve.
diminish. Grasses appear. Pachyderms, canines,
and felines develop.
formation continues. Glaciers common in high mountain
ranges. Greenland separates. Australia separates.
adapt to sea.
tropical jungles. Primitive forms of modern mammals
subsidence of land. Seas advance again. Considerable
volcanic activity. Europe and Madeira emerges.
reptiles become extinct.
plants established. Dinosaurs become extinct.
Laurissilva forest with a typical gnarled
branch of tree that easliy calls to mind our imagination
of what Europe may have looked like 10,000 years
ago and beyond..
Photo courtesy of Turivema
It was at the beginning
of the Holocene epoch, about 10 000 years ago, that
the Laurissilva forests disappeared from the
European mainland and Mediterranean basin. The last
glacier across Europe helped decrease the average
temperatures across the continent where much of the
forests flourished - helping slowly extinguish the
lush and subtropical environment existing about that
time. Remnants of those forests that have survived
are the Laurissilva persisting on the Macaronesian
islands of the Azores, the Canary Islands, and Madeira
- the Atlantic ocean weather amenable to the humid
Winding Paths on an Enchanting Island Article:
A closer look at the origins and position of the Levadas
Watery Thoughts - Article: How much
water is there in the Levadas? How far do the waterways
stretch? What else do we need to know about Levada
- A dedicated walking host for your holiday
- Visit this STUNNING
website for a magical "carpet- ride view"
of Levada walking on Madeira. This site has hundreds
of photographs of the Levadas sent to them by their
Digranes Photo Collection
- Jon has visited Madeira multiple times. His awesome
collection of photographs captures essentially the
beauty and spirit of Levada walking. [More
on Levada Walking
- Visit Madeira Shopping to find books and
picture CD-ROM's on Madeira Levada walking. Other
books and items are also available for purchase. [More