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Wed Nov 15, 2017, 09:28 AM

260-Million-Year-Old Fossil Forest Discovered in Antarctica

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | November 15, 2017 05:54am ET

Antarctica wasn't always a land of ice. Millions of years ago, when the continent was still part of a huge Southern Hemisphere landmass called Gondwana, trees flourished near the South Pole.

Now, newfound, intricate fossils of some of these trees are revealing how the plants thrived ó and what forests might look like as they march northward in today's warming world.

"Antarctica preserves an ecologic history of polar biomes that ranges for about 400 million years, which is basically the entirety of plant evolution," said Erik Gulbranson, a paleoecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. [See Images of a Fossil Forest Unearthed in the Arctic]

Trees in Antarctica?

It's hard to look at Antarctica's frigid landscape today and imagine lush forests. To find their fossil specimens, Gulbranson and his colleagues have to disembark from planes landed on snowfields, then traverse glaciers and brave bone-chilling winds. But from about 400 million to 14 million years ago, the southern continent was a very different, and much greener place. The climate was warmer, though the plants that survived at the low southern latitudes had to cope with winters of 24-hour-per-day darkness and summers during which the sun never set, just as today.


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Reply 260-Million-Year-Old Fossil Forest Discovered in Antarctica (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 2017 OP
Thor_MN Nov 2017 #1
Vogon_Glory Nov 2017 #2
defacto7 Nov 2017 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Nov 15, 2017, 10:51 AM

1. Read another article on this the other day


It was amazing how many idiots were ranting in the comments about climate change. They couldn't assimilate the concept that what is now Antarctica was not at the south pole when this forest existed. They went on and on about it being warmer without man made effects to climate proving that man made effects can't change climate... Not the brightest bulbs.

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Response to Thor_MN (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 15, 2017, 11:11 AM

2. Not just climate change but continental drift

Look, I was an English major back in the day, and that was over 40, yeah, I said FORTY, years ago, and even I was aware that continents moved around from latitude to latitude and from longitude to longitude. No, I wasnít a geologist and I didnít have a degree in paleontology or geophysics.

Those reporters should have known better. There is NO excuse for such sloppy writing.

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