Antarctica Was Tropical and Green Once
Date: 2020-01-19 11:00:08
There was a time when the great southern landmass wasn’t just covered in ice-glaciers and penguins. It was filled with forests, flowers and all sorts of animal species. It even had a completely different climate.
According to fossil records found below the ice-caps, the icy continent was once a very hot place. In fact, it got so warm that the climate became tropical, like the one we see today around the Equator. So, how did we end up here?
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A brief trip in time 0:20
The great discovery 1:02
Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum 2:07
There was more than just vegetation 3:00
the Antarctodon 4:57
Changes began happening slowly 6:12
Global cooling 7:25
Australia and South America thrived 9:52
#greenantarctica #earthhistory #brightside
-According to fossil records found below the ice-caps, the icy continent was once a very hot place. In fact, it got so warm that the climate became tropical, like the one we see today around the Equator.
-About ½ mile below the seabed at Wilkes Land in Eastern Antarctica, scientists found fossils containing pollen from plants that only flourish in the tropical environments we see today.
-Around 100 million years back, the earth went through a massive long-lasting heatwave – scientifically known as the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum. During that time, the global average temperature increased. That resulted in changes to vegetation.
-On Seymour Island, which is around the tip of the Graham Land on the Antarctic Peninsula, scientists discovered brood balls, a unique structure that dung beetles lay their eggs in.
-Notiolofos fed on tiny tree branches and saplings. Scientists discovered their diet by analyzing the animal’s teeth, which were relatively small in size.
-Antarctodon belonged to an unusual group of now-extinct mammals. It lived in what we know now as Seymour Island.
-Approximately 56 million years ago, South America began separating itself. 16 million years later, Australia and Antarctica began drifting apart in the sea. Between 36 to 23 million years back, another natural channel emerged – the Drake Passage.
-Towards the end of the Eocene and the beginning of Oligocene Period, global cooling started taking place. The temperatures dropped at high latitudes in both the Arctic Circle and Antarctica.
-New DNA evidence shows that the oldest marsupial lived in South America 70 – 80 million years ago. It’s believed that they migrated from South America all the way to Antarctica and crossed over to Australia while they were still connected.
Music by Epidemic Sound
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