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Palaeontology

Prehistoric forest fossils predate dinosaurs

November 13, 2017 | Comment icon 2 comments



Antarctica was once a warm region filled with forests and swamps. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 euphro
Scientists exploring Antarctica have found fossils from a forest dating back over 260 million years.
The fossils were discovered by geologists Erik Gulbranson and John Isbell from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee during an expedition to the McIntyre Promontory Transantarctic Mountains.

In total they found the remains of 13 trees dating back to the end of the Permian Period around 260 million years ago - a time before even the dinosaurs had arrived on the scene.
The fossils also predate a mass extinction event that wiped out 90 per cent of all life on Earth.

"This forest is a glimpse of life before the extinction, which can help us understand what caused the event," Gulbranson said in a press release.

"People have known about the fossils in Antarctica since the 1910-12 Robert Falcon Scott expedition. However, most of Antarctica is still unexplored. Sometimes, you might be the first person to ever climb a particular mountain."

Source: Russia Today | Comments (2)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
I can't even begin to imagine the wonders which are there to find underneath all that extremely thick snow and ice. Antarctica is a continent of great size, and was once in warmer waters for many millions of years. The plant life, trees, animal life, fossils, etc... long dead and frozen in various times must be truly extraordinary and untouched.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
Somehow pallidin, I fear scientists will find someway to claim a first generation of humans caused the extinction event and created the dinosaurs in a "What could go wrong" scenario.


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