Monday, 22 January 2018

Scientists discover 280-million-year-old fossil forest in Antarctica

Trees are believed to have lived through extremes of complete darkness and continuous sunlight 

Geologists have discovered 280-million-year-old tree fossils in what is believed to be evidence of the oldest polar forest found in Antarctica. 

Erik Gulbranson and John Isbell from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee trekked across the Transantarctic Mountains during the continent’s summer, between November and January. 

They found the ancient ​specimens among the rocks where a leafy forest once grew. 

The team previously found fossil fragments of 13 trees which they estimated were over 260 million years old, meaning the forest would have grown before the first dinosaurs appeared at the end of the Permian period. 

The team have now returned to the frozen slopes once more to find out how the forest could have flourished there. 

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