Turtle Bones Discovered In Antarctica May Prove Continent Was Once A Rainforest
Antarctica may currently have some of the harshest weather conditions on Earth, but a recent discover of turtle bones in the area has some scientists predicting that the area was once a lush rain forest full of a large variety of animal life.
The discovery is hard to put into perspective when we realize that only 8 inches of rainfall now occurs yearly in the area which is famous for ice and penguins, not trees and cold blooded creatures.
The recently discovered turtle bones date back nearly 45 million years and were discovered at Seymour Island. Only several bones from one or two turtles have been discovered, however they are the first of their kind in the region.
According to io9:
In the Eocene Epoch, which lasted from about 56 to 34 million years ago, Antarctica was still connected to New Guinea and Australia, forming the last vestiges of the southern supercontinent Gondwanaland. The fact that Antarctica was connected by land to these other large regions helped isolate it from colder ocean currents, which allowed the continent to support a tropical rainforest. At that time, Antarctica was home to lots of tropical and subtropical animals, including turtles and even marsupials, which have also been discovered on Seymour Island.
You think we have global warming issues now! Poor little turtles. [via LiveScience]