〒180-0006 東京都武蔵野市中町2-3-5 IIHA武蔵野1階
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The 280 million-year-old forest in the South Pole
Indeed, Antarctica is a very cold continent. It has a very long winter without sunlight and a short summer covered with ice. But over 200 million years ago, it was much warmer than today when it was part of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which included present-day Africa, South America, Arabia, India, and Australia. There were plants like ferns as tall as 40 meters in the continent back then. They seem to have endured the severe climate condition until they were eventually extinguished by one of the mass extinctions, which were believed to have occurred on earth numbers of times.
So, just like dinosaurs, those trees and plants existed in the icy continent should have left their fossils. The problem to find such fossils is that they are buried under thick ice. Also, they are hardly distinguishable from rocks. Still, there are people who challenged such painstaking tasks.
Enjoy reading and learning what could be found in Antarctica.