by Jake Anderson, The Mind Unleashed
A newly published study about the climate of the mid-Cretaceous period is adding stunning new questions to the mix as researchers claim to have discovered evidence of a 90-million-year-old temperate rainforest that once existed in the South Pole region. The study paints a picture of a very different prehistoric Antarctica, one that was much warmer and teeming with life.
An international team of geoscience researchers acquired their evidence while aboard the research icebreaker RV Polarstern in the Amundsen Sea near the Pine Island Glacier. Their drill rig descended to ocean depths of 3,300 feet and then penetrated through to 90 feet beneath the seafloor to extract a perfectly preserved sample of forest soil with a sediment core composed of fine-grained silt and clay.
In their paper, recently published in Nature, the scientists wrote:
“A sedimentary sequence recovered from the West Antarctic shelf — the southernmost Cretaceous record reported so far — and show that a temperate lowland rainforest environment existed at a palaeolatitude of about 82° S during the Turonian–Santonian age (92 to 83 million years ago).”
© 2020 The Mind Unleashed
Editor’s Note: While I disagree with the timescale, I substantially agree with the findings because it corroborates earlier work.