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Antarctica, The Former Home Of Strange Forests


(Image Credit: Patricia Ryberg)

New research has found that Antarctica used to be abundant with strange and exotic forests.

Around 250 million years ago, the world would have been more like a giant greenhouse, and temperatures much hotter than we experience today. And although Antarctica still would have experienced extended blackouts during winter and complete daylight during summer, it would have been covered in green. What makes this extremely interesting though, is how the plants and trees would have gone through photosynthesis with the extreme sunlight cycles.

“The trees are the best way to figure this out, because trees record physiological responses” in their rings, Ryberg told LiveScience.

Scientists took the fossilized wood found in the Antarctic, and examined the tree rings to try and find out more answers to the puzzling questions this evidence poses.

“Now we have leaves that suggest a deciduous habit and fossil wood that is suggesting an evergreen habit, so we have a bit of a contradiction going on,” Ryberg said Wednesday (Oct. 30) at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.

To find out more detailed information on this interesting discovery, head over to LiveScience here for all the details.