Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Interesting Discovery in Antarctica

A research team has found ancient moss and insects.

The moss was essentially freeze dried, he said. Unlike fossils, where minerals replace soft materials, the moss tissues were still there, he said.

"The really cool thing is that all the details are still there," even though the plant has been dead for 14 million years. "These are actually the plant tissues themselves."


Further study uncovered remains of tiny crustaceans known as ostracodes, small midges and beetles, and pollen from southern beech trees and pink plants.

"The existence of wet-based glaciers, proglacial lakes, tundra vegetation and insect remains all indicate that the climate of the western Olympus range ... was warmer and wetter that that of today" about 14 million years ago, the researchers report.

Not that surprising, but still very cool.


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