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This image is of a 280-million-year-old tree stump still attached to its roots in Antarctica. Plants grew on what is today the iciest continent from 400 million to 14 million years ago. • Antarctica wasn't always a land of ice. Long ago, when the continent was still part of a huge landmass called Gondwana, trees flourished near the South Pole. • Newfound intricate fossils of some of these trees are revealing how the plants thrived — and what forests might look like as they march northward in today's warming world. • It's hard to look at Antarctica's frigid landscape today and imagine lush forests. But from about 400 million to 14 million years ago, the southern continent was a very different, and much greener place. The climate was warmer, though the plants that survived at the low southern latitudes had to cope with winters of 24-hours of darkness and summers during which the sun never set, just as today. • Last year, while fossil-hunting in Antarctica, paleoecologists found the oldest polar forest on record from the southern polar region. It flourished about 280 million years ago before being rapidly buried in volcanic ash, which preserved it down to the cellular level! • After the extinction, the forests didn't disappear, but changed. Glossopteris was out, but a new mix of evergreen and deciduous trees, including relatives of today's gingkoes, moved in. Paleoecologist are trying to research what exactly caused these transitions to occur. #tech #technology #future #science #tree #forrest #woods #antartica #paleo #paleoecology #volcano #volcanic #ash #preserved #fossils #plants #trees #evergreen #deciduous #ancient #icy #climate #climatechange

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