Freeze-dried Moss in Antarctica

Recently they have discovered moss and insects that have been preserved in Antarctica. They are being found now as more and more of the continent thaws.

Mosses once grew and insects crawled in what are now barren valleys in Antarctica, according to scientists who have recovered remains of life from that frozen continent. Fourteen million years ago the now lifeless valleys were tundra, similar to parts of Alaska, Canada and Siberia — cold but able to support life, researchers report.

Here is a picture of the Insel Range in Antarctica:

They are finding not just fossils, but actual plant tissues that have been preserved in a freeze-dried state for 14 million years.

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

The site where they found these remains is far off the coast of Antarctica where mosses and insects have been found before.

This is a cool discovery; at the same time it is a little scary, wondering about the effects of global warming.

Full story.

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