By Jeffrey D. Stilwell, John A. Long

No different continent on the earth has gone through such radical environmental alterations as Antarctica. In its transition from wealthy biodiversity to the barren, chilly land of blizzards we see this present day, Antarctica offers a dramatic case research of the way sophisticated alterations in continental positioning can have an effect on residing groups, and the way speedily catastrophic adjustments can take place.

Frozen in Time provides a complete evaluation of the fossil list of Antarctica framed inside its altering environmental settings, supplying a window right into a prior time and atmosphere at the continent. It reconstructs Antarctica’s evolving animal and plant groups as safely because the fossil list allows.

The tale of ways fossils have been first found in Antarctica is a triumph of human undertaking. It keeps this present day with sleek expeditions going out to distant websites each year to fill in additional of the lacking elements of the continent’s nice jigsaw of existence.

KEY gains
* Copiously illustrated with tremendous colour photographs
* presents an summary of the invention and exploration of Antarctica
* offers a transparent advisor to the palaeontology of Antarctica
* contains modern problems with historical past and protection
* Outlines the potential significant affects of weather swap

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Extra resources for Frozen in Time: Prehistoric Life in Antarctica

Example text

More than 60 years would lapse before the first documented collection of fossils from the Antarctic continent. The first fossils to be described formally from the Antarctic region were pieces of fossilised shells and wood along with a few round stones with a concentric arrangement of layers that reminded one of an ‘old lava bomb’. Presumably, these were sedimentary deposits called ‘concretions’ – accreted balls of sand, silt and mud cemented with calcium carbonate that often contain beautifully preserved organic remains.

Photo: Luis Paredes-Mejia. The famous ship Glomar Challenger drilled four holes into continuous marine glacial sediment at depths of 200 and 440 metres below the sea floor on the Ross continental shelf. These results were published in 1975 in the Initial Report, and indicated that glaciers were calving ice at sea level some 25 million years ago. This challenged the commonly held notion of the time that the ice sheet was a mere two million years old. The research was extended into 1975 by studying the Dry Valleys, which involved researchers in the USA, New Zealand and Japan.

And geological specimens carried at Wilson’s special request, will be found with us on our sledge. Scott knew that they would not make it back alive. They carried the rocks onwards and the specimens were later discovered the following season with their frozen bodies at their last camp. Recent studies on the past climate trends of Antarctica have shown that the year in which Scott’s party perished was an exceptionally cold year, and that if climatic conditions were average they quite probably would have survived.

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