New Zealand-Antarctic land bridge?
kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Aug 28 23:15:25 CDT 2004
I was reading about the recently reported discovery of craters in Antarctica which may have resulted from a extremely large asteroid impact just 780,000 years ago. It struck me as a strange coincidence that Macquarie Island (a sub-Antarctic island) supposely arose from the ocean very soon afterwards. In my own (admittedly) peculiar way of looking at things, I can't help but wonder if forces which triggered Macquarie Island's thrust UPWARDS (whatever they were) could have also caused existing islands or even whole archipelagos (in this same highly active fault zone) to have been thrust DOWNWARDS into the ocean.
What I am getting at is that a much more complete series of islands and/or archipelagos could have connected New Zealand and Antarctica FAR MORE recently than we dared to imagine. Not that direct faunal and floral terrestrial interchange would have occurred as late as 780,000 years ago, but certainly that a slightly broken land bridge could have existed in the Miocene or even Pliocene. Even if Antarctica completely froze over in the Miocene (with no surviving pockets of an ancient Antarctic flora or fauna), a warm period could have reopened an Antarctic corridor for limited faunal and floral interchange between southern South America and New Zealand sometime in the Miocene or Pliocene. Is it unreasonable to contemplate such a possibility?
P.S. Here's a link to one of the recent stories about the Antarctic impacts:
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