Antarctic flora & fauna (was: New Zealand plants...)
kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Jul 28 09:39:59 CDT 2004
First, let me apologize for the poor English ("may have went extinct") in my post last night. Ouch!! It obviously should have read "perhaps went extinct" or "may have gone extinct".
Earlier yesterday, I mentioned a warm period ending about 2.2 million years ago. Reading more this morning, I found that this was an older estimate done back in the 1990's. A more recent estimate (2001) dates this period of high ocean levels from 2.2-2.0 million years ago (based on the Tuapaktushak Beds of Alaska). This is getting very close to the beginning of the Pleistocene. I do not know of any direct evidence from Antarctica itself for this period of time, but one can infer possible pockets of tundra in Antarctica near the end of Pliocene (perhaps including dwarf Nothofagus?).
----- Cheers, Ken
P.S. I wonder how common it is for dwarf forms to be the last of their species. Dwarf mammoths surviving on at least one island. A dwarf Nothofagus in Antarctica (or could it be conspecific with an extant Chilean species?). I'm curious if there are other such examples.
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