Remains of a 90-million-year-old rainforest discovered beneath Antarctic ice, study says

Remains of a 90-million-year-old rainforest discovered beneath Antarctic ice, study says

by Sophie Lewis, CBS News

The South Pole is surrounded by a harsh, frozen landscape of year-round ice and snow — but it hasn’t always been this way, according to new research published Wednesday in the journal Nature. A group of researchers found evidence that approximately 90 million years ago, Antarctica was home to an ancient, swampy rainforest full of diverse animal and plant life.

The group discovered a surprisingly well-preserved network of roots in a sediment core collected near Pine Island Glacier. When the researchers found the core, they were immediately shocked by its appearance. 

“During the initial shipboard assessments, the unusual coloration of the sediment layer quickly caught our attention. It clearly differed from the layers above it,” lead author Dr. Johann Klages, a geologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, said in a press release. 

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