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125 When Dinosaurs Roamed Antarctica

03 . 02 . 2021


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Polar Newsreel If lockdown is taking it too hard on you, you might find some ease drawing some icebergs and see how they float. | To see an actual iceberg the size of Greater London you can follow the brand new one recently calved from Brunt Ice Shelf. | At the same time the first commercial vessel sailed the Northern Sea Route during winter. | After being fined $2 billion for the damage caused by the major fuel spill last year, Nornickel is making headlines again when three people die in a partial collapse of its ore processing plant in Norilsk. | Turkey plans it’s very own year-round Antarctic Research Station at Horseshoe Island in Marguerite Bay.

When Dinosaurs lived in Antarctica Wo would expect to find Dinosaurs in the coldest and most remote place in the world? But it hasn’t always been that way. There used to be a time when Antarctica was covered in forests and dinosaurs roamed the continent free. And in 1986 a group of Argentine scientists made their way to James Ross Island under expedition leader Eduardo B. Olivero. The expedition came back home with a sensational finding - the excavation of a few fossils, namely a partial skeleton and bony plates of some sort of body armour of a new plant-eating species, later to be named Antarctopelta oliveroi. And the area seems to be the dinosaur hot spot in Antarctica at the moment. In 1986 an expedition of the British Antarctic Survey discovered the second dinosaur on neighbouring Vega Island.

The places those fossils have been found so far are ice free and rather easy accessible. The more the Antarctic ice sheet will retreat, the more area the ice will set free, the more likely is that scientists may unveil more fossils to get a better picture of how Antarctica looked like in previous periods. And that in turn will give us a better understanding of how things have changed in the past.

This is an episode of the Curiously Polar podcast

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