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Daily Archives: 10. January 2017 − News & Stories

Lan­tern fruits in Ant­arc­ti­ca?

Lan­tern fruits in Ant­arc­ti­ca? Tomatoes, pota­toes and tob­ac­co from the big ice?

Accord­ing to the online news sec­tion of the maga­zi­ne Sci­ence, US-Ame­ri­can and Argen­ti­ni­an rese­ar­chers have found fos­sils in Pata­go­nia, Argen­ti­na, that belong to the nights­hade fami­ly, as today’s tomatoes, pota­toes and toma­til­los.

The­se plants lived more than 50 mil­li­on years ago in a warm, humid cli­ma­te, when South Ame­ri­ca was still very clo­se situa­ted to the Ant­arc­tic Pen­in­su­la. The Dra­ke Pas­sa­ge did not yet exist. Ins­tead, a shal­low shelf sea sepa­ra­ted the Paci­fic Oce­an from the Atlan­tic and South Ame­ri­ca from Ant­arc­ti­ca. At the same time, the bor­der bet­ween the sub­tro­pi­cal cli­ma­te zone and the tem­pe­ra­te cli­ma­te zone went across the Ant­arc­tic Pen­in­su­la. Befo­re the Ant­arc­tic con­ti­nent got cove­r­ed by snow and ice, it might well have been that the­se anci­ent ground-cher­ries also grew in Ant­arc­ti­ca.

With the drastic cli­ma­te chan­ge towards the ice con­di­ti­ons alrea­dy on the hori­zon, Ant­arc­ti­ca did not beco­me a lan­tern fruit place. In con­trast, it is by far the most hos­ti­le con­ti­nent on the pla­net and not your place at all if you are a toma­to.

Lan­tern fruits in Ant­arc­ti­ca? No, only mos­ses (Ait­cho Island, South Shet­land Islands).

Lantern fruits in Antarctica? No, only mosses

Source: Sci­ence Dai­ly


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