segunda-feira, 3 de maio de 2010

J. A. Crame Origins and Evolution of the Antarctic Biota

J. A. Crame Origins and Evolution of the Antarctic Biota Geological Society of London 1989 ISBN: 0903317443 328 pages PDF 57.2 MB
Within the last 25 years there has been a dramatic increasein our knowledge of the fossil record of Antarctica. Improvedaccess to the remotest parts of the continent, the advent ofoffshore drilling and intensive study of early expedition collectionshave all led to the accumulation of a vast amount of data thatstretches back nearly 600 Ma to the beginning of the Cambrianperiod. No longer can Antarctica be dismissed from our viewof the history of life on earth simply because so little isknown about it; it is fast becoming another crucial referencepoint for global palaeontological syntheses.If, today we have an image of Antarctica as a remote, inhospitablecontinent that supports little life, we now know that such aview cannot be projected back indefinitely through time. Abundantplant and animal fossils from a variety of periods point tomuch more benign climates and immediately raise a series ofinterconnected questions: where did such organisms come from,how long did they persist, and precisely when (and how) didthey become extinct? Can our most southerly continent throwfurther light on the long-term role of climate in driving evolutionarytrends (e.g. Valentine 1967; Vrba 1985)?It was with points such as these in mind that a mixed groupof palaeontologists, biologists, geologists and geophysicistsgathered together for an international discussion meeting onthe ‘Origins and evolution of the Antarctic biota’at the Geological Society, London on 24 and 25 May 1988

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