Study: Past global warming altered forests

Nov 11, 2005

The concept of Pennsylvania palmettos and magnolias in Minnesota may not be too far-fetched in view of research by a University of Florida paleontologist.

The research by vertebrate paleontologist Jonathan Bloch and colleagues suggests land plants changed drastically during a period of sudden global warming 55 million years ago.

"It indicates that should we have a period of rapid global warming on that scale today, we might expect very dramatic changes to the biota of the planet, not just the mammals and other vertebrates, but forests also completely changing," said Bloch.

Global warming allowed mammals to emigrate across northern land bridges, marking the first appearance of perissodactlys in the form of the earliest known horse; artiodactyls, a group of even-toed ungulates that includes pigs, camels and hippos; as well as modern primates, he said.

The theory is supported by excavations in northwestern Wyoming by team leader Scott Wing, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian Institution. They uncovered tropical fossil leaves and pollen alongside fossilized mammals in rocks that were deposited during that turbulent geologic interval.

The research is detailed in the current issue of the journal Science.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Ultra high definition TVs boost LG Display profit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Global warming led to dwarfism in mammals—twice

Nov 02, 2013

Mammal body size decreased significantly during at least two ancient global warming events, a new finding that suggests a similar outcome is possible in response to human-caused climate change, according to a University of ...

Recommended for you

Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check

4 hours ago

(AP)—Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form.

Ultra high definition TVs boost LG Display profit

11 hours ago

(AP)—LG Display Co. said profit for the April-June quarter more than doubled as a stronger won reduced the value of its foreign debt and the World Cup boosted demand for ultra-high-definition TVs.

Drugmaker GSK slashes annual profits forecast

11 hours ago

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday slashed its 2014 profits forecast as second-quarter earnings sank on the back of weak US trade, adverse currency moves and a Chinese bribery probe.

Perthites wanted for study on the Aussie lingo

12 hours ago

We all know that Australians speak English differently from the way it's spoken in the UK or the US, and many of us are aware that Perth people have a slightly different version of the language from, say, Melbournians - but ...

User comments : 0