paleobotany

Botanic Notables: Palm Trees in Ancient Antarctica

August 10, 2012
Submitted by admin

As we dip into August, we're inclined to imagine one last trip—chasing summer's sunny embrace to a lush clime in the Caribbean, the south of France, the Hawaiian archipelago, or... eastern Antarctica? Not this year, perhaps, but 55 million years ago, coastal Antarctica was a pretty balmy place. Summers peaked at about 25°C (77 F), winters were a mild 10°C (50 F), and the shores were filled with palm trees and ancestors of the modern macadamia and baobab.