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Spiders..Fishes and Plants..The Story of the Prehistoric Rainforest…

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Highlights

  • A treasure trove of two thousand fossils found in Australia
  • The story of the transformation from prehistoric rainforest to desert
  • Spider, insect, fish and plant fossils found
  • Fossils studied through painting

Australia
About 35% of the Australian continent receives so little rain that it has turned into a desert. But it was not always a desert. Discovery of fossil site tells ‘origin story’ of Australia. It has been found in the research of scientists that till 11-16 million years ago, this entire area was green. It used to rain a lot here. Different types of animals lived here. Among them, their number has been found more, which like the rainy season.

The scientists got the fossil tip from the farmer
Paleontologists have unearthed about two thousand fossils of ancient Australia. A treasure trove of well-preserved fossils unearthed. It also gives information about the ecosystem (ecosystem) of the changing climate. Indeed, in 2017 researchers were excavating Jurassic fossils in the hills of southeast Australia when they found an important tip. A local farmer told that he had discovered the fossil on his land nearby. The farmer had cleared a huge pile of heavy rocks from his field. It is common for Australians to find fossilized leaves. But there were many in the farmer’s rocks. As soon as the researchers turned the stones, they found an array of rare insects.

The story before the formation of the desert found from the fossil age
Three years later that farmer’s field is now known as ‘McGrath Flat’. Fossils of ancient spiders, cicadas, wasps, flies, fish, flowers and even bird feathers have been found here. Hundreds of such prehistoric species were found, which scientists did not know about before. He carved those lines through painting. Gather more information about the Australian Fossil Age. This gives information about the first clear picture of life in rainforests. The new fossils also include fish whose last meal is still in their stomachs. Insects are covered with pollen grains. Their eyes and muscles were preserved along with more information. Prior to this, only four spider fossils had been found across Australia. Paleontologists have already unearthed 13 in ‘McGrath Flat’.
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Estimated to be fossils from 11-16 million years ago
“We never thought fossils would be so well-preserved and there would be such a diversity of life,” Matthew McCurry, a paleontologist at the Australian Museum and the University of New South Wales, told Insider. McCurry is also one of the paleontologists excavating McGrath Flats. His team’s report was published on Friday in the journal Science Advances.

In his report, he said that as a paleontologist it is quite common to go to the ground and find nothing. But we went to this site with a small team and we brought back hundreds of fossils each time. It is estimated that these fossils date to 11-16 million years ago during the Miocene epoch. Because then the rainforests of Australia were drying up and turning into deserts. Which today dominate its landscape. Fossils found at McGrath Flats reveal how different groups of plants, insects, fish and other organisms may have reacted. The historical context for modern times may come in handy in climate change.
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Research continues on the formation and ending of Oxbow Lake
About 150 million years ago, the iron-rich and water-filled Oxbow Lake used to flow. Then thousands of creatures were trapped in McGrath Flat. Microbiologist Michael Frege of the University of Canberra worked with McCurry to conduct the analysis. He said that virtually everything that fell into the water was actually preserved, so you have a good view of the spectrum of things that live in McGrath Flat. Although the creatures in the McGrath flat rocks clearly lived in the rainforest. Most of the fossil pollen comes from desert plants. This suggests that the site was surrounded by dry areas. The rainforests were starting to dry up.

He said that we are right now on the verge of a very dramatic climate change. In order to understand and predict what is happening, it would probably be good to understand some of the recent climate changes. To better understand Miocene climate change, researchers will need to find other such fossil sites. McCurry and Frege’s team are analyzing rocks at the site to determine how Oxbow Lake formed and ended up with the right conditions for ancient fossils.

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