Fossils indicate warm antarctica, as reported in EurkAlert, 22 July, 2008 and BBC News Online, 23 July, 2008, Boston University News 5 Aug 2008 and Fossil Science, 6 Aug 2008. A team of researchers from British and American universities have found “exceptionally well preserved fossils” of ostracods in Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Ostraocods are tiny shrimp-like creatures that live throughout the world in marine and freshwater environments, and occasionally in wet moss. Mark Williams of the University of Leicester commented: “We’ve got the legs and the mouth parts, and the reproductive organs; and we can even see micron-scale hairs on the legs.”

The Dry Valleys are desolate regions in Artarctica where is it is too dry and cold for any life. The researchers found the fossil ostracods, along with fossils of mosses, diatoms and beetles on the slopes of Mt Boreas, on the edge of the McKelvey Valley, at laititude 77 degrees south The farthest south living ostrocods have been found is about 60 degrees. Mark William also said: “Notwithstanding the significance of the fossil preservation, the presence of lake ostracods at this latitude, 77 degrees south, is also of great note. Present conditions in this Antarctic region show mean annual temperatures of minus 25 degrees C. These are impossible conditions to sustain a lake fauna with ostracods.”

The researchers also found mosses and “pollen and spores, and a few macroscopic remains of plants and insects.” The mosses are also exceptionally well preserved, being effectively freeze dried. David Marchant, an associate professor of earth sciences at Boston University, who also took part in the study, commented: “They are among the best preserved specimens from this age found anywhere on Earth. Some species are identical to modern counterparts, and the dominant moss species is indistinguishable from an existing bryophyte (Drepanocladus longifolius). This type of morphologic stability is nearly unheard of in the fossil record.” The fossils therefore show that there has been a substantial and very intense cooling of the Antarctic climate after this time interval that is important for tracking the development of the Antarctic icesheet – a key factor in understanding the effects of global warming. The fossil ostracods of the Dry Valleys signal a high latitude lake viable for animal colonisation that indicates a dramatic change in the climate of this region, from tundra conditions 14 million years ago, to the intensely cold continental interior climate experienced today.”

BBC, Fossil Science

Editorial Comment: If these frozen mosses are indistinguishable from living mosses then mosses have not evolved, no matter how old scientists believe them to be. They have reproduced after their kind, just a Genesis says. These fossils are not the first indications that Antarctica was once warmer and full of life. Dinosaurs and coal have been found around Antarctica. The good preservation of the ostracod fossils, and the climate change that they indicate, fits well into Biblical history. As the researchers note, ostracods (and beetles and mosses) do not live in dry frozen wildernesses, so Antarctica must have been warmer and wetter in the past. That fits with the original “very good” world God made, as described in Genesis. For soft tissue to be preserved with the fine detail described above, organisms need to be buried rapidly and deeply so that decay processes do not destroy the tissue structure. This is exactly what would happen in a world-wide continent covering flood, also described in Genesis. Following the flood the climate changed rapidly for the worse, and the polar regions became frozen. (Ref. invertebrates, crustaceans, climate)

Evidence News 13 August 2008