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Giant squid and Antarctic flora



Another giant squid washes up on the Australian coast, possibly a new
species...

http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/07/22/australia.squid/index.html

Though I believe the article's last line - "Dead whales have been found
washed up on beaches with large sucker marks on their bodies, apparently
from squid attacks" - is the marine biology equivalent of an urban myth.
(Or so Richard Ellis told me once.)


And while we're "Down Under", Tracy Ford wrote: 

> Several macro and microfossil ferns taxa were present during the Early 
> Cretaceous in the Antarctic region. [snip]
> Many of the taxa found in the strata belong to ferns, which 
> now live in wet tropical to subtropical forests. Moreover, some of them 
> could develop arborescent habit, therefore very cold conditions are 
> UNTENABLE (me again) in the area during the early Aptian. 

'Antarctic region' is vague, especially in the context of the Aptian.
Antarctica is big - about the same size as the U.S. and Mexico combined.
While southern Antarctica was perhaps only 20 degrees from the South Pole in
the Early Cretaceous (and getting closer every day), northern Antarctica
occupied a latitude equivalent to most of modern Argentina and Chile.  



Tim


------------------------------------------------------------------- 



Timothy J. Williams, Ph.D. 

USDA-ARS Researcher 
Agronomy Hall 
Iowa State University 
Ames IA 50014 

Phone: 515 294 9233 
Fax:   515 294 9359