The Turtle That Crossed the Arctic

Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 06:46 pm
a turtle fossil has been discovered in the canadian arctic . the find seems to strengthen the belief that animals crossed from asia into north-america by way of what we now call the arctic .

i'm wondering if in some future years it'll again be possible to saunter across the arctic ?

this fits in with a joke told to me by an old dutch friend .
canadian : "will your dutch relatives ever visit you in canada ? "
dutch fellow : "oh , for sure - they are just waiting for the dyke to be completed ... they'll be coming by bicycle ... and they'll be bringing the kids too " .


A strikingly preserved tropical turtle fossil discovered in the Canadian High Arctic is giving scientists a look into an ancient, carbon-dioxide-warmed world.

The freshwater turtle, dubbed Aurorachelys, was an Asian species that researchers believe migrated across the North Pole 90 million years ago as temperatures were peaking. The find suggests that animals moved into North America via a polar route rather than around Alaska, as was previously believed.

"The fossil record is giving us more and more information about how ancient animals responded to a warming world," geophysicist John Tarduno of the University of Rochester, co-author of a study published Sunday in Geology. "They moved toward the poles."

Ninety million years ago, the Arctic Ocean was warm and ice-free year-round. Runoff from rivers could have created a lake of freshwater that stayed on top of the dense, salty Arctic Ocean, providing a route for freshwater species like the turtle.


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Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:09 pm
He didnt have to go far to cross back then. The subcontinent of LAurasia was composed of a zipped together area that connected the present Scandanavian countries with Greenland and Northern Canada. There was a small opening of the proto Arctic ocean but it was pretty much one big chunk of closely located islands, sort of like the Polynesia/Melanesia of today. Turtles could basically saunter and swim through small water filled basins in a warm sub Arctic tropic. The real cold area was the growing ANtarctic because there was a water passage that separated the Northern v Southern Hemispheres.
In order to see the continental drift occur through time since the Grenville Age, I recommend the Atlantic Geosciences SOciety's Special Publication no 135. called THE LAST BILLION YEARS It was published by Nimbus Press of HAlifax in 2001. This is one of the best general texts on the splitting continental land masses that center on Appalachian/Caledonian Terranes. It uses Maritime Canada as the focii of the various sequences of continental openings and closings.
I use it in graduate courses for the students to visualize the 3D nature of LxWxTime.
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 12:02 pm
seems that the dutch would have had an easier time of it if they would have build the dyke at the time the continents were zipped together - they missed out on that .

btw just finished reading michael palin's "from pole to pole " - early 90's .
a japanese fellow with a special yamaha motorcycle raced from one of the antarctic research stations to the south-pole when palin's group was flying in .

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