Antarctica was not always frozen. 250 million years ago, forests and rivers were covered, and the temperature was rarely freeze. Likewise, wildlife was diverse, including the old dinosaur relatives. Scientists have found the newest member of the family – an iguana sized reptile, whose name means "the king of Antarctica".
"This new animal was an arkcapore, at the beginning of crocodiles and dinosaurs," says Brandon Peecook, a Field Museum researcher and principal author of paper. Magazine Journal of Paleontology description of new species "By the same token, it seems like a lizard, but it's one of the biggest groups of evolution, telling us how the dinosaurs and their closest relatives evolved and spread it."
The fossil's skeleton is incomplete, but paleontologists still feel like animals Antarctanax shackletoni (the former means "King of Antarctica", which is the polar explorer Ernest Shackleton). As well as other fossil animals, Peekoo and his co-workers (Roger Smith, Witwatersrand University and Iziko South African Museum and the Burke Museum Christian Sidor and the University of Washington emphasize) Antarctanax Harassed bugs were hunted, early mammals and amphibians.
The most interesting thing Antarctanax, however, where he lived, and when. "We know more about the Antarctic prehistoric, it's insane," says Peecook, a member of the Burke Museum. "We thought the Antarctic animals were similar to those living in the South of Africa, which later linked these lands. Antarctic wildlife is surprisingly unique."
About two million years before Antarctanax He lived, the gestures of an eye of geology. It had the greatest mass extinction in the Earth. Climate change, caused by volcanic eruption, killed 90% of all animals. The subsequent years of the expiration event could be a free evolution – with a clean grid of mass extinction, new animal groups filled gaps. The Arkosaurs, including the dinosaurs, were one of the groups that had a great growth. "Before the mass disappearance, arkosaurs only found themselves around Ecuador, but then they were everywhere," says Peecook. "And Antarctica has had a combination of new animals and foreign animals in places where there are already disappearing – what paleontologists call" dead clad walking. "Tomorrow's animals and yesterday animals live in a cool place."
Scientists have found it Antarctanax Antarctica was a rapid evolution and diversification. "As we find different types of animals, we will learn about the model of the Arkhosaurus after the mass disappearance," said Peecook.
"This is one of the places in the Antarctic Territory, at the bottom of the sea, in the early stages of exploration," says Peecook. "Antarctanax It's a small part of getting to know the history of Antarctica. "