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UWM professors find fossil forest in Antarctica

Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 19:39:09-05

A pair of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Geology professors have discovered in Antarctica evidence of ancient life in rocks that are 280 million years old.

This discovery was very rare and the professors had to go in some dangerous conditions to find these fossils. Dr. Erik Gulbranson was very excited about it.

Older than the first dinosaurs the fossils were discovered almost a year ago. Gulbranson and a team of other geologists around the world took a two month trip and were able to find the ancient rocks.

Looking into the evolution of life the group came across Antarctica’s fossil forests. The new fossils were brought back to campus for research in some of the rocks you can see certain plant features.

So at face value one thing this discovery shows is that Antarctica was not always ice covered like it is today.

"It's really thrilling," Gulbranson said.  "We found about half of the fossil forest on the entire  continent of Antartica."

Gulbranson will actually be heading back to Antarctica next week. This will be his fifth trip to the cold continent.