Scientists from the Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics have found traces of the existence of heat-loving plants in the Arctic.
The find was found on the island of Sardas. Prints of leaves of sycamore, beech, willow and magnolia – earlier only traces of coniferous trees and fruits of the American gray nut were found here. The fossil remains of heat-loving plants have never been found so far beyond the Arctic Circle.
The discovery of Russian scientists is unique in that the fossil remains belong to the early and middle Miocene. This is a period of time from 1.5 to 23 million years ago. Previously, traces of subtropical forests were found only in sediments aged 55-65 million years.
Scientists are surprised that in a time not so old by geological standards, such heat-loving vegetation was common at such high latitudes. “It is necessary to more accurately determine the age of rocks containing unique finds, and to understand why vegetation of this type was common at such high latitudes,” says Leonid Khazin, one of the authors of the discovery. Further research on the island will allow scientists to revise theories about how the Earth’s climate has changed.