Thursday, May 21, 2009
Giants In Antarctica
"Intriguingly, very often polar invertibrates are giants when compared to closely related species living in warmer areas. Giant Sponges. Sponges (i.e. Rossellidae spp.) are a good example of this gigantism: In Antarctica they are up to two meters high (with a body wet mass of up to 500 kilogramme), while close relatives growing in the temperate climate of the coast of Vancouver Island (Canada) are no more than a couple decimeters high." -- Susanne Gatti, biologist, et al., July 2002
I imagine Antarctica is much more bizarre than commonly believed. The first mammal fossils in Antarctica were only unearthed in 1982. Dinosaurs in Antarctica were discovered in 1986 and things just keep getting weirder.
Gatti, S., et al., Older Than Methuselah, Alfred Wegener Institute, Jul 2002
Fossil Giants Found In South America and Antarctica, Perth Now, Dec 2007
Kiwis Encounter Undiscovered Sea Giants, The New Zealand Herald, Mar 2008
Barry, C., Giant Unknown Animals Found Off Antarctica, National Geographic, Mar 2008