SMU Earth Sciences, Antarctica

Earth Sciences master’s student Chris Strganac, doctoral student Yosuke Nishida and Professor Louis Jacobs are part of a team traveling to Antarctica to discover 120 million-year-old mammal fossils from Livingston Island and other places around the Antarctic Peninsula.
They hope to link the evolutionary history of mammals across South America to Africa and Australia through ancient Antarctica when climates were warmer. So far in their journey, as chronicled by Chris, they have found ancient plants, but mammal remains have been elusive. They are still looking…

Read more from SMU Earth Sciences, Antarctica

Fur seals, but no fossils

The next morning we set off via Zodiac in search of an oyster bed on the northwestern portion of Byers Peninsula. While oysters indicate a marine setting, they are found in shallow waters, which have potential for terrestrial mammals.

We arrive at Rays Peninsula to an interesting smell … Antarctic Fur seals. These are quite different from true seals in that they can use their front legs to walk semi-upright, and they have external ears.

We hike about a kilometer in search of the oyster beds over some fairly steep terrain. No avail … again snow cover has not been nice. The views, however, are spectacular.

We have been on the windward side of the Antarctic Peninsula. In a few days, we will be on the leeward and, hopefully, drier and more ice-free side.

Share this story:

    About Sarah Hanan


    This entry was posted in SMU Earth Sciences, Antarctica. Bookmark the permalink.