Expedition looks for 280 million year old plants in Sumatra, Indonesia

This 2011 video from the USA says about itself:

Travel back in time 280 million years ago, with Dr. Bill DiMichele Curator of Fossil Plants for the Smithsonian, and explore what the environment was like on the Permian seacoast. Find out how the plants left their mark in the mud to be preserved for hundreds of millions of years.

From Dutch museum Naturalis:

An international team of researchers, brought together by Naturalis, from 24 July to 19 August are going to northern Sumatra to collect about 280 million year old leaves, trunks, and seeds, to look how the flora on this island developed after the breakup of [original big continent] Pangea.

They wrote a weblog on this research into the Permian period flora.

Permian-Triassic mass extinction: here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

Crater of Permian mass extinction in Wilkes Land, Antarctica? Here.

Mass extinctions and their causes: here.

And here.

And here.

Discosauriscus, Permian amphibian from Czech republic: here.

Petrified forest from Namibia, 250 million years old: here.

1 thought on “Expedition looks for 280 million year old plants in Sumatra, Indonesia

  1. Mollusks ruled the world before dinosaurs

    09:24, August 01, 2007

    Scientists studying mollusk fossils reveal their rise to prominence some 250 million years ago suggests the most devastating mass extinction in Earth’s history took a long time as opposed to the result of a catastrophic extraterrestrial cause such as an asteroid strike.

    The largest die-off in Earth’s history was not the cataclysm that ended the Age of the Dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. Instead, it was the so-called end-Permian mass extinction, which eliminated as much as 95 percent of the planet’s species before even the earliest dinosaurs strode the planet.

    One alleged consequence of this mass extinction was the dominance of oysters, snails and other mollusks all over the world some 8 million years before the end-Permian

    “Our results aren’t really consistent with a more catastrophic extraterrestrial cause, such as an asteroid impact — although they don’t directly contradict the impact theory either,” said researcher Matthew Clapham at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.

    Instead, these findings support theories suggesting the end-Permian was triggered by ocean changes long in the making, “the climax of a prolonged environmental crisis,” Clapham said.

    The whole Permian period, from about 300 million to 250 million years ago, saw gradual warming. This would have slowed down circulation in the ocean, eventually leading to very low levels of oxygen in the water. Massive volcanism near the end of the Permian might have caused more damage to the environment.

    “Mollusks are better adapted to such stressful and changing environments, and so could have thrived,” Clapham told LiveScience. “The abundance of mollusks we see are symptoms of the conditions that ultimately caused the extinction.”

    The research involved gleaning more than 33,000 Permian fossils from blocks of limestone that researchers gathered from China, Greece, Thailand, Nevada and Texas over the course of four years. These blocks were then dunked in vats of hydrochloric acid. Although the acid dissolved the limestone, over millions of years the building blocks of the fossil shells were replaced one by one with silica. This silica resisted the acid and helped the fossils survive.




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