Before the ice

Fossil evidence indicates that the Antarctic continent was a much warmer place before the cooling Circumpolar Current isolated the continent from its neighbouring land masses. The sea level was much higher, the polar ice cap much smaller, and parts of the continent contained vegetation similar to today's endemic Tasmanian flora.

  • Ask the students to create a fictional landscape of Antarctica based on Antarctica before the present development of ice sheets.

Further information

Read about the breakup of Gondwana into the continents as we know them today in Geology.

The Antarctic prehistory and Antarctic geology pages on the AAD's website also contain useful information.

The British Antarctic Survey has relevant information on fossils in Antarctica, information on fossils from the Antarctic and fossil locations in Antarctica.

This page was last modified on January 23, 2014.