Monday, August 3, 2009

Expedition to East Greenland

Fossil ginkgo, © The Field Museum, GEO86386d
Poking around on the Field Museum's website, I happened across their site for a 2002 expedition to East Greenland. The goal was to collect fossilized plant specimens dating back to 200 million years ago, straddling the Triassic and Jurassic, with hopes of shedding light on the extinction event that occured between the two periods and paved the way for the flourishing of the dinosaurs. There are some nice, if low-res images, including the Ginkgo above (I can't help picking a leaf when I pass on of Bloomington's many ginkgo trees and rubbing its ridges between my fingertips). Also worth checking out is the expedition journal. Here's an excerpt from the entry on camp life:
"It should be noted that attack by polar bear is a real threat in this region and that these animals have been known to stalk and occasionally kill people."

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