It seems history repeated itself 120 million years after a global cataclysm robbed the earth of the dinosaurs. But, the later one did not sweep out a species but, created a major shift. It was 55 million years ago, an increase in the planet’s temperature prompted major shifts in plant distribution, according to a research report. Displacing those that had been growing there previously, a study of plant fossils from the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming shows the arrival of plants from warm southern areas. This research was led by a team headed by Scott L Wing. Their findings are reported in the journal Science.
They say that the warmth lasted for 80 000 to 120 000 years. And before and after the warm period, plant fossils included such northern plants as relatives of dawn redwood, alder, sycamore, walnut and sassafras. But during the warm period fossils show the area supported different vegetation! It includes members of the bean family and warmth-loving relatives of poinsettia, sumac and paw-paw. The migration of subtropical plants to northern climates may not be too far-fetched if future global warming patterns mirror a monumental shift that took place in the past, new research by an international team of scientists suggests.