New research puts forth the theory that Ice Age survivors were able to thrive because they were protected by volcanic heat.
The science community has long been stumped by how it is some species managed to survive and evolve through past ice ages,, while others were rendered extinct.
New research from Australian National University puts forth the theory that survivors were able to thrive because they were protected by volcanic heat.
Initial evidence was provided through a close examination of the many Antarctic specimens collected over the past several decades.
The scientists realized that the vast majority of them had been collected near volcanoes, which got them thinking.
Said one of study’s leaders, "Volcanic steam can melt large ice caves under the glaciers, and it can be tens of degrees warmer in there than outside. Caves and warm steam fields would have been great places for species to hang out during ice ages."
And when it comes to creatures and organisms that made it through the deep freeze, Antarctica is teeming with them.
In fact, approximately 60 percent of the invertebrate life there is exclusive to the continent.
Given some species have been there for millions of years, scientists feel that Antarctica holds a lot of possibilities for the broadening the understanding of ice age survival elsewhere.