Speaker Se­ries ex­plores Canada’s arc­tic in the Eocene Epoch

The Drumheller Mail - - AROUND TOWN - Submitted The Drumheller Mail

The Fe­bru­ary 1 ses­sion of the 2018 Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries is a pre­sen­ta­tion by Dr. Jae­lyn Eberle, Univer­sity of Colorado, en­ti­tled “Life at the Top of the Eocene Green­house World: The Eocene Ver­te­brate Fauna and Flora of Canada’s High Arc­tic.”

Eocene sed­i­ments for the Eureka Sound Group in Canada’s Arc­tic Archipelag­o pre­serve ev­i­dence of lush rain forests. The Eocene Epoch, 56 - 33.9 mil­lion years ago, was char­ac­ter­ized by the rapid di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of mam­mals. Al­li­ga­tors, tur­tles, birds and a large di­ver­sity of mam­mals, in­clud­ing early pri­mates, tapirs, and hippo-like Co­ryphodon, in­hab­ited the rain forests of the Eocene.

These ecosys­tems re­flect a green­house world and may be our best means to pre­dict what en­vi­ron­men­tal changes are in store for the fu­ture Arc­tic if cur­rent cli­mate change goes unchecked. In her pre­sen­ta­tion, Dr. Eberle will dis­cuss the his­tor­i­cal and geo­graphic con­text of Arc­tic fos­sil lo­cal­i­ties and pro­vide an over­view of Eocene Arc­tic ver­te­brate an­i­mals and plants, and the en­vi­ron­ments they lived in.

Dr. Eberle and her col­leagues’ re­search sug­gests that sev­eral cli­mate-sen­si­tive an­i­mals, in­clud­ing al­li­ga­tors, tur­tles, and sharks, had past en­vi­ron­men­tal tol­er­ances greater than their liv­ing de­scen­dants. Con­se­quently, there is a need to test the adapt­abil­ity of these an­i­mals to fu­ture cli­mate change.

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries talks are free and open to the pub­lic. Pre­sen­ta­tions are held every Thursday un­til April 26 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mu­seum au­di­to­rium. Speaker Se­ries talks are also avail­able on the Mu­seum’s YouTube chan­nel: youtube.com/c/Roy­alTyrrel­lMu­se­u­mofPalaeon­tol­ogy.

submitted

Dr. Jae­lyn Eberle of the Univer­sity of Colorado will de­liver “Life at the Top of the Eocene Green­house World: The Eocene Ver­te­brate Fauna and Flora of Canada’s High Arc­tic” at this week’s Speaker Se­ries.

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