Speaker Series explores Canada’s arctic in the Eocene Epoch
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.
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.