Under the Antarctic ice shelf has been an oasis of life for at least 6000 years

More marine life than expected under the Antarctic ice shelf, according to research teams from the British Antarctic Observatory (BAS) and the Alfred Wegener Institute Polar Ocean Research Institute (AWI). I understand.

Richness, growth, and persistence of life under an Antarctic ice shelf: Current Biology


Abundance of life discovered beneath an Antarctic ice shelf --British Antarctic Survey


Scientists find unexpected trove of life forms beneath Antarctic ice shelf --The Verge

The Antarctic ice shelf has a huge area of 1.6 million square kilometers, with complete darkness beneath it, and is said to be the least known surface habitat on Earth.

In February 2021, BAS discovered an unknown organism under the Filchner Ice Shelf in the southern part of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica.

An unknown creature is discovered under 900m thick ice in Antarctica --GIGAZINE

The paper published in the scientific journal Current Biology published on December 20, 2021 is about species collected by AWI from the seafloor of the Extrom Ice Shelf in the southeastern Weddel Sea in 2018.

Although the specimen collection site was several kilometers away from the open sea, 77 species of organisms such as moss beetles and stag beetles were found, and the specimens were said to be richer in biodiversity than the continental shelf of the open ocean with light and food.

A part of the specimen actually collected, a fragment of a bryozoa.

by David Barnes

Microscopic examination of the specimens shows that four species have achieved similar growth to similar species inhabiting the continental shelf of the open ocean.

Most of the organisms found feed on microalgae, which are phytoplankton, but since it is thought that plants and algae cannot live on the dark seabed under the ice, the research team said, 'Sufficient from the open sea. Plankton must be carried. '

In addition, radiocarbon dating of the dead specimens found revealed that the age ranged from modern to 5800 years ago. This suggests that an oasis of life has existed under the ice shelf for at least nearly 6000 years.

It has also been pointed out that ice shelves are collapsing due to the effects of climate change, and there is not enough time to protect and study the ecosystem under the ice shelves.

in Science,   Creature, Posted by logc_nt