Paleontological investigations in the Antarctic: fossiliferous record of areas bordering BCAA and ECARE

Dr Daniel Perea, Facultad de Ciencias

The first paleontological and geological approximations of Uruguay in this area were carried out by researchers of the Faculty of Sciences more than 15 years ago. They focused on Fossil Hill, an outcropping of rocks about 50 million years ago (MA), where petrified trunks, leaf imprints and traces of invertebrates and vertebrates were collected. These rocks were formed from volcanic debris and other sediments in a lake system typical of a temperate and humid climate, very different from the Antarctic today.

Last year, the first stage of the project was carried out, in which geo-paleontological explorations were carried out in three previously identified areas, highlighting the first paleontological approaches to Cretaceous rocks (Half Three Point), in the south of the island.

This year, the Glacier Collins, Drake Passage, Ardley Island, Holz Stream, Half Three Point and Fossil Hill coastal areas will be explored, possibly providing important information on geography and biodiversity in the geological history of this region Area of ​​Antarctica.

Some of the planned activities are:

– Identification of other fossiliferous sites of interest, geo-referencing of these localities, survey of stratigraphic profiles.

– Collection of fossiliferous and sedimentological material, registration, cataloging, incorporation and conservation in institutional repository.

What will we have discovered? We can count on our return.