Welcome to You Ask Andy

Turid Maeland, age 12, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for his question:

Why are palm fossils found near the North Pole?

The first serious fossil hunters were amazed by what they found and downright astounded by where they found them. Shells of ancient sea dwellers were unearthed in deserts and on lofty mountains, far from the ocean. Fossils of warm weather magnolias and warm water alligators were found in frosty Alaska    and palms inside the Arctic Circle. Obviously times must have changed. Scientists who delve into the age old history of the earth assure us that this is indeed true.

Continents and seas were remodeled, the poles wandered around on global tours, there were dramatic changes in the global climate. For example, about 50 million years ago, our present north polar region enjoyed a long spell of semitropical weather. The place then was just right for palms and other tropical type species of plants and animals. Naturally they left their remains on the spot. Naturally the earth preserved a few specimens in her record of fossils.



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