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Volcanoes provided suitable environment to species during ice ages: Study

Mar 11, 2014 14:00 IST

A study by international team of researchers suggested that volcanoes and heated rocks allowed plants and bugs to survive during the ice ages that occurred on earth 20000 years ago. The team of scientists was led by Dr Ceridwen Fraser from the Australian National University and Dr Aleks Terauds from the Australian Antarctic Division.

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The study was conducted by the team as a part of National Academy of Science, US initiative to deal with climate change.

The conclusion has helped to uncover the fact that how some living species succeeded (adapted climate change) in areas covered by glaciers. The study suggests that the volcanoes worked as an oasis for life during that period and provided cozy home to species during ice ages. The cozy environment was provided due to geothermal features of volcanoes that includes hot springs.
    
In the process of study, they collected tens of thousands of Antarctic species like mosses, bugs and lichens. During their discoveries they found maximum number of species close to the volcanoes and fewer further away.

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At least 16 active volcanoes are available in Antarctica since ice age. Around 60 percent of Antarctic invertebrate species are found nowhere else in the world. The study was published on 10 March 2014 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Analysis
This study is based on Antarctica and can be considered as the best finding to conclude the fact that how some species survived on earth at the time when there was almost no or less ice-free area available.

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