MAY 21, 2021 6:04 AM PDT

How did land animals get from South America to the Antilles?

A study to be published soon in the June 2021 issue in Earth-Science Reviews will explain a new theory of how the fossils of land animals from South America ended up in the Antilles. While a previous theory about that several hundred-kilometer migration across the Caribbean Sea involved natural rafts, scientists from the CNRS, l'Université des Antilles, l'Université de Montpellier and d'Université Côte d'Azur now point toward the presence of submerged land bridges. 

The research team, composed of geologists, palaeontologists and geophysicists, has reconstructed the geography of the northern Lesser Antilles over the last 40 million years. They show how over time archipelagos and islands were present due to the shifting tectonic plates between the Lesser Antilles, the Greater Antilles and the underwater Aves Ridge.

The presence of once above-water, now below-water land features explains why fossils of mammals and amphibians found in the Antilles have their closest relatives in South America. The submergence of archipelagos and islands aligns with the sea level decreases and increases observed during glacial-interglacial cycles. 

The research team is interested in continuing their construction of the geography between South America and the Caribbean. Their future models aim to map between Guadeloupe and South America. 

Photo: Pixabay

Sources: Earth-Science Reviews, Science Daily

About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
MAY 03, 2022
Genetics & Genomics
Research Indicates Dog Breed Doesn't Determine Personality
MAY 03, 2022
Research Indicates Dog Breed Doesn't Determine Personality
While dog breeders may dispute the conclusions based on their own experiences, new research has indicated that almost no ...
MAY 12, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Resources For Growing Your Own Cannabis
MAY 12, 2022
Resources For Growing Your Own Cannabis
Resources for growing your own cannabis at home, including the science behind getting the best grows possible.
MAY 27, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Tau Herculid Meter Shower: A Hit Or A Miss In May
MAY 27, 2022
Tau Herculid Meter Shower: A Hit Or A Miss In May
A comet called SW3 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann was discovered 92 years ago in 1930 by German astronomers, Friedri ...
JUN 04, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Opening a Champagne Bottle Creates Shock Waves like a Fighter Jet
JUN 04, 2022
Opening a Champagne Bottle Creates Shock Waves like a Fighter Jet
A new study led by Gérard Liger-Belair, a professor of chemical physics at the University of Reims Cham ...
JUN 05, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
Can This Shockingly Simple Model Explain How Life Arose?
JUN 05, 2022
Can This Shockingly Simple Model Explain How Life Arose?
Scientists have long sought to determine how life first arose on our planet, and finding an answer to that question coul ...
JUN 08, 2022
Microbiology
Shipwrecks are Rich with Microbial Diversity
JUN 08, 2022
Shipwrecks are Rich with Microbial Diversity
Bacteria have helped lay the foundations for complex life by creating a hospitable atmosphere on our planet, and they co ...
Loading Comments...