Did volcanoes help animals survive during the Ice Age?

Volcanoes just got cooler…I mean hotter… Recent research has led scientists to believe that volcanoes helped species survive during Ice Ages throughout history.

The survey led by the Australian National University and the Australian Antartic Division looked through tens of thousands of documents and papers to make this conclusion. More species are found and have been found closer to volcanoes than further away. This research has also helped document the pattern of climate change and the way animals have adapted to their environments.


A cave in glaciers closer to a volcano would be much warmer than the landscape outside of it, for example, which would’ve helped animals survive the harsh conditions.

From Archaeology News Network:

“The closer you get to volcanoes, the more species you find. This pattern supports our hypothesis that species have been expanding their ranges and gradually moving out from volcanic areas since the last ice age,” Dr Aleks Terauds said.

The research being conducted now is taking place in Antarctica where there are 16 volcanoes which have been active for approximately 20,000 years. And, you guessed it, there are more lichen, moss and insects living there, than there are further away. The research also suggests that these organisms have been living there for 20,000 years, as they aren’t found anywhere else in the world.


One thought on “Did volcanoes help animals survive during the Ice Age?

  1. Pingback: News from the wire – the archaeology weekly roundup 14/3/’14 |

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