Global warming is setting the stage for an invasion of predators on the sea floor around Antarctica, the likes of which have not been there for more than 40 million years.Back in the late Eocene epoch, predatory animals such as sharks and crabs were driven away from Antarctic depths when the continent and its surrounding waters turned into an icebox, said researchers on Friday at a symposium at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.
The result was a virtually predator-free zone on the seafloor and a paradise for worms, sea lilies, clams, brittle stars and other bottom-dwelling animals.
All that is about to end, however. Global warming is now raising water temperatures to the point where, very soon, those long-exiled predators could return and wreak havoc on the ocean floor, say biologists.
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