Palaeoecology - the geological past.
The palaeoecology of West Cork has been divided into time slices :-
see the menu on the left sidebar.
The Most Ancient Days - Devonian Palaeoecology
The oldest rocks that outcrop in West Cork date from the Devonian period, between about 390 and 350 million years ago; a time when life forms really started to take a major hold on land, to such a degree that the atmosphere changed, rates or erosion and weathering changed, sea levels changed. At that time the piece of earth's crust that was to become West Cork lay just south of the equator, on a small piece of crust that had recently joined on the side of a big continent, and was later to be squeezed by another piece of crust. A time of deserts, flash floods, wadis, volcanic eruptions and ash falls
The Missing Link – Mesozoic and Tertiary Palaeoecology
The most extraordinary thing about the following 300 million years is - there is little trace. Sediments that were deposited have been eroded away out of existence. But it is possible yo use clues from elsewhere to have a guess at what was happening in West Cork.
The Ice Ages - Quaternary Palaeoecology
Like the rest of the northern hemisphere, which is where West Cork was located by now, the Quaternary period that Covers most of the last 2 million years was a time of expanding and contracting ice sheets, glacials and interglacials. The effect of the ice ages that covered Ireland, and West Cork, was to wipe the slate clean of all sediments, and the formations, fossils, and traces that they contained of environments that went before. Unless such records had been secured in rocks, or buried deep, they were scraped aaway by ice sheets 1000 metres thick. But the last glaciations to cover West Cork left their mark that are still visible today, shaping the landscape we seearound us to a degree that is surprising, shocking, and exciting.
Warming up in the Post Glacial - Holocene Palaeoecology
The Holocene is the period from the end of the ice age, the final retrest of the ice and the warming of the climate, until the present day. It has been sugegsted that we are now in a new age, the Anthropocene, the Age of Man. Maybe that is a bit