Late Tertiary Forest
The establishment of the circum-polar current around Antarctica 35 million years ago caused a gradual cooling and drying of the climate across Australia and Tasmania. Eucalypts, she-oaks, grasses and flowering plant communities adapted to drier conditions become more important in the fossil record as rainforests were reduced to only the wettest areas. In the far south, Tasmania continued to host forests of Nothofagus but with adaptations such as smaller leaves to cope with a cooler climate. Pencil pines become more apparent in Tasmania’s fossil record alongside plants adapted to alpine conditions. There are local disappearances, too, such as the Araucarian pines and Kauri neither of which are found in Tasmania today.