Meet Ross MacPhee

Ross MacPhee

Hi, I'm Ross MacPhee. I'm a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. I travel all over the world to places like Antarctica to collect fossil evidence. I hope this evidence will help me piece together what Earth was like millions of years ago.

Today, Earth has seven continents. Antarctica is at the South Pole.
But Earth looked very different 120 million years ago.
There were two giant landmasses, called "Laurasia" and "Gondwana."
Antarctica used to be a part of Gondwana.
I travel to Seymour Island in Antarctica to collect evidence about ancient Earth.
To get there, my team and I take a 3-hour flight from Argentina.
We bring warm clothes. In the summertime, it's only about 0°C (32°F)!
We camp in tents for one month.
We scour the area for geologic clues to Earth's history.
The place we chose is great for fossil hunting. It was once an ancient river.
We made many discoveries during our weeks of digging.
We found a tiny 1.5 ml (0.06 in) fossil tooth that belonged to an ancient shrew-like animal.
This tooth (right) resembles fossils found in Madagascar (left), Africa, and the West Indies.
How did these ancient animals get separated by hundreds of miles of ocean?
One possibility is that animals migrated across land bridges that once linked landmasses.
We continue to look for more fossils that will give us a more complete picture.

These images have been brought to you by Science Explorations, a partnership between Scholastic and the American Museum of Natural History.