OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Ancient bones point to shifting grassland species as climate changes

In a report in Science Advances, an analysis was done of mammoth and bison hair, teeth and bones, along with other data. It concludes that a changing climate — particularly increasing rainfall and not just atmospheric carbon dioxide — explains the expansion of grassland plants during the latter part of the Neogene, a geologic era that includes the present. The research was led by Jennifer Cotton as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Utah and in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. Co-authors include Christopher J. Still of the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society.