Diet of large herbivores like mammoths 25,000 years ago revealed
Washington, Feb 7 : A team of researchers has used DNA testing to give a unique view of the diet of large mammals which roamed the northern hemisphere in the last ice-age.
The researchers, led by the University of Copenhagen, sequenced DNA taken from samples of frozen soils and the stomachs of creatures preserved in the permafrost of Siberia and Alaska-Yukon '" an area many times the size of the UK.
Their results show that around 25,000 years ago vegetation in this area was rich in 'forbs' '" herbaceous flowering plants usually found in grasslands, meadows and tundra.
'Permafrost is frozen soil and sediment which acts like a giant freezer, preserving countless plant and animal remains from ancient ecosystems. It is ideal for this kind of study because the DNA isn't lost to the normal processes of decay,' Professor Mary Edwards at the University of Southampton, who is a physical geographer with expertise in permafrost deposits, said.
'By analysing this preserved DNA, we have found that flowering plants, known as forbs, were far more prevalent than previously thought. In fact, forbs have been overlooked in many past studies of ice-age ecosystems, but this study shows they may have been a critical source of nutrition in the diet of mammalian megafauna '" huge animals such as mammoth, woolly rhino, bison and horse,' she said.
Until now, analyses of vegetation over the past 50,000 years has been based mainly on studying fossil pollen, showing that vegetation in cold environments, supporting large herbivores, was mainly made up of graminoids '" plants such as grasses and sedges.
However, this latest study gives a new perspective on this, suggesting instead a dominance of forbs, until at least around 10,000 years ago when woody plants and graminoids then become more prevalent.
--ANI (Posted on 07-02-2014)
Share this Post:
Information on States of India:
Andaman Nicobar | Andhra Pradesh | Assam | Bihar | Chandigarh | Chhattisgarh | Dadar Nagar Haveli | Daman Diu | Delhi | Goa | Gujarat | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu Kashmir | Jharkhand | Karnataka | Kerala | Lakshadweep | Madhya Pradesh | Maharashtra | Manipur | Meghalaya | Mizoram | Nagaland | Orissa | Pondicherry | Punjab | Rajasthan | Sikkim | Tamil Nadu | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh | Uttaranchal | West Bengal
INDIA REGIONAL MAPS:
Andhra Pradesh Travel Map | Bihar Travel Map | Goa Travel Map | Gujarat Travel Map | Haryana Travel Map | Himachal Pradesh Map | Karnataka Travel Map | Kerala Travel Map | Maharashtra Travel Map | Punjab Travel Map | Rajasthan Travel Map | Sikkim Travel Map | Tamil Nadu Travel Map | Uttar Pradesh Travel Map | West Bengal Travel Map |
MORE MAPS OF INDIA:
INDIA CITY MAPS:
KERALA TRAVEL MAPS: