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Wetlander’s Pick of the Post

Wetlander's Pick of the Posts Cloning Woolly Mammoths: It’s the Ecology, Stupid

By Jacquelyn Gill – Scientific American – March 18, 2013
As a conservation paleoecologist, I study the natural experiments of the past—like climate change and extinction—to better understand the ecology of a warming, fragmented world. Part of the appeal of the ice age past is the challenge of reconstructing long-disappeared landscapes from fragments like pollen, tiny fragments of charcoal, and bits of leaves preserved in lakes. […] However, not all mammoths were woolly tundra-dwellers; in North America, mammoth remains have been found at elevations ranging from sea level to the mountains of the Colorado Plateau, and from Canada to central Mexico. The largest of these, the Columbian mammoth, dwelled in savannas and grasslands like African elephants today, and the smallest—Pygmy Mammoths—lived on the isolated Channel Islands off the California coast. While knowing their habitat alone is useful in terms of identifying potential cloned mammoth reserves, we do in fact know quite a lot about what mammoths ate. Based on plant materials found in fossilized dung, the contents of permafrost-preserved stomachs, we know that most mammoths were grazers…(Continued) http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/03/18/cloning-woolly-mammoths-its-the-ecology-stupid/

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