Putting All the Data Together Makes a More Complete History – #365papers – 2017 – 77

#365papers for March 18, 2017

Feakins, Levin, Liddy, Sieracki, Eglinton, and Bonnefille, 2017, Northeast African vegetation change over 12 m.y.: Geology, v. 41, p. 295-298.

What’s it about?

The authors combine pollen and isotopic data from fossil leaf waxes from an ocean core with soil carbonate data from northeast Africa to better understand the origin and composition of grasslands in northeast Africa over the last 12 million years.

Why does it matter?

Though the authors never state this, this is the part of Africa from which humans evolved and dispersed. Understanding the overall environment (grassland vs forest) can really help us understand what made humans develop our unique bodies and intellectual abilities.

Why did I read this?

Isotopes, pollen, and grasslands. All things that I research often.

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