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Clues to the Lost Land The Mammoth Steppe was a unique and fragile ecosystem of the Pleistocene Era The many plants and animals that thrived in this ecosystem supported by the cool arid climate balanced the land for more than 15 million years With the help of bison fossils scientists have been able to fit the pieces of this mysterious puzzle together to understand how this unique yet fragile ecosystem worked and how everything coexisted in order to keep this ecosystem going Finding out how this unique ecosystem functioned we can then find the missing piece that made the ecosystem of the Mammoth Steppe fall apart all with the help of fossils of the Steppe Bison The Mammoth Steppe is a band of land that almost circled the planet right below the ice sheets of the Pleistocene Era This area of land stretching across Russia and Canadaprairie-like land spanned whats now called Beringia Herman This occurred due to the lower sea level near the poles exposing the broad continental shelf that connects Siberia to Alaska But the steppe covers more land than just Beringia the Mammoth Steppe territory stretches from the Alaskan area westward to the coasts of Europe and even goes as far south as parts of Africa and India The steppes territory west to east is clearly defined but its boundary of north to south is still questionable Not only is the Mammoth Steppe a special area of land it was a separate ecosystem At the beginning of the Pleistocene Era about two million years ago enormous fields of rice covered most of North America Nearly half of Alaska was covered with ice or glaciers yet the middle of Alaska was left untouched This left opportunity for life and so a vast grassland was thus born Herman thriving in the cool arid climate that was characteristic of the Mammoth Steppe The climate was cool and dry temperatures reached 50 degrees below zero but
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