Fossils provide new clues to Tibetan Plateau’s evolution

The bones of ancient rhinos, elephants, and fish constrain when the Tibetan Plateau rose high enough to prevent migration, a move that forced animals to adapt to high-altitude conditions. Called the Rooftop of the World, the Tibetan Plateau perches high above the surrounding terrain, surpassed only by the Himalayan mountains that mark its southern border. But when and how the plateau reached its high elevation has remained unclear.

For one scientist and his team, tracing the evolution of the Tibetan Plateau now has a much-needed clue: vertebrate fossils — woolly rhinos, shovel-tusked elephants, and climbing perch, to be precise. Read more.

Tags: Geology