Hyde Park Mastodon Research: Pollen

Very simply, evergreen trees are dominant in areas where it is cold, and deciduous trees (trees that loose their leaves in autumn) live in slightly warmer areas. We also know this was true in the not-too-distant past. Therefore, by looking at fossil pollen trapped in the bottom of lakes, we can tell how cold it was when this pollen dropped from nearby trees. This is what scientists will be doing with the sediments from Lozier Pond, where the Hyde Park Mastodon was discovered in August of 1999.

Pollen images courtesy of Gretchen D. Jones (USDA-ARS, APMRU) and Meredith H. Lieux (U. of Louisiana, retired).