So how’s your week going? Ready for a break?
Let’s go for a walk in the park and meet some BIG trees and the wildlife that lives among them.
What most of us don’t realize is that this isn’t just a forest of giants–it’s the last remnant of a biome that once covered western North America until Earth’s climate changed back in the Miocene, a few million years after the continent’s “cat gap” ended.
I came across this while researching the cat book series (emphasis added):
Subsequent to 15 Ma [million years ago], the West began to aridify, and the forests gradually shifted coastward . . . A few remnant species from the Miocene forests still remain in the modern coastal regions of California (e.g., the northern California sequoias), but they have been eliminated from inland regions. The Miocene deciduous forests did not disappear rapidly but slowly declined. A significant drop in warm season temperature occurred around 13 Ma, and the first signs of seasonal drought in the growing season appear in leaf assemblage analyses in the early late Miocene (circa 10–11 Ma) . . .
— Lyle et al., “Pacific Ocean and Cenozoic evolution of climate
Featured image: 12019 at Pixabay. Public domain.