50,000 years ago, the Arctic tundra was not as drab as you might think, being an Ice Age - it was filled with colorful wildflowers and these wildflowers helped sustain woolly mammoths and other giant grazing animals, according to a new paper. The study challenges the view that the arctic landscape in the ice age was largely grasslands.
The study looked at 50,000 years of arctic vegetation history to understand how fauna had changed with animals and humans. Historically, the belief has been that the ice age's landscape was covered by largely grass-dominated systems -- called steppe. These grasses were replaced by mosses and other boggy vegetation when the ice age ended nearly 10,000 years ago, Craine said.