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Pleistocene Wood Rat Middens and Climatic Change in Mohave Desert: A Record of Juniper Woodlands

Philip V. Wells and Clive D. Jorgensen
Science
New Series, Vol. 143, No. 3611 (Mar. 13, 1964), pp. 1171-1174
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1712680
Page Count: 4
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Pleistocene Wood Rat Middens and Climatic Change in Mohave Desert: A Record of Juniper Woodlands
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Abstract

Leafy twigs and seeds of juniper are abundant in nine ancient Neotoma middens discovered in low, arid, desert ranges devoid of junipers, near Frenchman Flat, Nevada. Existing vegetation is creosote bush and other desert shrubs. Twelve radiocarbon dates suggest that the middens were deposited between 7800 to more than 40,000 years ago. Dominance of Utah juniper and absence of pinyon pine in most deposits indicates a local Pleistocene woodland climate more arid than the usual pinyon-juniper climate.

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