Chief Scientist: DENG Tao
The uplift of the Tibetan Plateau has direct and significant influence on the climatic and environmental changes and the mammalian evolution in East Asia. The global expanse of C4 plants is obviously related directly to climatic changes. Herbivore mammals developed hypsodonts from brachydonts in order to fit the increase of silicon in grass. The Neogene was a greatly variable period for the global environment, and the formation and development of the Tibetan Plateau was an important drive to the variation of the global climate and environment. Recognizing the distributive models and ecological features of the Neogene mammals from the Tibetan to the Mongolian plateaus is an effective method to realize the influence of the alteration of the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau to the geomorphology and climate in China as well as the influence to the global climatic patterns. Mammals are very sensitive to climatic and environmental changes, and the Chinese Neogene mammalian fossils are advantaged in the world. The main regions studied by this research project, the Linxia Basin and the central Mongolian Plateau, are situated in the deposited and influenced areas respectively. They have well-exposed deposits to reflect the plateau’s uplift and paleoclimate, successive stratigraphical sequence, and very abundant mammalian fossils. A comparative study of these two regions will have scientific singnificance to understand a series of important environmental and eclogical events in the global Neogene, such as the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau, the formation of the East Asian monsoon, and the exchanges of animals and plants.