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Beringia

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Shrinking of the Bering land bridge

Beringia, also called the Bering land bridge, joined present-day Alaska and eastern Siberia (in Russia) at times during the Pleistocene ice ages. Its greatest extension was about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) north to south. It did not have glaciers because of the southwesterly winds from the Pacific Ocean kept rainfall and snowfall very light.

The grassland (or steppe), including the land bridge, that stretched for several hundred miles into the two continents on either side. It is believed that a small human population of at most a few thousand survived the ice age in Beringia. It was isolated from populations in Asia for at least 5,000 years. Sometime after 16,500 years ago, it started to populate the Americas when the American glaciers that blocked the way southward melted.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Goebel, Ted et al (2008). "The late Pleistocene dispersal of modern humans in the Americas". Science 319 (5869): 1497–1502. doi:10.1126/science.1153569.