A new study of the Siberian and Ural scientists have shown that the missing today in the fauna of these regions porcupine inhabited the Altai mountains in a relatively warm period of about 30-40 thousand years ago.
Through the scientific cooperation of Russian and American scientists at the University of Arizona (Tucson, USA) was carried out radiocarbon Dating of the bones and teeth of a porcupine cave, robber, Scary, Ust-Kan, Manevska Ice and Pallas. In was attended by Russian experts from the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy. V. S. Sobolev SB RAS, Institute of archeology and Ethnography SB RAS, Institute of ecology of plants and animals, Ural branch of RAS, Mining Institute, Ural branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
Scientists have found that the presence of porcupine in the Altai mountains about 30 thousand years ago in the cave of the Robber, and about 40 thousand years ago in the cave of Terrible can be regarded as securely established, — held direct radiocarbon Dating of the remains of this species using accelerator mass spectrometer. Porcupines lived in the Altai during the so-called Karginskaya of miladila — period between two glaciations. At this time in the Western part of the Altai mountains (near cave Terrible) was dominated by open steppe landscapes, but along river valleys and on the slopes of Northern exposure preserved areas of forest vegetation. In the North-Western part of the Altai mountain country, where is the cave of the robber, the vegetation was dominated by forest and meadows.
In General, for the porcupine as a large rodent such landscapes were quite suitable for long-term habitat. As you get closer to the epoch of maximal cooling, which began around 27 thousand years ago, the natural environment in the Mountain Altai has varied: fewer forests