Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Process of accumulation of ice at higher latitudes and elevations on the earth, the combined mass of which causes the formation of glaciers. Adjective: glacial. At times during the earth’s history glaciers have covered large parts of the earth and have transformed physical environments. Most flora and much of the earth’s fauna are not cold-tolerant. During the tenure of hominids on earth, major glaciations dominated the northern latitudes during the Pleistocene epoch; named for Swiss streams, these were the Donau glaciation, Günz glaciation, Mindel glaciation, Riss glaciation and Würm glaciation.

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