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That makes it possible to describe how the world looked in different time periods.

A recent study in Science, for instance, used pollen cores to demonstrate that extinction of Australia’s giant marsupials and other megafauna 40,000 years ago triggered the shift away from mixed rainforest habitat.

“We know you killed him,” they told the murder suspect, in the best police procedural fashion, “and we know where.” Then they took him to the outcrop. courtrooms, though such cases have made it commonplace in some other countries.

And paleobotanists study pollen evidence to reconstruct former environments, thousands or even millions of years into the past.While the researchers didn't find any Cannabis pollen dating to 28 million years ago, they did find 28-million-year-old pollen from Artemisia, another genus of steppe plant that grew abundantly alongside Cannabis millions of years later.This earliest evidence of Artemisia showed up on the Tibetan Plateau near Qinghai Lake, a location about 10,700 feet (3,260 meters) above sea level.But there was abundant fossil pollen representing the Cannabis genus, scientists recently reported.However, past evaluations of fossil pollen in Asia lumped together Cannabis pollen with related plants in the Humulus genus (some of which produce hops used in beer).

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