What is a midden?
Midden is the fancy name scientists use for piles of debris that pack rats collect near their nests. These piles are made up of seeds, twigs, animal bones and other materials cemented together by urine. Because pack rat families will often build onto the same midden for hundreds or even thousands of years, they can be a treasure trove of information for plant ecologists, climatologists and other scientists who want to learn about past conditions dating as far back as 25,000 years ago! Great Basin National Park contains numerous middens. The reason we call our scientific newsletter "The Midden" is because it's also a treasure trove of valuable information. Check it out!