I was reading about these fantastic cats earlier today and came across this on the blog here: https://rperon1017blog.wordpress.com/category/cave-lions/
These were really fascinating creatures. They were indigenous to North America during the Pleistocene and apparently genetic studies have shown that it was a sister species to the Eurasian cave lion. It was one of the largest cats to have ever lived and was even slightly larger that the cave lion that existed during the Middle Pleistocene and not only that but it was 25% larger than today’s African lion.
The skull of the American Lion was similar to that of a Jaguar. Some research has suggested it may be closer genetically to the tiger than to the lion family. The braincase is more like that found in tigers than in lions. More recent comparison studies have suggested it was a distinct species and not really a lion at all. However, genetic studies clearly show it is a sister species of the Eurasian lion. Continue Reading
This past winter took a heavy toll on wildlife in the Western United States according to biologists and wildlife managers. The toll was especially heavy in California, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. This past winter, according to wildlife managers in western states, was one of the coldest and snowiest in decades.
Record snowfall made it difficult for wildlife to find food and periods of bitter cold temps made that even harder. Mule deer in several states and elk herds in Washington were hit hard by this past winter. Wyoming saw heavy losses of pronghorn antelope herds and California saw heavy losses of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep herds. Biologists and wildlife managers say the herds will eventually recover with reduced hunting so hunting permits are being limited for a time. The herds will recover IF normal conditions return next winter according to authorities. Continue Reading
Hold onto your hats because we might have a really BIG “illegal” from Mexico (no pun intended) right in our midst and it’s so big you can’t miss it. What I’m referring to is Mt. Stuart in Washington state. Some geologists have raised the theory that it may have actually once been a part of Mexico that broke off and moved one thousand miles north into what is today Washington state. Continue Reading
The field of genetic research continues to be fascinating and more and more it’s becoming possible to bring back extinct species such as the woolly mammoth but my question is, “is it wise?”.
I’d love to see a real living woolly mammoth or a big breathing sabre tooth cat and genetic science is now on the verge of being able to bring such creatures back into existence but for what purpose? Marketing? Zoo exhibits? Personal pets or oddities?
The ecosystems that these extinct animals existed in are no longer present on our planet for the most part. Climate change helped spur their extinction. To bring them back just to satisfy our own curiosity might not be such a good idea. Would they survive in today’s environment? What about the disease factor? Continue Reading
Genetic studies and new discoveries are now changing the way with thought of human evolution and human migration and in a growing number of cases that genetic evidence and new discoveries are turning out to be one surprise after another. Honestly though, I’m glad to see this happening because what genetic studies and these new finds are doing is expanding our vision and correcting some erroneous thinking that we’ve had for a long time.
Lately, we’ve begun to find that the popular Out of Africa theory may not be wholely correct with the discovery of a Neanderthal ancestor in Spain. We’ve now discovered that migrations were not solely out of Africa but there appear to have been many into Africa. Recently, we’ve also discovered that early man was in the Northern Yukon of Canada an amazing 300 kya which is later than anyone thought, to say the least.
We’ve also begun to uncover the mysterious Denisovans and come to find out that two genes (TBX15 & WARS2) are critical in how the body deals with fat in cold climates and heat. This study also is showing us that Inuit DNA matches very well with Denisovan DNA and that another possibility might be that what we are looking at is an archaic variant which evolved in Homo erectus somewhere in the high latitutdes of Asia about 1 mya. Continue Reading
I ran across this last night as I was surfing the net and wanted to share it with everyone here because the state of preservation is so amazing that this dinosaur fossil looks like a statue. It shows every detail of the now extinct creature and gives us a really good look at what this species actually looked like.
The fossil is of an 110 myr Nodosaur commonly known as the “four legged tank.” It was discovered by a miner named Shawn Funk in Alberta, Canada at the Millennium Mine. It’s the most well preserved fossil of its kind ever found to date. It took researchers six years to get this thing out of the rock it was preserved in. Its skin and armor is completely preserved and is the best in the world according to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. Continue Reading
According to an article appearing on Science Daily (10 May 2017) African lions are now under the same threats of extinction that wiped out sabre-toothed tigers at the end of the last ice age. Primarily, this extinction was to loss of prey that the sabre-tooths depended on for food so as the prey began to die and go extinct so did these large cats. Scientist now say that the African lion now faces extinction for the same reason and so do the world’s other big cats such as the Sunda clouded leopard.
The study was conducted by the University of Sussex and other institutions. They concluded that ice age trends can now be applied to our own modern day big cats. In studying the extinction of several ice age big cats they discovered that if these animals were alive today only an average of 25% of their preferred prey would still remain across their natural regions. The research team postulated that the devastating loss of prey species was a major contributing factor in the extinction of these ice age big cats. Continue Reading
I ran across an article by writer Agustin Fuentes last night and want to share it here because it’s very interesting. As Fuentes says in the beginning of his article, “Humans have incredible creative potential.” The problem with this, thought, is that we can use our creative potential for creative endeavors or destructive and even cruel ones. We label ourselves “Homo sapiens” meaning “wise man” but we don’t always live up to that moniker.
After researching for his new book, Fuentes says he came to the conclusion that the human imagination adds more good outcomes than bad ones. In fact, he concludes that our creativity is what makes us exceptional. He also points out that we have the capacity to be creative every day but in our contemporary world we often fail to realize this and so we just kind of go along with the flow.
Turning to human evolution, Fuentes says that about 2 million years ago several groups of “naked upright primates” began a journey and they creatively collaborated in ways no other creature at the time did. For instance, they began to make tools out of stones, they began to venture into new lands beyond those they’d known, they began to explore and eat new foods, and in essence they began to manipulate the world around them. Continue Reading