Evidence of the world’s largest dinosaur has been found in Scotland. The evidence comes in the form of footprints along with dozens of 170 myr fossil remains belonging to Sauropods found in a muddy lagoon on the Isle of Skye.
170 myr track from Scotland
These creatures were about 49 feet long and weighed more than 10 tons. Footprints from Theropods have also been found at the same location. These are the oldest dinosaur fossil remains found in Scotland thus far. Evidence from the Middle Jurassic period is rare so these finds are highly important to researchers. The finds also add more evidence that dinosaurs on the Isle of Skye were in fact there!
The following information is from the weblog of Paleoanthropologist Dr John Hawks:
Paleoanthropologist Dr John Hawks, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Luc Doyon and colleagues document several pieces of bone that were used in the process of removing fine, small flakes from the edges of stone artifacts, called “retouchers”
“These artefacts represent the first evidence from Eastern Asia for the use of bone as raw material to modify stone tools.”
“The Lingjing bone retouchers and the behavioural consistencies their analysis highlights show that in spite of the apparent simplicity of lithic reduction sequences identified at the site , Lingjing hominins integrated in their behavioural repertoire the use of bone fragments to shape stone tools.”
“These results corroborate the view that early Late Pleistocene cultural adaptations from China must be understood as reflecting original cultural trajectories whose degree of complexity cannot be evaluated solely through the study of lithic assemblages.” Continue Reading
Paleoanthropologist Dr John Hawks, University of Wisconsin-Madison
H/T to JR Bentley for this link:
Interesting points and observations from the blog of Dr John Hawks pertaining to the Foramen magnum as an indication of bipedalism…….
“Our results show that locomotion does not influence FM orientation in marsupials, rodents, or strepsirrhines, and that basicranial evolution is a complex phenomenon that must be explored in the context of each taxon’s unique evolutionary and developmental history.”
This is not the first paper to come to this result; Ruth and colleagues cite a number of others who have had similar conclusions either from a comparative or mechanical point of view.
“The obvious question is: What about early hominins? Two genera of Late Miocene and Early Pliocene primates, Sahelanthropus and Ardipithecus, have been argued to show evidence of an orthograde postural repertoire, largely due to their basicranial form, including foramen magnum orientation. For Sahelanthropus there is no otherevidence of posture; for Ardipithecus there is an abundance of postcranial evidence, none of which argues compellingly for an orthograde posture.”
“Our data from all three taxa examined show that locomotion and posture do not influence FM position or orientation, and we conclude that this is likely in hominids as well. Anterior migration of the foramen magnum in early, small-brained hominids likely reflects changes in the relative sizes of the brain’s components (i.e., an expanded neocortex) (Holloway, 1966 and Holloway et al., 2003), and as such is still a useful indicator of the behavior and biology of extinct species. Bipedality, however, should be inferred from the postcranium.” Continue Reading
Something I didn’t know was that the Dingo (Australian Wild Dog) is not native to Australia. In fact, the dingo was brought to Australia about 5 kya by human settlers from Asia. So the dingo is actually a native animal to Asia not Australia.
Regarding ants researchers at the University of Wurzburg have discovered that ants dress the wounds of their comrades suffered in battle. They believe such behavior is unique in the animal kingdom. The scientists studied the African Matabele ants and found that they actually do a pretty good job with their battlefield treatment. Without such medical attention about 80% of the ants would die but after getting the medical treatment only about 10% actually die.
Researchers consider this discovery astonishing because no other insect is known who does this. This species of ant lives in sub-Sahara Africa and often battles termites. They kill the termites and take them back to the nest and eat them. Termites are well armored and have powerful jaws and in battles they often bite off legs from the ants. When this happens the injured ant calls for a “medic” by excreting a chemical substance. The “medic” carries the injured ant back to the nest where other ants treat the wound by “licking” it intensely. This is believed to be a cleaning of the wound possibly with some sort of excreted antimicrobial substances. Continue Reading
Is it possible that Neanderthals were actually in the Americas? According to mainstream theory (OOA) the Neanderthals made it just about everywhere except into the Americas. However, genetic studies are challenging that assumption! My own personal view is that they were and so was H. erectus. I think there is evidence of both having been in the Americas at one time or another as evidenced by Oldowan stone tools found by myself and many others in the Americas. And, also, the famous anthropologist Louis Leakey left his work in Africa and came to the Americas (Calico Hills, CA) fully expecting to find hominin fossil remains here like he found in Africa. Why was Leakey so convinced that he would find them?
Last week I posted about H. heidelbergensis and my conclusion is that he was an archaic Neanderthal. My conclusion also is that Heidelberg Man is likely not a common ancestor for the Neanderthals and H. sapiens (modern humans). That common ancestor may well be some hominim species we have not discovered yet and possibly might even be the Denisovans. That said, mainstream theory (OOA) holds the assumption that Neanderthals and modern humans share Heidelberg Man as a common ancestor and according to that theory the Neanderthals split from us about 300 kya. Neanderthals came to occupy most of Southern Europe, the Levant, Iran, Afghanistan, and the Caucasus region. We know this is so because we find their fossil remains in these places. They did not live in Sub-Sahara Africa and eventually they were replaced by modern humans. However, I hold the view that more than replacement the Neanderthals interbred with modern humans and I think frequently.
Map showing distribution of the B006 haplotype based on global samples of the 6092X chromosomes.
Back in 2011 genetic research conducted by a team led by Vania Yotova published research showing an X-linked haplotype of Neanderthal origins that is present in all non-African populations today. This study specifically focused on a very small part in the X chromosome known as the B006 haplotype and came up with some interesting conclusions.
What they found is that modern humans outside Africa share the B006 with Neanderthals and, in fact, this haplotype is very common outside Africa but it is nonexistent in Sub-Sahara Africa! What this suggests is that the B006 haplotype comes from a gene pool other than H. sapiens that lived outside of Africa and at some point interbred with H. sapiens and passed that haplotype on to H. sapiens. The contributor of this haplotype was the Neanderthals and was done via interbreeding with our species. Continue Reading