Cosmic impact + resulting volcanism/Ozone destruction/UV radiation is cyclical producing regular extinctions leaving fauna that sleep/hibernate in tree trunks and earth burrows alive. Not radical, nor original.
TANN arc network •Human nature’s dark side helped us spread across the world •Prehistoric rock paintings found in Andhra Pradesh •Traces of human activities dating back a million years found in Shaanxi •Biologists trace how human innovation impacts tool evolution •Middle Kingdom wall unearthed in Egypt's Avaris •Italy roadworks unearth frescoed Roman room •DNA analysis reveals Roman London was a multi-ethnic melting pot •Loss of mastodons aided domestication of pumpkins, squash •Getting under the skin of a medieval mystery •Egypt to do more tests in search for Nefertiti •Study tracks genetic adaptations in Europe’s first farmers •Prehistoric man in the Galilee preferred legumes •New species of early anthropoid primate found amid Libyan strife •Stretchy slabs found in the deep Earth
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How wind sculpted Earth's largest dust deposit University of Arizona, September 1, 2015 [phys.org] and [uanews.arizona.edu]
From dust to dust: Quaternary wind erosion of the Mu Us Desert and Loess Plateau, China by Alicia, university of Arizona, [www.geo.arizona.edu]
Paper at [www.geo.arizona.edu]
Abstract at [geology.gsapubs.org] From dust to dust: Quaternary wind erosion of the Mu Us Desert and Loess Plateau, China
Submitted by Alicia on Fri, 09/18/2015 - 10:52
Title of Publication:
From dust to dust: Quaternary wind erosion of the Mu Us Desert and Loess Plateau, China
Kapp, Paul, Pullen, Alex, Pelletier, Jon D., Russell, Joellen, Goodman, Paul, and Cai, Fulong
GEOLOGY, September 2015; v. 43; no. 9; p. 835–838 | Data Repository item 2015283 | doi:10.1130/G36724.1
The Ordos Basin of China encompasses the Mu Us Desert in the northwest and the Chinese Loess Plateau to the south and east. The boundary between the mostly internally drained Mu Us Desert and fluvially incised Loess Plateau is an erosional escarpment, up to 400 m in relief, composed of Quaternary loess. Linear ridges, with lengths of ~102–103 m, are formed in Cretaceous–Quaternary strata throughout the basin. Ridge orientations are generally parallel to near-surface wind vectors in the Ordos Basin during modern winter and spring dust storms. Our observations suggest that the Loess Plateau previously extended farther to the north and west of its modern windward escarpment margin and has been partially reworked by eolian processes. The linear topography, Mu Us Desert internal drainage, and escarpment retreat are all attributed to wind erosion, the aerial extent of which expanded southeastward in China in response to Quaternary amplification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation.
Only our lineage has ever used trackways-reading, to find unseen & unheard targets. All other terrestrial animals (incl.great apes) use scent trails & airborne odors. Trackways possess an information-rich narrative structure. There is good evidence we began to exploit conspecific trackways in our deep past, at first purely associatively, for safety & orienteering when foraging in vast featureless wetlands.
note: "step on a crack break your mother's back" = step on an animal track, your mother will have to forage (bending and picking plants) for your supper since you will lose the animal you prey for.
This article shows how Open-Sky people do not understand the Pygmy diaspora. ---
The Australian Barrineans and Their Relationship to Southeast Asian Negritos: An Investigation using Mitochondrial Genomics
Peter McAllister, PERAHU, School of Humanities, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, Queensland, AustraliaFollow Nano Nagle, Department of Genetics, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia Robert John Mitchell, Department of Genetics, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia
The existence of a short-statured Aboriginal population in the Far North Queensland (FNQ) rainforest zone of Australia’s northeast coast and Tasmania has long been an enigma in Australian anthropology. Based on their reduced stature and associated morphological traits such as tightly curled hair, Birdsell and Tindale proposed that these "Barrinean" peoples were closely related to "negrito" peoples of Southeast Asia and that their ancestors had been the original Pleistocene settlers of Sahul, eventually displaced by taller invaders. Subsequent craniometric and blood protein studies, however, have suggested an overall homogeneity of indigenous Australians, including Barrineans. To confirm this finding and determine the degree of relatedness between Barrinean people and Southeast Asian negritos, we compared indigenous Australian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences in populations from the FNQ rainforest ecozone and Tasmania with sequences from other Australian Aboriginal populations and from Southeast Asian negrito populations (Philippines Batek and Mamanwa, and mainland Southeast Asian Jahai, Mendriq, and Batak). The results confirm that FNQ and Tasmanian mtDNA haplogroups cluster with those of other Australian Aboriginal populations and are only very distantly related to Southeast Asian negrito haplogroups.
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In Science this week, researchers have reported they have reconstructed the entire genome of the H. pylori that lived in Ötzi’s gut and the results give us an interesting picture into the peopling of Europe approximately 5,000 years ago.
Most H. pylori lives harmlessly in our stomachs. Sometimes this bug can cause ulcers and stomach cancer. I have in the past shared research on how H. pylori has been used as proxy to understand human migrations. The deepest branches of the bacteria’s family tree are found in Africa and as humans expanded to other continents, they took distinctive strains with them.
In studying Ötzi’s gut flora, the researchers have found out something very remarkable! Compared to living Europeans, he has a nearly pure ancestral Asian strain of H. pylori.
Human genes governing innate immunity provide a valuable tool for the study of the selective pressure imposed by micro-organisms on host genomes. A comprehensive genome-wide study of how selective constraints & adaptations have driven the evolution of innate immunity genes is missing.
Using full-genome sequence variation from the 1000 Genomes Project, - we show that innate immunity genes have globally evolved under stronger purifying selection than the remainder of protein-coding genes: we identify a gene-set under the strongest selective constraints, mutations in which are likely to predispose individuals to life-threatening disease, as illustrated by STAT1 & TRAF3, - we evaluate the occurrence of local adaptation: we detect 57 high-scoring signals of positive selection at innate immunity genes, variation in which has been associated with susceptibility to common infectious or auto-immune diseases, - we show that most adaptations targeting coding variation have occurred in the last 613 ka (when populations shifted from hunting & gathering to farming), - we show that innate immunity genes present higher Hn introgression than the remainder of the coding genome: among the genes presenting the highest Hn ancestry, we find the TLR6-TLR1-TLR10 cluster, which also contains functional adaptive variation in Europeans.
This study identifies highly constrained genes that fulfill essential, non-redundant functions in host survival, and reveals others that are more permissive to changecontaining variation acquired from archaic hominins or adaptive variants in specific populationsimproving our understanding of the relative biological importance of innate immunity pathways in natural conditions.
... Although adaptive alleles generally arise by mutation, introgression can also be a valuable source of beneficial alleles. Archaic humans (who lived in Europe & W-Asia for >200 ky) were probably well adapted to this environment & its local pathogens. It is conceivable that Hs entering Europe & W-Asia, who admixed with them, obtained a substantial immune advantage from the introgression of archaic alleles.
Here we document a cluster of 3 Toll-like receptors (TLR6,-1,-10) in Hs that carries 3 distinct archaic haplotypes, indicating repeated introgression from archaic humans: - 2 of these haplotypes are most similar to the Hn genome, - the 3rd haplotype is most similar to the Hd genome.
The Toll-like receptors are key components of innate immunity, and provide an important first line of immune defense against bacteria, fungi & parasites. The unusually high allele frequencies & unexpected levels of population differentiation indicate that there has been local positive selection on multiple haplotypes at this locus.
We show - the introgressed alleles have clear functional effects in Hs, - archaic-like alleles underlie differences in the expression of the TLR-genes, and are associated with reduced microbial resistance & increased allergic disease in large cohorts. This provides strong evidence for recurrent adaptive introgression at the TLR6-1-10 locus, resulting in differences in disease phenotypes in Hs.
Kambiz Kamran 8.1.16 Anthropology.net blog:
2 new papers (Am.J.hum.Gen.) document how we should thank Hn & Hd for our allergies & boosted immune systems.
Both studies highlight the functional importance of 3 inherited of Toll-like receptor genes: TLR1, TLR6, TLR10. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toll-like_receptor> These Toll-like receptors respond to antigens from bacteria, fungi & parasites, and elicit an inflammatory response, ultimately activating the adaptive immune system.
1) compared 1500 genes known to play a role in the innate immune system from the 1000 Genomes Project, and contrasted it with the genomes of ancient humans. They looked for patterns in variation & change, looking at the timing of change. Most adaptations in protein-coding genes occurred in the last 6 to 13 ka, as human populations shifted from hunting & gathering to farming. Some underwent very little change, indicating constraints. Others have undergone quick selective sweeps likely as a process of selection. The biggest surprise was that the TLR1-6-10 cluster is among the genes presenting the highest Hn ancestry in both Europeans & Asians.
2) also screened Hs genomes for evidence of extended regions with high similarity to the Hn & Hd genomes. They then examined the prevalence of those regions in people from around the world, which led to the same 3 TLR gene, and these introgressed variants offered a selective advantage. The archaic-like variants are thought to increase activity to pathogens ... which in turn may have given greater protection against infection, but also increased the susceptibility of Hs to allergies. Certainly possible as Hn were living in Eurasia for 200 ky before Hs, and had already well exposed & adapted to the local Eurasian pathogens. And by interbreeding with Hn, Hs gained these advantageous adaptations.
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Amanda Melin (2016 PLoS, with Tim Caro, Donald Kline, Chihiro Hiramatsu): "The most longstanding hypothesis for zebra striping is crypsis (camouflaging), but until now the question has always been framed through human eyes. We carried out a series of calculations, through which we were able to estimate the distances at which lions & spotted hyenas, as well as zebras, can see zebra stripes under daylight, twilight, or during a moonless night. In earlier studies, Caro cs have provided evidence suggesting that the zebra's stripes provide an evolutionary advantage by discouraging biting flies. In the new study, Melin cs found that stripes cannot be involved in allowing the zebras to blend in with the background of their environment, or in breaking up the outline of the zebra: at the point at which predators can see zebras stripes, they probably already have heard or smelled their zebra prey. Caro: "The results from this new study provide no support at all for the idea that the zebra's stripes provide some type of anti-predator camouflaging effect: we reject this long-standing hypothesis, debated by Charles Darwin & Alfred Russell Wallace."
... the researchers passed digital images taken in the field in Tanzania through spatial & color filters that simulated how the zebras would appear to their main predators (lions & spotted hyenas) & to other zebras. They measured the stripes' widths & light contrast (luminance), to estimate the maximum distance from which lions, spotted hyenas & zebras could detect stripes, using information about these animals' visual capabilities: beyond 50 m in daylight (and 30 m at twilight, when most predators hunt), stripes can be seen by humans, but are hard for zebra predators to distinguish. And on moonless nights, the stripes are particularly difficult for all spp to distinguish beyond 9 m. This suggests that the stripes don't provide camouflage in woodland areas (earlier it been theorized that black stripes mimicked tree trunks, and white stripes blended in with shafts of light through the trees). And in open treeless habitats, lions could see the outline of striped zebras just as easily as they could see similar-sized prey with fairly solid-colored hides, e.g. waterbuck, topi, impala). It had been earlier suggested that the striping might disrupt the outline of zebras on the plains, where they might otherwise be clearly visible to their predators.
Stripes also not for social purposes: The study did not yield evidence that the striping provides some type of social advantage by allowing other zebras to recognize each other at a distance. While zebras can see stripes over somewhat further distances than their predators can, the researchers also noted that other spp of animals that are closely related to the zebra are highly social and able to recognize other individuals of their species, despite having no striping to distinguish them.
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Remains of the highly nutritious aquatic plant Fox nut (Euryale ferox Salisb., Nymphaeaceae) were found at the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, Israel. Here, we present new evidence for complex cognitive strategies of hominins as seen in their exploitation of E.ferox nuts. We draw on - excavated data & - parallels observed in traditional collecting & processing practices from Bihar, India.
We suggest that during the early-Mid-Pleistocene, hominids implemented multi-stage procedures, comprising underwater gathering & subsequent processing (drying, roasting & popping) of E.ferox nuts.
Hierarchical processing strategies are observed in the Acheulian lithic reduction sequences and butchering of game at this and other sites, but are poorly understood as regards the exploitation of aquatic plant resources. We highlight the ability of Acheulian hominins to resolve issues related to underwater gathering of E.ferox nuts dur
1. Introduction Studies of the evolution of hominin cognitive abilities & the origins of intelligence & language focus primarily on stone tool manufacture & on the exploitation of medium-sized to large terrestrial mammals. Here, we examine additional aspects of these cognitive abilities, as reflected in a little-known example of skilled behaviour patterns: the exploitation of aquatic flora & fauna in the wetland habitats of paleo-Lake Hula. Although wetlands play an important role in supplementing human diet & enhancing its nutritional balance (Joordens cs 2009, Wrangham cs 2009, Cunnane & Steward(sic) 2010), few studies have explored the nutritional and/or medicinal properties of wetlands plants in the archaeological context (Stewart 1994, 2010, Colonese cs 2011, Cortés-Sánchez cs 2011, Hardy & Moncel 2011, Verhaegen & Munro 2011).
Along with Trapa natans (Water chestnut), they formed part of the botanically rich aquatic habitat of paleo-Lake Hula (>24 spp of water plants). Both spp are currently extinct in the Levant. E.ferox & T.natans are floating annual aquatic plants, that grow in low-energy or still-water bodies, generally c 1.5 m deep, occurring within a wetlands ecosystem that was exploited by the GBY Acheulian hominins. The prickly nature of E.ferox (prickly waterlily) renders gathering & processing its nuts far more difficult than those of T.natans. Here, we present novel evidence for advanced cognitive abilities of Acheulians at GBY, as attested by their adoption of complex multi-stage procedures for collecting & processing E.ferox nuts. E.ferox is widely prevalent in tropical & subtropical regions in ecological contexts similar to paleo-Lake Hula. In many such places, it is collected & processed, using traditional methods by predom.fresh-water fishing communities. The range of these strategies, particularly evident in the water-bodies of N-Bihar (Madhubani District, India), is of immense relevance when examining the archaeological context of E.ferox nut remains at GBY. The Acheulian site of GBY (GBY fm) is located on the shores of paleo-Lake Hula, Upper Jordan Valley, Dead Sea Rift. This Early- to Mid-Pleistocene sedimentary sequence documents an oscillating freshwater lake, and represents ~100 ky of hominin occupation (MIS 18-20), beginning earlier than 790 ka (Feibel 2001, 2004). Studies of the 15 excavated archaeological horizons indicate that Acheulian hominins - repeatedly occupied lake-margins, - produced stone tools, - systematically butchered & exploited animals, - gathered plant food & - controlled fire.
The prickly waterlily is an annual or perennial plant with long-petiole leaves, whose large rounded blades (normally up to 1.3, occasionally 2.4 m in diameter) float on the water surface. The long petiole & veins that protrude from the bottom of the blade are densely covered with sharp prickles. The rhizome is sunk deep in the ground with groups of thick & fleshy roots. The plant develops 15–20 spongy fruits, each of which contains 30–40 nuts. When the fruit is ripe, it dehisces & releases the nuts, which are covered by a mucilaginous arillus. The plant grows in shallow stagnant water, generally 0.3–1.5m deep, at a neutral pH. In the study region in Madhubani District, water-depths reach up to 3.5 m. Flowering occurs in April–May, and the fruits ripen & dehisce between June & August, when spherical nuts are released. The nuts have a mucilaginous arils, that holds them above the water-surface for several days, after which they sink to the bottom of the water body. The plant germinates in early winter, and grows with surprising speed, the bio-mass doubling each month from January to July. The maximal biomass found in a pond in India was 1.7 kg/m² fresh weight in July. Tp has a profound effect on the rate of biomass production.
E.ferox nuts contain - 12.8 % moisture, - 9.7 % protein, - 0.1 % fat, - 0.5 % minerals, - 77 % carbohydrates, - 0.9 % P, - 0.02 % Ca, - 1.4 mg/100 g carotene. The calorific value is - 362 kcal/100g for raw E.ferox, - 328 kcal/100g for popped nuts. Popped nuts are comparable with wheat & rice. The essential amino acid indices (EAAI) in the raw & popped parts of edible E.ferox nuts are 93 & 89 % resp., cf - rice 83, - wheat 65, - Bengal grain 82, - soya bean 86, - amaranth 57.5, - human milk 81.5, - cow's milk 89, - fish 89, - mutton 87.
E.ferox nuts are superior to dry fruits (almonds, walnuts, coconuts, cashew nuts) in sugar, protein, ascorbic acid & phenol content. E.ferox was present in Europe in the geological past, becoming extinct during the Quaternary. Fossil nuts have been reported from the the Pleistocene in Poland & England ...
... we draw on ethnographic analogies, citing traditional methods of E.ferox exploitation in the water-bodies of N-Bihar. Planned sequential procedures & decision-making strategies are employed by local communities in collecting processing E.ferox nuts. The procedures adopted in Bihar imply an excellent knowledge of the environment & seasonality & the plants' life cycle. The prickles/spines on mature fruits make them very difficult to harvest with bare hands. Once the mature fruits burst, the seeds float near the leaves, then sink to the base of the pond, from where they are collected (Fig.5-8). Gathering is carried out by adult males, assisted by a few adolescent boys, with a division of activities that is related to age and/or experience: 1) the equipment required (bamboo collection baskets of various types) is organized, 2) bamboo poles fixed to the base of the pond serve as guides to demarcate spaces selected for underwater gathering of the nuts, and are shifted as collection proceeds across the water body, 3) adults repeatedly dive underwater, to collect nuts that have sunk to the pond bed, at the base of the plant, 4) the nuts are scooped into bamboo baskets (sieves), 5) in larger ponds, the nuts are scooped into a large cane basket, and given a preliminary cleaning underwater by repeated rotation, 6) an adolescent (inexperienced in diving) floats on the water surface (with the aid of pitchers or jerry cans) and employs a sieve to collect stray nuts that float to the surface, 7) the nuts brought to the shore are cleaned, by trampling to remove roots, plant matter & associated mollusks Children actively participate in gathering molluscs, crabs & other plants that are associated with the E.ferox roots and are washed up on the shore during the gathering & cleaning procedure.
... there are several ways to harvest & process E.ferox nuts. The major difficulty is the presence of prickles/spines, that make processing the fruit difficult. Further difficulties involve collection of seeds after the fruit bursts. The Bihar method described here overcomes both of these problems through adoption of underwater collection procedures: a) gathering of E.ferox seeds takes place after they ripen & sink to the bed of the water body, b) gathering by diving is a necessity: the plants grow in still waters, and seeds are not washed to the edges of the water body, c) the work necessitates observation of the life-cycle of the plant & of the prime time for gathering seeds, d) drying & popping seeds was done at a distance from the water body, where fire & dry land facilitated later stages of processing, e) roasting & popping are both procedures requiring the technology of fire & that of anvils & hammers, f) a well-established division of labour was associated with each stage of gathering & processing. ... the archaeological record of GBY, which includes the use of fire & the presence of pitted stones, anvils & hammerstones in association with E.ferox seeds, strongly supports the use of analogies with traditional modes of gathering & processing, such as that practiced by communities in Bihar. Studies of the GBY archaeological record provides information on the co-occurrence of a range of finds that may be compared with the ethnographic data. 1) In each of the archaeologically rich horizons, there were spatial concentrations of burned flint micro-artifacts. Analysis of these concentrations suggests the presence of phantom hearths, the earliest evidence for the control & continual use of fire in W-Eurasia. High-resolution data from excavations enables estimation of the size of these hearths: c 0.49 m long, 0.35 m wide. 2) Pitted stones & hammerstones + newly identified thin basalt anvils were also found in each of these horizons. 3) In all archaeological horizons, remains of T.natans & E.ferox were discovered. The pristine taphonomic context of the archaeological horizons at GBY + the significant patterns of association noted between various find categories discussed above provide a background for our discussions of the spatial patterning of past activities. Spatial analysis of these associations & analyses of Layer II-6 Levels 2 & 6 provide further insight into the proximity of hearths & pitted stones (on both blanks & blocks). This correlation of nuts, phantom hearths & pitted stones at GBY leads us to suggest that some key aspects of the methods of collecting & processing noted in Bihar (incl. roasting & subsequent popping of the seeds) may be of greater relevance for the GBY data than those described from elsewhere in India. Greater precision in spatial associations between the nuts & other features in the vicinity of the paleo-lake is not possible, owing to the light weight of the seeds. However, common aquatic taxa in the Upper Jordan Valley (Lake Hula), the Acheulian site of GBY & Bihar (India) reflect the extent of ecological similarity, despite their great bio-geographical distance. The habitat & surrounding environment of paleo-Lake Hula was a rich & diverse Mediterranean one, as evidenced by the identification of an array of 60 edible taxa recorded at GBY + a wealth of fish, crustaceans, birds & mammals. E.ferox grows in water-bodies with water-depths ranging from c 0.3 to 1.5 m, up to 2.5 or 3.5 m. Although Acheulian hominins may have consumed seeds raw, this would have entailed considerable effort in harsh conditions, owing to the prickly nature of the plants. With the technology enabling them to process nuts using fire, anvils & percussive tools, hominins could avoid the difficulties posed by exploitation of raw seeds. The fluctuating water level of paleo-Lake Hula would have been an obstacle to adopting simpler methods for gathering nuts, in view of the plant's life cycle & the water-depths & geochemistry required for its growth & survival. A desiccation scenario of fluctuating lake-levels would have resulted in the death of plants, unable to regenerate (germination occurs under water). Exposure to atmospheric conditions would have resulted in the complete decomposition of the macro-botanical remains found at the site. The entire issue of organic preservation is based on anaerobic conditions (= inappropriate conditions for bacteria responsible for the decomposition of organic material). Irrespective of the depth of the water, hominins would have had to collect nuts from beneath the lake surface, entailing some amount of time spent underwater. We do not suggest that Acheulian hominins followed modes of collecting or processing that were identical to those practiced today, particularly in the case of elements dictated by modern economic conditions, e.g. use of bamboo poles to demarcate underwater areas, sieves for sorting nuts for sale, gender-based division of labour. Such cognitive procedural abilities of planning & performance in aquatic habitats (particularly when combined with exploitation of fish) have not previously been reported for Acheulian hominins. Ethnographic analogies demonstrate that exploitation of E.ferox nuts is performed by communities of fishermen in water-bodies that are also used for fishing. The most abundant fish spp currently exploited in habitats associated with E.ferox include 3 families of air-breathing fish: - Cyprinidae carps, - Clariidae catfish & - Bagridae catfish. At GBY, remains of Cyprinidae & Clariidae were recovered, predom. Cyprinidae, mainly the large Barbus sp & Barbus longiceps. The cyprinids remains were recovered in association with living floors excavated in Area B. The archaeological association between E.ferox nuts, large quantities of cyprinid remains & other cultural activities documented at GBY presents novel evidence for intensive exploitation of the aquatic fauna & flora of paleo-Lake Hula.
The advanced & sophisticated cognitive abilities described above are supported by a series of additional observations, drawn from various multi-disciplinary studies of the GBY Acheulian record, e.g. - aspects of planning & communication, as derived from stone-tool production sequences, - spatial cognition of the landscape & intra-site spatial organization, - procedural cognition, technical & procedural know-how & specialization, - social cognition. These cognitive abilities are expressed in the multi-phase process of realisation of the plan for achieving a particular goal. This is seen especially in the chaîne opératoire of basalt bifaces (handaxes & cleavers), documenting cognitive abilities in the structure of the long-term processes involved in biface manufacture. The site is characterised by both richness & diversity of spp, contributing substantially to the reconstruction of hominin knowledge of the environment in exploitation of - terrestrial wildlife, e.g. modern-like processing of Dama sp, - aquatic resources such as turtles & fishPalaeobotanical evidence contributes to our understanding of the multiple facets of the environmental knowledge of Acheulian hominins and their ability to structure modes of exploitation of diverse resources.
... Ethnographic analogies, when considered with archaeological evidence of nuts, pitted anvils & charred organic material, among other features, point to the possibility of a complex sequence of exploitation of an aquatic nut, that included gathering by diving, underwater processing, drying, roasting & possibly popping. This process adds to a plethora of evidence of Acheulian hominin activities & diverse associated cognitive abilities, all of which emerge from the analyses of early-Mid-Pleistocene Acheulian finds from the Levantine Corridor.
Beginnings of Plate Tectonics / Continental Drift 3ba
[ Interesting early date, I hadn't known if it began much later due to cosmic collisions and change in sun temps/orbital speed ]
Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics Ming Tang, Kang Chen & Roberta L Rudnick 2016: Science 351:372-5 doi 10.1126/science.aad5513
The Archean Eon witnessed - the production of early continental crust, - the emergence of life & - fundamental changes to the atmosphere. The nature of the first continental crust (the interface between the surface & deep Earth) has been obscured by the weathering, erosion & tectonism that followed its formation. We used Ni/Co & Cr/Zn ratios in Archean terrigenous sedimentary rocks & Archean igneous/meta-igneous rocks, to track the bulk MgO composition of the Archean upper continental crust. This crust evolved - from a highly mafic bulk composition before 3000 Ma - to a felsic bulk composition by 2500 Ma. This compositional change was attended by a 5-fold increase in the mass of the upper continental crust, due to addition of granitic rocks, suggesting the onset of global plate tectonics at ~3000 Ma.
New crustal clues from old rocks Brent Grocholski 2016 Science 351:350-1 doi 10.1126/science.351.6271.350-f
The ghost of continental crust long eroded away may exist in certain element ratios found in Archean rocks. Tang cs used Ni/Co & Cr/Zn ratios as a proxy for the MgO that long ago weathered away in Earth's oldest rocks. This allowed a reconstruction of rock composition, which appears to be very different from that of the crust today. The shift to contemporary crust composition occurred after the Archean, suggesting the onset of plate tectonics.
Poison is slow-acting paralysis chemical from the cocoon of a desert beetle, used by all San hunters, it slows the prey, allowing hunter to follow ad kill.
The investigation reports poison use for nine San nations in Botswana and Namibia: G|ui, G||ana, G||olo, Hai||on, Ju’|hoansi, Kua, Naro, Tsila and Xao-ǁ’aen.
New research sharpens understanding of poison-arrow hunting in Africa Caroline (pink shirt) sifting out beetles from sand dug up by San hunter (right), Nyae Nyae Conservancy, Kalahari, Namibia [Credit: University of Kansas] "Arrow-hunting appears in ancient rock-paintings of the San, but it is unclear when poisons might have been adopted," Chaboo said. "We suspect poisons were adopted very early."
She said the San use arrows to hunt large game like antelope, buffalo, cheetah, eland, elephant, gazelle, giraffe, impala, lion, puku, springbok, warthog, wildebeest and zebra.
As an entomologist specializing in leaf-beetle species, Chaboo was especially interested how the San collect beetle poison, prepare it and apply it to arrows.
"In general, the beetle larvae are harvested by digging up soil around the host, sifting out the cocoons to take home," she said. "Later, the cocoons are cracked open and the beetle larvae extracted. Some San hunters squeeze the beetle body fluids out onto the arrowhead, or they make a concoction with other plant juices. The arrow preparer is very careful in handling all the materials and in storing the poisoned arrows and remaining cocoons away from the community."
According to the KU researcher, the biological purpose of the poison in beetles and plants remains unclear.
"This is the next big glaring question to answer," Chaboo said. "We can guess that this protein toxin has some physiological value to the insect, perhaps protecting it from the harsh dry climate above ground or possibly even an anti-predatory defense. These beetle larvae already have two other levels of defenses -- their hard cocoons and their underground location."
New research sharpens understanding of poison-arrow hunting in Africa KU Professor Caroline Chaboo (pink shirt) sets up a photo-shoot with Hai||om hunters in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy, Kalahari, Namibia [Credit: University of Kansas] Chaboo said the poison slowly brings about paralysis in the prey of San hunters, although the biological mechanism remains unclear.
"The poison is a slow-acting paralyzing poison," she said. "The animal continues to run after being hit, but over the next few hours, the animal becomes increasingly unable to move well, and it finally falls over. Then the hunter can finish off the animal. Cell breakdown and interference with cell membrane channels are implicated."
Indeed, this slow chase by the hunter is the basis for the San's famous tracking culture.
"Translation uncovers a disagreement between two languages on how concepts are grouped under a single word," says co-author and Santa Fe Institute and Oxford researcher Hyejin Youn. "Spanish, for example, groups 'fire' and 'passion' under 'incendio,' whereas Swahili groups 'fire' with 'anger' (but not 'passion')."
Sign of early settlement in the Nordic region date back to the cradle of civilization (Sapmi?)
The discovery of the world's oldest storage of fermented fish in southern Sweden could rewrite the Nordic prehistory with findings indicating a far more complex society...
Lund University. The discovery of the world's oldest storage of fermented fish in southern Sweden could rewrite the Nordic prehistory with findings indicating a far more complex society than previously thought. The unique discovery by osteologist Adam Boethius from Lund University was made when excavating a 9,200 year-old settlement at what was once a lake in Blekinge, Sweden.
"Our findings of large-scale fish fermentation, a traditional way of preserving fish, indicate that not only was this area settled at that time, it was also able to support a large community," says Adam Boethius, whose findings are now being published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
The discovery is also an indication that Nordic societies were far more developed 9,200 years ago than what was previously believed. The findings are important as it is usually argued that people in the north lived relatively mobile lives, while people in the Levant -- a large area in the Middle East -- became settled and began to farm and raise cattle much earlier.
Because people did not have access to salt or the ability to make ceramic containers, they acidified the fish using, for example, pine bark and seal fat, and then wrapped the entire content in seal and wild boar skins and buried it in a pit covered with muddy soil. This type of fermentation requires a cold climate.
What a stupid comment there^^, are you really stupid enough to believe that present day Nordic peoples had anything to do with those people, 9000 years ago?
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AI:pph "Nswt/Nesut Bjty/Bity (King) in Ancient Egyptian: A Lesson in Paronymy and Leadership in the ancient ci.Kam (Egyptian) languages using the analytical tools of anthropological linguistics and comparative cultural anthropology".
ALL languages are merely open-sky dialects of xyaMbuangduaela including Mbuti-Mand'enga'la-San'b'aktwae-Bangla-Mbabalryam-Mb'yali-Nd'ama'wa'a.Posts: 1818 | From: Miami | Registered: Aug 2014
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The roots of the mammalian family-tree have long been shrouded in mystery: when did the placental mammals go their separate ways? Now, researchers say they've found where the family tree of placental mammals first branched apart, and when it happened.
Placental mammals consist of 3 main groups that diverged rapidly, evolving in wildly different directions: - Afrotheria: elephants, tenrecs... - Xenarthra: armadillos, sloths... - Boreoeutheria: all others. The relationships between them have been a subject of fierce controversy, with multiple studies coming to incompatible conclusions over the last decade, leading some researchers to suggest that these relationships might be impossible to resolve: - which is the oldest sibling of the 3? - did the mammals go their separate ways, due to S.America & Africa breaking apart? - when did placentals split up?
Tarver: "This has been one of the areas of greatest debate in evolutionary biology, many researchers consider it impossible to resolve. Now we've proven these problems can be solved: you just need to analyze genome-scale data-sets, using models that accurately reflect genomic evolution.²
The researchers assembled the largest mammalian phylogenomic dataset ever collected, before testing it with a variety of models of molecular evolution, choosing the most robust model, and then analysing the data, using several supercomputer clusters: "We tested it to destruction. We threw the kitchen sink at it." Slavish Mirarab: "A complication in reconstructing evolutionary histories from genomic data is that different parts of genomes can & often do give conflicting accounts of the history. Individual genes within the same species can have different histories. This is one reason why the controversy has stood so long: many thought the relationships couldn¹t be resolved.²
To address the complexities of analysing large numbers of genes shared among many spp, the researchers paired 2 fundamentally different approaches: - concatenated & - coalescent-based analyses. When the dust settled, the team had a specific family-tree: Atlantogenata (African Afrotheria + S.American Xenarthra) is the sister group to all other placentals.
The team then tested 3 of the most influential rivals against each other with the same model. All of the previous studies suddenly fell into line, their data agreeing with Tarver cs.
The researchers folded in another layer: a molecular clock analysis. Mario Dos-Reis: "The molecular clock analysis uses a combination of fossils & genomic data, to estimate when these lineages diverged from each other: Afrotheria & Xenarthra diverged from one another c 90 Ma." Previously, scientists thought that when Africa & S.America separated >100 Ma, they broke up the family of placental mammals. But the researchers found that placental mammals didn't split up until after Africa & S.America had already separated. Bob Asher: "We propose that South America's living endemic Xenarthra colonized the island-continent via overwater dispersal." At the time, the proto-Atlantic was only a few 100 miles wide. New World monkeys crossed the Atlantic later, when it was much bigger, probably on rafts formed from storm debris.
Note: SAm monkies & cavvies left Africa into Antarctica, then South America via Patagonia; there was NO rafting on storm debris.
And, of course, mammals repeatedly colonised remote islands like Madagascar. Carver: "You don't always need to overturn the status-quo to make a big impact. All of the competing hypotheses had some evidence to support them: that¹s precisely why it was the source of such controversy. Proving the roots of the placental family tree with hard empirical evidence is a massive accomplishment."
The Interrelationships of Placental Mammals and the Limits of Phylogenetic Inference James E Tarver, Mario dos Reis, Siavash Mirarab, Raymond J Moran, Sean Parker, Joseph E O¹Reilly, Benjamin L King, Mary J O¹Connell, Robert J Asher, Tandy Warnow, Kevin J Peterson, Philip CJ Donoghue & Davide Pisani 2016 Genome Biol. Evol.8:330 doi 10.1093/gbe/evv261 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evv261>
Placental mammals comprise 3 principal clades: - Afrotheria, e.g. elephants & tenrecs, - Xenarthra, e.g. armadillos & sloths), - Boreoeutheria (all other placental mammals)...
Previous analyses have found support for all 3 hypotheses: some concluded that this phylogenetic problem might be impossible to resolve, due to the compounded effects of - incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) & - a rapid radiation.
Here we use - a genome-scale nucleotide data-set, - microRNAs & - re-analysis of the 3 largest previously published amino-acid data-sets: the root of Placentalia lies between Atlantogenata & Boreoeutheria. Although we found evidence for ILS in early placental evolution, we are able to reject previous conclusions that the placental root cannot be resolved. Re-analyses of previous data-sets recover Atlantogenata + Boreoeutheria: contradictory results are a consequence of poorly fitting evolutionary models. When the evolutionary process is better-modeled, all data-sets converge on Atlantogenata. Our Bayesian molecular clock analysis estimates - marsupials diverged from placentals 157-170 Ma, - crown Placentalia diverged 86-100 Ma, - crown Atlantogenata diverged 84-97 Ma. Our results are compatible with placental diversification being driven by dispersal rather than vicariance mechanisms, postdating early phases in the protracted opening of the Atlantic Ocean.
Deep Roots for Aboriginal Australian Y Chromosomes
Anders Bergström et al.
Australia was one of the earliest regions outside Africa to be colonized by fully modern humans, with archaeological evidence for human presence by 47,000 years ago (47 kya) widely accepted [ 1, 2 ]. However, the extent of subsequent human entry before the European colonial age is less clear. The dingo reached Australia about 4 kya, indirectly implying human contact, which some have linked to changes in language and stone tool technology to suggest substantial cultural changes at the same time [ 3 ]. Genetic data of two kinds have been proposed to support gene flow from the Indian subcontinent to Australia at this time, as well: first, signs of South Asian admixture in Aboriginal Australian genomes have been reported on the basis of genome-wide SNP data [ 4 ]; and second, a Y chromosome lineage designated haplogroup C∗, present in both India and Australia, was estimated to have a most recent common ancestor around 5 kya and to have entered Australia from India [ 5 ]. Here, we sequence 13 Aboriginal Australian Y chromosomes to re-investigate their divergence times from Y chromosomes in other continents, including a comparison of Aboriginal Australian and South Asian haplogroup C chromosomes. We find divergence times dating back to ∼50 kya, thus excluding the Y chromosome as providing evidence for recent gene flow from India into Australia. (Dieneckes)
Congo pygmies were just the western part of the tropical rainforest belt.
Model-based analyses of whole-genome data reveal a complex evolutionary history involving archaic introgression in Central African Pygmies
PingHsun Hsieh et al.
Comparisons of whole-genome sequences from ancient and contemporary samples have pointed to several instances of archaic admixture through interbreeding between the ancestors of modern non-Africans and now extinct hominids such as Neanderthals and Denisovans. One implication of these findings is that some adaptive features in contemporary humans may have entered the population via gene flow with archaic forms in Eurasia. Within Africa, fossil evidence suggests that anatomically modern humans (AMH) and various archaic forms coexisted for much of the last 200,000 yr; however, the absence of ancient DNA in Africa has limited our ability to make a direct comparison between archaic and modern human genomes. Here, we use statistical inference based on high coverage whole-genome data (greater than 60×) from contemporary African Pygmy hunter-gatherers as an alternative means to study the evolutionary history of the genus Homo. Using whole-genome simulations that consider demographic histories that include both isolation and gene flow with neighboring farming populations, our inference method rejects the hypothesis that the ancestors of AMH were genetically isolated in Africa, thus providing the first whole genome-level evidence of African archaic admixture. Our inferences also suggest a complex human evolutionary history in Africa, which involves at least a single admixture event from an unknown archaic population into the ancestors of AMH, likely within the last 30,000 yr.
Genome Research Published in Advance February 17, 2016, doi: 10.1101/gr.192971.115
Whole-genome sequence analyses of Western Central African Pygmy hunter-gatherers reveal a complex demographic history and identify candidate genes under positive natural selection
PingHsun Hsieh et al.
African Pygmies practicing a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle are phenotypically and genetically diverged from other anatomically modern humans, and they likely experienced strong selective pressures due to their unique lifestyle in the Central African rainforest. To identify genomic targets of adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of four Biaka Pygmies from the Central African Republic and jointly analyzed these data with the genome sequences of three Baka Pygmies from Cameroon and nine Yoruba famers. To account for the complex demographic history of these populations that includes both isolation and gene flow, we fit models using the joint allele frequency spectrum and validated them using independent approaches. Our two best-fit models both suggest ancient divergence between the ancestors of the farmers and Pygmies, 90,000 or 150,000 yr ago. We also find that bidirectional asymmetric gene flow is statistically better supported than a single pulse of unidirectional gene flow from farmers to Pygmies, as previously suggested. We then applied complementary statistics to scan the genome for evidence of selective sweeps and polygenic selection. We found that conventional statistical outlier approaches were biased toward identifying candidates in regions of high mutation or low recombination rate. To avoid this bias, we assigned P-values for candidates using whole-genome simulations incorporating demography and variation in both recombination and mutation rates. We found that genes and gene sets involved in muscle development, bone synthesis, immunity, reproduction, cell signaling and development, and energy metabolism are likely to be targets of positive natural selection in Western African Pygmies or their recent ancestors.
Bedbugs & humans in caves, from bat parasites
Bedbug book says bedbugs on humans started at north Africa/Canaan coast 100s of 1000s of years ago from cave bat parasites; ancient humans began staying in caves there so the bugs changed form from clinging on bats on cave ceilings to sleeping humans on cave floor (bugs became less furry, longer legs, larger mouth for larger human red blood cells), these bugs didn't emigrate to other regions in Europe (eg. Germany) or China until much later ~ 15th c
Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it describes. Linguists think that just a small proportion of words are made this way in every language. But scientists don¹t actually know how that process happens. In the first study to explore how sounds become words in real time, researchers used a ³telephone² style game: they asked 16 volunteers to imitate sounds e.g. sloshing water, ripping paper. They then played those imitations for a new group of volunteers, who replicated them for new volunteers, and so on. Over time, something strange happened: the imitations started to sound like words. <http://sapir.psych.wisc.edu/evolang/fidelity.html#/> They developed stable initial sounds & vowels, becoming so regular that new volunteers were able to repeat them without any problems: - an imitation of ripping paper morphed from a drawn-out friction-full noise into the 2-syllable "chee-ah", - an imitation of sloshing water transformed itself into the guttural utterance "glong-glong". When a separate group was asked to trace the new "words" back to their original sounds, they were able to guess the correct answers well above chance. This suggests - people can turn meaningful sounds into meaningful words, - these kinds of sound-derived words may be much more widespread in human language than previously thought.
Brain & Behavior <http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/taxonomy/term/352> doi 10.1126/science.aaf4069
New hominin fossil humeri from Koobi Fora: implications for Homo erectus (sensu lato) origin and diversity MICHAEL LAGUE, MEAVE & LOUISE LEAKEY & WILLIAM JUNGERS 2016 ...
To date, 3 humeral morphs have been identified among 2-1-Ma fossils in E-Africa - Paranthropus boisei, - Homo habilis, - Homo erectus.
In this study, we use diaphyseal morphology to diagnose 3 new fossil humeri from Koobi Fora c 2-1.5 Ma: - 2 isolated specimens: KNM-ER-64034 & 64037, - 1 associated with a 2.02-2.03 Ma partial skeleton ER-64061 (thought to represent early Homo). ...
ER-64034 (Okote Mb.) has clear affinities with "H.erectus", ER-64037 (Upper Burgi Mb.) with "P.boisei".
ER-64061 bears a strong resemblance to the humerus of WT-15000 "Turkana Boy" in size & shape, but both specimens differ substantially from the "H.erectus" group, and most closely resemble H.naledi UW-101-0283 & 101-0948.
ER 64061 & 64034 support the presence of 2 variants within African/Georgian H.erectus sensu lato (complementing previous findings, based on temporal bone morphology).
The ER-64061 skeleton establishes the presence of H.erectus sensu lato at an earlier date than previously documented.
Ancient DNA shows European wipe-out of early Americans 2.4.16
The first largescale study of ancient DNA from early American people has confirmed the devastating impact of European colonisation on the Indigenous American populations of the time.
Bastien Llamas cs (2016 Science Advances) looked directly into the DNA of 92 pre-Columbian mummies & skeletons, between 500 & 8600 years old. They reveal a striking absence of the pre-Columbian genetic lineages in modern Indigenous Americans, showing extinction of these lineages with the arrival of the Spaniards: "Surprisingly, none of the genetic lineages we found in almost 100 ancient humans were present, or showed evidence of descendants, in today's Indigenous populations. This separation appears to have been established as early as 9000 years ago, and was completely unexpected, so we examined many demographic scenarios to try & explain the pattern. The only scenario that fit our observations was: - shortly after the initial colonisation, populations were established that subsequently stayed geographically isolated from one another, - a major portion of these populations later became extinct following European contact. This closely matches the historical reports of a major demographic collapse immediately after the Spaniards arrived in the late 1400s."
Llamas cs sequenced whole mtDNAs, extracted from bone & teeth samples from 92 pre-Columbian (mainly S.American) human mummies & skeletons. The ancient genetic signals also provide a more precise timing of the first people entering the Americas--via the Beringian land-bridge that connected Asia & the NW tip of N.America during the last Ice Age. Alan Cooper: "Our genetic reconstruction confirms that the first Americans entered c 16 ka via the Pacific coast, skirting around the massive ice sheets that blocked an inland corridor route, which only opened much later. They spread south-ward remarkably swiftly, reaching S-Chile by 14.6 ka." Lars Fehren-Schmitz:
"Genetic diversity in these early people from Asia was limited by the small founding populations, which were isolated on the Beringian land bridge for c 2400 to 9000 years. It was at the peak of the last Ice Age, when cold deserts & ice sheets blocked human movement, and limited resources would have constrained population size. This long isolation of a small group of people brewed the unique genetic diversity observed in the early Americans." Wolfgang Haak: "Our study is the first real-time genetic record of these key questions regarding the timing & process of the peopling of the Americas. To get an even fuller picture, however, we will need a concerted effort to build a comprehensive data-set from the DNA of people alive today & their pre-Columbian ancestors, to further compare ancient & modern diversity."
Mapping the earliest dated sites that contain a Nubian component does not permit an unequivocal identification of a region of origin for the Nubian Technology. Quaternary International doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2016.02.008
“Diffusion with modifications”: Nubian assemblages in the central Negev highlands of Israel and their implications for Middle Paleolithic inter-regional interactions
Mae Goder-Goldberger, Natalia Gubenko, Erella Hovers
Nubian Levallois cores, now known from sites in eastern Africa, the Nile Valley and Arabia, have been used as a material culture marker for Upper Pleistocene dispersals of hominins out of Africa. The Levantine corridor, being the only land route connecting Africa to Eurasia, has been viewed as a possible dispersal route. We report here on lithic assemblages from the Negev highlands of Israel that contain both Levallois centripetal and Nubian-type cores. Wetter conditions over the Sahara and Negev deserts during MIS 6a–5e provided a generally continuous environmental corridor into the Levant that enabled the dispersal of hominin groups bearing the Nubian variant of prepared core technologies. The Negev assemblages draw renewed attention to the place of the Levant as one of the dispersal routes out of Africa during the Late Pleistocene and could suggest that processes of human dispersals and cultural diffusion resulted in the spread of Nubian technology across eastern Africa, the western Sahara and the Nile Valley, the southern Levant and Arabia.
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Supernovae showered Earth with radioactive debris. A series of massive supernova explosions near our solar system showered the Earth with radioactive debris between 3.2 and 1.7 million years ago, Australian National University, April 6, 2016 [www.sciencedaily.com] and [phys.org]
The papers are:
Wallner, A., J. Feige, N. Kinoshita, M. Paul, L. K. Fifield, R. Golser, M. Honda, U. Linnemann, H. Matsuzaki, S. Merchel, G. Rugel, S. G. Tims, P. Steier, T. Yamagata, and S. R. Winkler, 2016, Recent near-Earth supernovae probed by global deposition of interstellar radioactive 60Fe. Nature. vol. 532, no. 7597: 69-72. DOI: 10.1038/nature17196 [www.nature.com]
Breitschwerdt, D., J. Feige, M. M. Schulreich, M. A. de. Avillez, C. Dettbarn, and B. Fuchs, 2016, The locations of recent supernovae near the Sun from modelling 60Fe transport Nature. vol. 532, no. 7597, pp. 73–76. doi:10.1038/nature17424 [www.nature.com]
The recent paper in Science now suggests that the Simia (Anthropoidea) came from S-Asia to Africa (which doesn¹t explain how Strepsirhini/lemurs got in Madagascar). They were probably monkeylike insecti-frugivores, possibly 1 or 2 kg.
It¹s not impossible [per MVerhaegen) that, as Guiseppe Sera suggested some 90 years ago, the early Simia (vs tarsiers & Strepsirhini) already had some aquatic features (IHO of ears, nose, vagina, kidneys & spleen IIRC), e.g. for surface-swimming (e.g. to reach other trees in swamps e.g. during the flooded season? cf sloths?). I think that Saadanius c 30 Ma (found near Mekka, in mangroves then) had elongated nasal bones, nostrils very close to each other, "tenting" nostrils & large paranasal maxillary sinuses for frequent surface-swimming. Did the early Simia reach Africa floating?? (The NWM-LCA seem to have rafted to S.America.) Have galago ancestors (Strepsirhini) always lived in Africa? Of course, there were a lot of parallelisms in primates lineages, as always, but the Simia seem to have followed a somewhat different evolutionary path than the prosimians.
Oligocene primates from China reveal divergence between African and Asian primate evolution Xijun Ni, Qiang Li, Lüzhou Li & K Christopher Beard 2016 Science 352:673-7 doi 10.1126/science.aaf2107
Climate filters dominant species
The transition between the Eo- & Oligocene was marked by distinct cooling. Because primate spp are particularly susceptible to cold, this change in climate drove a retraction of primates globally. After this transition, anthropoid primates were dominant in Afro-Arabia, but little has been known about primate reestablishment in Asia.
Ni cs describe 10 previously unknown primates found in Yunnan Province, that show that primates took a different path in Asia. Instead of anthropoids, strepsirrhine (lemur-like) primates were dominant. It is still unknown whether this difference was due to the environment or chance.
Profound environmental & faunal changes are associated with climatic deterioration during the Eocene-Oligocene transition (EOT) c 34 Ma. Reconstructing how Asian primates responded to the EOT has been hindered by a sparse record of Oligocene primates in Asia.
Here, we report the discovery of a diverse primate fauna from the early Oligocene of S-China. In marked contrast to Afro-Arabian Oligocene primate faunas, this Asian fauna is dominated by strepsirhines. There appears to be a strong break between Paleogene & Neogene Asian anthropoid assemblages. Asian & Afro-Arabian primate faunas responded differently to EOT climatic deterioration: the EOT functioned as a critical evolutionary filter, constraining the subsequent course of primate evolution across the Old World.
9.5.16 New Oligocene primates from China highlight key evolutionary period Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters
Profound environmental & faunal changes are associated with climatic deterioration during the Eocene-Oligocene transition (EOT) c 34 Ma. Primates are among the most environmentally sensitive of all mammals. Reconstructing how Asian primates responded to the EOT has been hindered by a sparse record of Oligocene primates on that continent.
NI Xijun cs (Science 6.5.16) reported the discovery of a diverse primate fauna from the early-Oligocene of S-China. In marked contrast to Afro-Arabian Oligocene primate faunas, this Asian fauna is dominated by strepsirhines. There appears to be a strong break between Paleogene & Neogene Asian anthropoid assemblages. Asian & Afro-Arabian primate faunas responded differently to EOT climatic deterioration: the EOT functioned as a critical evolutionary filter, constraining the subsequent course of primate evolution across the Old World. This study provides a deeper understanding of a pivotal moment in the evolution of primates.
These newly discovered fossil primates were collected via careful excavation & screen-washing at Lijiawa (upper part of Caijiachong Fm, Yuezhou Basin). The Lijiawa fossil site has yielded >10 mammal taxa that indicate an early-Oligocene age. Researchers described 10 previously unknown primates, represented by fossil teeth, jaws & a few other bones, helping to fill the gap in the record of Asian primate evolution.
Anthropoids (monkeys & apes) originated in Asia, with their earliest fossils dating from 45 Ma. Only later, c 38 Ma, did some anthropoids migrate to Africa. It was on that continent 200 ka that humans arose.
The transition between the Eo- & Oligocene was marked by distinct cooling. This change in climate drove a retraction of primates globally. Comparing the composition of the early-Oligocene primate faunas from Yunnan & Pakistan with later Eocene Asian primates known from China, Myanmar & Thailand, researchers revealed that surviving the EOT entailed a high degree of taxonomic & ecological selectivity. - Later Eocene primate assemblages in China, Myanmar & Thailand tend to be dominated (in taxonomic richness & numerical abundance) by stem anthropoids belonging to the families Eosimiidae & Amphipithecidae. - In stark contrast, only 1 of the 6 primates known from the early Oligocene of Yunnan is an anthropoid. - 3 of 5 primate spp documented from the late early Oligocene of Pakistan are anthropoids, but even in this case, the anthropoid taxa known from Pakistan differ from their contemporary African relatives in being relatively small-bodied.
However, late-Eocene-early-Oligocene primates from Afro-Arabia show a very different pattern of taxonomic selectivity in response to the EOT. - There, very few strepsirhines (none of which were large) survived the EOT, - but anthropoids diversified both taxonomically & ecologically, and became dominant in Afro-Arabian regions.
NI Xijun: "The EOT functioned as a critical evolutionary filter during the evolutionary history of primates. - Before the Tps dropped, Asia's primates were dominated by anthropoids. - Afterward, they were dominated by lemur-like primates, with the monkey-like ones decimated².
The EOT climatic deterioration may be the reason why apes & people emerged in Africa, even though anthropoids first appeared in Asia. Co-author Christopher Beard : "We had a lot of evidence previously that the earliest anthropoids originated in Asia. The EOT climate crisis virtually wiped out Asian anthropoids, so the only place where they could evolve to become later monkeys, apes & humans was Africa."
Dynamic changes to the Asian physical environment during the interval spanning the EOT included - progressive retreat of the Para-Tethys Sea from C-Asia, - continued uplift of the Tibetan-Himalayan orogen & - opening of the South China Sea.
Co-author LI Qiang: "Africa was not immune to global climatic changes across the EOT, but it did not experience the dramatic tectonic & paleo-geographic alterations that characterized Asia at this time. It is tempting to attribute the different patterns of turnover in Asian & African primate faunas across the EOT to local changes in vegetation & paleo-environment, but current evidence is not sufficient to rule out the possibility that random processes may also play a substantial role".
Beard: "We have so many primates from the Oligocene at this particular site in China, because it was located far enough to the south that it remained warm enough during that cold, dry time that primates could still survive there." They crowded into the limited space that remained available to them. Like most of today's primates, they were tropical tree-dwellers. The lone anthropoid in the group, a small, monkey-like primate named Bahinia banyueae, probably resembled some of today's smaller S.American monkeys such as marmosets, and its teeth suggest its diet was mainly fruits & insects.
MV @ AAT: There was a single source once of all primates (the primate LCA), but there might have been parallel evolutions in some prosimian or earlier groups (some omomyids//paromomyids, some strepsi-//haplorrhines etc.), esp. on different continents (e.g. Africa//Asia//Madagascar?), but I have no good insight in these fossils. My impression FWIW, the primate LCA was possibly a rel.slow end-branch grasping arboreal (cf nails instead of claws), feeding on flowers, nectar & fruits & later insects. The early haplorrhines seem to have become faster hunters on flying insects (cf strongly overlapping visual fields). The early simians became more frugivorous again?
Haplorrhines = tarsiers + simians=anthropoids: - Tarsiers = SE.Asia. - Simia = New + Old World simians: -- NW monkeys probably crossed the Atlantic 40-30 Ma (then much narrower). -- OW simians (OWMs + hominoids) probably originated in Africa-Arabia, but the simian LCA might have come from S.Asia 40 Ma or more. Strepsirrhines today: Madagascar, Africa, S.Asia.
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The ama divers of the Shima peninsula, who harvest shellfish from the seabed, see the nearby gathering of world leaders as a chance to promote their culture
Justin McCurry in Osatsu
Wednesday 25 May 2016 06.43 BST
Michiko Nakamura can personally vouch for the provenance of the oysters and clams bubbling away on the grill inside her hut in Osatsu, a fishing village overlooking the Pacific ocean.
Hours earlier, the 64-year old put on her face mask, fins and wetsuit, took a deep breath and propelled herself into the depths in search of lunch.
She is one of a dwindling number of ama – female divers who eschew breathing apparatus as they scour the seabed up to ten metres down for shellfish, seaweed and the occasional octopus and lobster.
With their way of life under pressure from falling seafood stocks and waning interest among younger women, Nakamura and her fellow divers are hoping that this week’s G7 summit in nearby Ise-Shima will boost the campaign to prevent their profession becoming a cultural relic.
Akie Abe, the wife of Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe, is hoping to take leaders’ spouses to watch a demonstration by ama divers, whom she has described as the embodiment of “Japanese values”.
In a column in the Mainichi Shimbun, Abe said she was impressed by the divers’ commitment to sustainable fishing “by setting areas where they can catch seafood and self-regulating the way they fish through the ages”.
Local officials said they would use the summit to push the Japanese government to approve its bid for Unesco to put ama diving culture on its intangible cultural heritage list.
Nakamura said she understood why her daughter, who is in her 20s with children of her own, had decided not to follow in her mother’s footsteps. “There are times when even I don’t feel like diving, when there’s a really cold wind or the sea is rough,” she said. “But young women don’t want to do this job any more, so that’s why I carry on.”
Just after the second world war, Japan was home to about 10,000 ama – literally, women of the sea – with 6,000 of them concentrated on the coast of the Shima peninsula, where Barack Obama and other G7 leaders will meet for two days of talks in late May. By 2014, the number of ama had plummeted to about 2,000 nationwide, with 750 or so in the Shima region.
Nakamura’s grandmother was one of about 600 divers in Osatsu, where the average age of the 100 or so remaining divers is 65. The oldest is in her mid-80s.
“Most women retire in their 70s,” said Takuya Agata, curator at the Toba sea-folk museum. “In 10 years’ time, I think there will be about half the number of divers there are now.”
The failure of attempts to nurture a new generation of divers, including attracting younger women from other parts of Japan, means the end could be drawing near for a tradition dating back 3,000 years.
Chisels and other diving tools were excavated from the Jōmon era (14,000BC–300BC) ruins on the Shima peninsula, while the first reference to ama appears in Man’yoshu, an eighth-century collection of poetry. The first images of the women, naked from the waist up, appeared in 18th-century ukiyo-e prints.
They did not start covering up in white cotton clothing until the early 1900s, and have used wetsuits since the 1960s.
Most of the women can recall at least one dive that they were convinced would be their last. For Nakamura, it came one morning three years ago, when the rope attached to her waist became snagged on a rock, bringing her ascent to a halt inches beneath the surface.
“Every time a wave passed I looked to the sky and gasped for air before going under again,” she said. “Afterwards, I went to the shrine and prayed that it would never happen again, but I can feel myself panicking even now thinking about it.”
Not surprisingly, ama culture is steeped in superstition. The five-pointed star – or seiman – a talismanic design that appears on the ama’s headscarves and tools, is written in a single stroke, starting and ending at the same point, to symbolise a safe return to the surface. An accompanying lattice-design dohman symbol is meant to keep out danger. Before each dive, the women knock on the side of the boat or wooden bucket with their chisel, and recite a short mantra.
The risk of injury, or worse, is not the only reason why the ama’s days appear to be numbered. Few young women are interested in becoming free divers, while overfishing and global warming have eaten into stocks of their most prized catch, abalone, which sell for as much as 8,000 yen (£50) a kilo.
“I remember a time when you’d be stepping on abalone, there were so many of them,” said Nakamura. “Now, if you find a good spot you can come up with about 12kg in a session.”
Multiple dives of just under a minute – what the ama call their “50-second battle” – also take a toll on their health: surveys show that many of the women, who lose up to 10kg in weight during a typical season, experience hearing problems later in life.
Some ama, like Nakamura, dive in groups, with each diver attached by a rope to a wooden bucket that also acts as a float. Those who dive deeper work with their fishermen husbands, who remain on the boat and haul their wives from the depths after each dive.
No one is certain why women, rather than their husbands, took on the role of free diver. One explanation is that women generally have more subcutaneous fat and can tolerate cold water for longer periods; another theory is that fishing close to the shoreline seemed a natural job for women while their husbands ventured offshore in their boats.
During their heyday after the war, the ama were something of an aberration in what was a largely patriarchal society. Orie Iwasaki, of the local tourism association, said: “Women had very few rights back then, but in this world they were seen as strong, and a match for their husbands.”
Florida Africans before Clovis/Bering strait?
Florida sinkhole archeological site recasts 'peopling of the Americas' narrative. Stone tools, mastodon bones, and dung provide 'vindication' for 30-year-old Florida underwater archeological dig site that had presented evidence that the Americas were populated much earlier than originally thought by Eva Botkin-Kowacki, Christian Science Monitor, May 13, 2016. [www.csmonitor.com]
Stone Knife and Mastodon Bones Point to Earlier Arrival of First Americans. A sinkhole in Florida’s Aucilla River is an “archaeological gold mine” that offers a rare glimpse of life in ancient America by Greg Harlin, National Geographic, May 13, 2016. [news.nationalgeographic.com]
Mastodon meal scraps revise US prehistory by Jonathan Webb, BBC News, May 14, 2016 [www.bbc.com]
The paper is:
Halligan, J. J., M. R. Waters, A. Perrotti, I. J. Owens, J. M. Feinberg, M. D. Bourne, B. Fenerty, Ba. Winsborough, D. Carlson, D. C. Fisher, T. W. Stafford, Jr, and J. S. Dunbar, 2016, Pre-Clovis occupation 14,550 years ago at the Page-Ladson site, Florida, and the peopling of the Americas. Science Reports. vol. 2, no. 5, e1600375 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600375
Late Stone Age human remains from Ishango (Democratic Republic of Congo): New insights on Late Pleistocene modern human diversity in Africa I Crevecoeur, A Brooks, I Ribot, E Cornelissen & P Semal 2016 JHE 96:3557 doi 10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.04.003 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.04.003> <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.04.003>Get>
... Here, we present a morphometric comparative analysis of the earliest Late-Pleistocene Hs remains from Ishango (Dem.Rep.Congo). The early Late Stone Age layer (eLSA) of this site (Last Glacial Maximum 2520 Ka) contains >100 fragmentary human remains. The exceptional associated archaeological context suggests: these remains derived from a community of hunter-fisher-gatherers, exhibiting complex social & cognitive behaviors, incl. - substantial reliance on aquatic resources, - development of fishing technology, - possible mathematical notations & - repetitive use of space, likely on a seasonal basis.
Comparisons with large samples of Late Pleistocene & early Holocene Hs fossils from Africa & Eurasia show: the Ishango human remains exhibit distinctive characteristics & a higher phenotypic diversity, in contrast to recent African populations. In many aspects, as is true for the inner ear conformation, these eLSA human remains have more affinities with Mid-to-early Late Pleistocene fossils worldwide than with extant local African populations. Cross-sectional geometric properties of the long bones are consistent with archaeological evidence suggesting reduced terrestrial mobility resulting from greater investment in & use of aquatic resources. Our results on the Ishango human remains provide insights into past African Hs diversity & adaptation that are consistent with genetic theories about the deep sub-structure of Late Pleistocene African populations & their complex evolutionary history of isolation & diversification.
Scholars have long discussed the introduction and spread of iron metallurgy in different civilizations. The sporadic use of iron has been reported in the Eastern Mediterranean area from the late Neolithic period to the Bronze Age. Despite the rare existence of smelted iron, it is generally assumed that early iron objects were produced from meteoritic iron. Nevertheless, the methods of working the metal, its use, and diffusion are contentious issues compromised by lack of detailed analysis. Since its discovery in 1925, the meteoritic origin of the iron dagger blade from the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun (14th C. BCE) has been the subject of debate and previous analyses yielded controversial results. We show that the composition of the blade (Fe plus 10.8 wt% Ni and 0.58 wt% Co), accurately determined through portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometry, strongly supports its meteoritic origin. In agreement with recent results of metallographic analysis of ancient iron artifacts from Gerzeh, our study confirms that ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of precious objects. Moreover, the high manufacturing quality of Tutankhamun's dagger blade, in comparison with other simple-shaped meteoritic iron artifacts, suggests a significant mastery of ironworking in Tutankhamun's time.
The period from the late third millennium BC to the start of the first millennium AD witnesses the first steps towards food globalization in which a significant number of important crops and animals, independently domesticated within China, India, Africa and West Asia, traversed Central Asia greatly increasing Eurasian agricultural diversity. This paper utilizes an archaeobotanical database (AsCAD), to explore evidence for these crop translocations along southern and northern routes of interaction between east and west. To begin, crop translocations from the Near East across India and Central Asia are examined for wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) from the eighth to the second millennia BC when they reach China. The case of pulses and flax (Linum usitatissimum) that only complete this journey in Han times (206 BC–AD 220), often never fully adopted, is also addressed. The discussion then turns to the Chinese millets, Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica, peaches (Amygdalus persica) and apricots (Armeniaca vulgaris), tracing their movement from the fifth millennium to the second millennium BC when the Panicum miliaceum reaches Europe and Setaria italica Northern India, with peaches and apricots present in Kashmir and Swat. Finally, the translocation of japonica rice from China to India that gave rise to indica rice is considered, possibly dating to the second millennium BC. The routes these crops travelled include those to the north via the Inner Asia Mountain Corridor, across Middle Asia, where there is good evidence for wheat, barley and the Chinese millets. The case for japonica rice, apricots and peaches is less clear, and the northern route is contrasted with that through northeast India, Tibet and west China. Not all these journeys were synchronous, and this paper highlights the selective long-distance transport of crops as an alternative to demic-diffusion of farmers with a defined crop package.
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One line of evidence that has been largely overlooked in archaeological investigations of Madagascar and, indeed, eastern Africa more broadly is ancient plants. However, it is estimated that some 10% of Madagascar’s flora was introduced from elsewhere (10), and plant introductions include a significant number of staple crops, spices, and arable weeds of Asian origin (11). Historically or currently important crops on Madagascar, like banana (Musa spp.), yam (Dioscorea alata), taro (Colocasia esculenta), and coconut (Cocos nucifera), are Southeast Asian cultivars (12, 13). Asian rice (Oryza sativa), which was domesticated separately in East and South Asia but is the basis of traditional agriculture across much of Madagascar today, was also widely grown in Southeast Asia by the first millennium CE (14⇓–16). Other Asian crops, like mung bean (Vigna radiata) and Asian cotton (Gossypium arboreum), are also cultivated on Madagascar. The fact that early crop introductions to Madagascar may have arrived with Austronesian settlers seems particularly feasible given that Austronesian expansion into the Pacific was linked to the spread of a similar suite of cultivars (17).
To directly explore early cultivated plants on Madagascar and their potential to inform on its colonization history, we collected new archaeobotanical data from the island as well as contemporaneous sites on the African mainland coast (Kenya and Tanzania) and nearshore islands (Pemba, Zanzibar, and Mafia) and the Comoros.
Research across various Old World sites suggests that exotic crops introduced to a region as new plants usually featured as a minor component of subsistence systems for centuries and, in some cases, millennia after arrival before becoming a major resource (24, 25). This pattern is seen, for example, with the introduction of Asian crops at Roman Period port sites on the Red Sea (26, 27). The arrival at coastal sites in eastern Africa of rice and mung bean together with Near Eastern crops, like wheat and pea, can be understood as part of the broader acquisition of exotic goods that occurred with eastern Africa’s entry into the Indian Ocean commercial sphere (28).
In contrast, the overwhelming dominance of Asian crops in the earliest records of the Comoros and Madagascar is consistent with patterns observed when crops move through human colonization. Such a pattern is observed in Japan, where the immigration of new groups from the mainland after approximately 2,800 y B.P. is associated with the arrival of wet rice cultivation (29). It is also observed, for example, in Neolithic Europe, where the first crops are entirely Near Eastern, reflecting the arrival of migrants from this region (30). The presence of Asian crops apparently brought by migrating people on the Comoros and Madagascar is important given that Madagascar is known to have been colonized by settlers from Asia. The findings, nonetheless, require careful consideration given that there are diverse potential sources for the crops and that the present day inhabitants of the Comoros speak Bantu rather than Austronesian languages (31).
Rice and mung bean are the two main Asian food crops identified in archaeological assemblages from the Comoros and Madagascar. Fig. 3 presents a summary of Indian Ocean sites at which these two crops have been identified. Given the paucity of data for the period of 650–1200 CE, sites from an earlier period, 500 BCE to 650 CE, are also included for comparison. The fact that the combination of rice and mung bean is rare in the Near East and Arabia is notable. Indeed, it is only recorded at two Roman-period sites on the Egyptian side of the Red Sea, where it was associated with the presence of Indian traders engaged in the pepper trade (26, 27). At these sites, the crops are found in small quantities within overall assemblages dominated by Mediterranean crops. Mung bean seems to be absent from Medieval cookbooks of the Islamic world, and these sources also indicate that rice played a minor role in the cuisine of the Arab world (32). Although rice was adopted into cultivation in parts of Iran and Mesopotamia more than 2,000 y ago, it was not a staple in the Middle East in the Medieval Period (33).
This part is very refreshing: "Take body size. In the developed world, we are big, and sadly getting bigger in unhealthy ways. Better nutrition has led to increased body mass in many populations across the world. We also associate being large with being human, as it was thought that our ultimate ancestors, the australopithecines (living in Africa between about 4m and 2m years ago) were small, and that our own genus, Homo, marked a substantial increase in body size.
But that may not have been the case. In fact, nearly all the early, extinct species and subspecies of Homo were small, if not very small. The global average human body weight (combined sexes) now is over 60kg. No fossil hominin until the Neanderthals and modern humans reached an average of 50 kg, and most were below 40 kg – half the size of the average American male. Pygmy populations in Africa and Asia also weigh about 40kg, which means that most early and extinct hominins were pygmy sized. There are many advantages to large body size – such as resisting predators, access to larger prey – and the fact that our earliest ancestors did not become large tells us a lot about the energetic constraints under which they lived and reproduced.
We may picture our ancestors as rugged versions of ourselves, tall and strong, but they were not. We need to start thinking of them as creatures that were as unique as ourselves, but in different ways."
Enriching soils in Central Africa = rainforest extinction
They discovered that the ancient West African method of adding charcoal and kitchen waste to highly weathered, nutrient poor tropical soils can transform the land into enduringly fertile, carbon-rich black soils which the researchers dub 'African Dark Earths'.
From analysing 150 sites in northwest Liberia and 27 sites in Ghana researchers found that these highly fertile soils contain 200-300 percent more organic carbon than other soils and are capable of supporting far more intensive farming.
Professor James Fairhead, from the University of Sussex, who initiated the study, said: "Mimicking this ancient method has the potential to transform the lives of thousands of people living in some of the most poverty and hunger stricken regions in Africa.
"More work needs to be done but this simple, effective farming practice could be an answer to major global challenges such as developing 'climate smart' agricultural systems which can feed growing populations and adapt to climate change."
Generations of macaques used 'tools' to open their oysters and nuts 10.6.16
A new study looks into the history of stone tools used by wild macaques in coastal Thailand: they have been using them for decades, possibly 1000s of years, to crack open shellfish & nuts.
This is the first report into the archaeological evidence of tool use by OWMs (Michael Haslam cs 2016 JHE). It is just the 1st step in finding out how their behaviour compares with that of early humans living in similar environments.
From a distance in boats off the coast, researchers spent hundreds of hours watching how groups of macaques in the marine national park on Piak Nam Yai Island selected stones as tools to crush marine snails, nuts & crabs. While the tide was out, the macaques broke open oysters attached to large boulders. They dislodged the top half of the shell, using their crushing tool, and then scooped out the meat with their fingers from the remaining part still attached to the rock. The researchers also found that once a macaque had a good stone fit for the job, they would keep it to crack open other shells or nuts before dropping it. Once the job was done, the macaques often discarded their tools around the same boulders, where they had enjoyed their meal.
When the macaques had left the shore, the research team went on land to closely examine the tools for marks, e.g. - pitting on the flat side, - crushing & fracture marks on the narrow ends of the stones. They also excavated the area beneath a prominent boulder for evidence of discarded stone tools used by previous generations of macaques. Having identified the tell-tale marks of food processing, the researchers spotted 10 tools in the oldest archaeological layer, at 65 cm below the surface. They were limited in how far down they could dig, given the high tides that inundated the boulder twice a day. They indirectly dated the excavated tools as between 10 & 50 years old (radio-C dates for oyster shell debris in the same undisturbed archaeological layer).
Haslam: '... primates with much smaller brains than humans have innovative ways of exploiting the food sources available to them. Macaques in the forests on the island come down to the shore, when the tide is out, to forage, and use stones as tools, to break open shells & hard nut-casings. What we don't have at the moment is a body of archaeological evidence to compare the evolutionary behaviour of other primates with our own. Uncovering the history of the macaques' foraging behaviour is a first step. As we build up a fuller picture of their evolutionary history, we will start to identify the similarities & differences in human behaviour & that of other primates.'
The Primate Archaeology Project runs archaeology work at various sites around the world. For the macaques, Primarch is working in cooperation with a programme on macaque tool use in Thailand (Michael Gumert & Suchinda Malaivijitnond).
In previous research led by Haslam, a team also observed the tool-carrying distances of the macaques on Piak Nam Yai Island: the monkeys typically moved their tools 1 m or less from where they picked them up, although the longest distance that a macaque carried a tool was 87.6 m. On average, they ate 9 oysters at a time, moving short distances with the same tool, but in 1 case, they observed a hungry macaque eat 63 oysters in a row, using the same stone tool to cleave the shells open.
Michael Haslam cs 2016 Archaeological excavation of wild macaque stone tools JHE doi 10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.05.002
Venturing out safely: The biogeography of Homo erectus dispersal out of Africa Carotenuto F, Tsikaridze N, Rook L, Lordkipanidze D, Condemi S & Raia P 2016 JHE 95:1-12 doi 10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.02.005
The dispersal of He out of Africa at some 1.9 Ma is one of the most important, crucial, and yet controversial events in human evolution. Current opinions about this episode expose the contrast between - those who see He as a highly social, cooperative species seeking out new ecological opportunities to exploit & - those preferring a passive, climate-driven explanation.
By using geo-statistics techniques & probabilistic models, we characterised the ecological context of He dispersal, from its E.African origin to the colonization of Eurasia, taking into account - the presence of other large mammals & - the physical characteristics of the landscape as potential factors.
Our model indicated that He followed almost passively the large herbivore fauna during its dispersal. - In Africa, the dispersal was statistically associated with the presence of large freshwater bodies (Rift Valley Lakes). - In Eurasia, the presence of He was associated with the occurrence of geological outcrops likely yielding unconsolidated flint.
During the early phase of dispersal, our model indicated that He actively avoided areas densely populated by large carnivores. This pattern weakened as He dispersed over Europe, possibly because of the decreasing presence of carnivores there + the later acquisition of Acheulean technology. During this later phase, He was associated with limestone & shaley marl, and He seems to have been selecting for high-elevation sites.
Our results do not directly contradict the idea that He may have been an active hunter, but they clearly point to the fact that predator avoidance may have conditioned its long-distance diffusion as it moved outside Africa.
The modelled dispersal route suggests that He remained preferentially associated with low/middle latitude (i.e. comparatively warm) sites throughout its colonization history.
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“Just saying it is comfortable is not enough,” said Zamma, who decided to nap in a chimp’s bed in Tanzania’s Mahale mountain range during a research trip in 1999. “It removed all of the tension from my muscles in a way that ordinary beds don’t – that’s the effect of lying on something that takes into account the natural shape of the body, and it’s why chimpanzees sleep as well as they do.”
A chimpanzee relaxes in its treetop bed in the Mahale mountain range, Tanzania. Primates’ beds are designed to envelop the body. Photograph: Picasa/Koichiro Zamma
He decided to design a version for humans during a particularly hot summer in Japan several years ago. “It was so hot and humid and I was having trouble sleeping, and then I remembered how cool the chimp’s bed in Tanzania had been,” he said. He added humans’ ape-like forebears were thought to have slept in treetop beds up to 4m years ago. “In that sense, this is like sleeping in our ancestors’ beds.”
But there are two steps in speciation, The first is geographic separation until enough characters are built up that there is a sexual separation first meeting attractiveness, then genetic separation.
The out of Africa theory is a flawed theory because it does not account for this geographic separation. Ernst Mayr and Stephen J Gould both said "speciation can not occur in the presence of ones ancestors"
When Homo arrives in China 2.5 million years ago, it radiates crossing thousands of rivers millions of times. In that same time. The bonobo chimpanzee and the common chimp have been separated by a single river. Why? Because chimps share zero of our dozens of adaptations that allow us to swim.
Just think about that if we were all chimpanzees 6 million years ago then you would see some residual gene flow from the chimpanzee to Africans. But the 2012 genome study showed the exact opposite. Africans have fewer copy number variation CNV than non Africans! Same study found there is more genetic diversity (genes) and more copy numbers of genes in Asian and Polynesian homo. Africa has more single nucleotide polymorphism's which means it has a greater population size in the last million years. African genes are young, but Africans share all of the same adaptations of the non-Africans. Why?
All humans are all equally diverged. Each set of chromosomes contains 6 billion nucleotides of which there are only 5 million differences between all humans. This would be impossible if we had an ancestor in Africa just 6 million years ago. Impossible...
Why? Because our ancient ancestors 3 million years ago would need to be fully human with all aquatic adaptations, this leaves just 3 million years since the supposed separation from chimps. Homo was so capable as to cross millions of rivers survive thousands if not millions of Winters, hunting adeptly, making tools... yet in in Africa, it's homeland, every single one of them had to die. This makes no sense.
To explain our lack of genetic diversity homo would have needed to reintroduced by a new genetically thin population with no chimpanzees genes. Then those new Africans would have to repopulate the entirety of Africa.
Marc points out so well that all humans share zero copies of the end I just retrovirus PTERV1, whereas all African apes, and primates have hundreds of copies. Same could be said with the baboon C retrovirus, Simian immunodeficiency virus and many more.
In order for Homo to speciate, we had to fight a different war, that was not in Africa. This is a certainty. Because half of our genome is dedicated toward fighting viruses and it is once a virus is embedded in our genome it virtually impossible to lose. Humans have our own set of retroviruses not seen in the African apes (barbulescu and many many others), same as orangutan (pongerv), gibbon, every other mammal depending upon their niche."
Marine and terrestrial foods as a source of brain-selective nutrients for early modern humans in the southwestern Cape, South Africa
K Kyriacou, DM Blackhurst, JE Parkington & AD Marais 2016 JHE 97:8696 doi 10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.04.009 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.04.009> <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.04.009>Get>
Many attempts have been made to define & reconstruct the most plausible ecological & dietary niche of the earliest members of the human species. While earlier models emphasise big-game hunting in terrestrial, largely savannah environments, more recent scenarios consider the role of marine & aquatic foods as a source of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) & other brain-selective nutrients.
Along the coast of S-Africa, there appears to be an association between the emergence of anatomically modern humans AMHs & accumulation of some of the earliest shell middens during the Middle Stone Age 200 - 40 ka.
Fragmentary fossil remains classified as AMHs, along with marine food residues & numerous material cultural indicators of increased social & behavioural complexity have been recovered from coastal sites.
In this paper, new information on the nutrient content of marine & terrestrial foods available to early modern humans in the SW-Cape is presented & compared with existing data on the nutritional value of some wild plant & animal foods in Africa.
Results: Coastal foraging (particularly the collection of abundant & predictable marine molluscs) would have allowed early modern humans to exploit some of the richest & most accessible sources of protein, micro-nutrients & longer-chain omega-6 & omega-3 fatty acids. Reliable & accessible sources of omega-3 eicosapentaenoic & docosahexaenoic acid DHA are considerably more restricted in terrestrial foods
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Linguistic links indicate travels along tropical rainforest belt:
Camer.on Highlands, Malaya Camer.oon W. Africa Damre mtns. Cambodia Samre.por Cambodia Damre negritos Semi.en mountains, Ethiopia Sumer/Shinar(H) Sumba, Sumbawa Sunda, Sumatra *Xyuamb.ue - through.way
Khampa Tibet Champa India Champa Viet Nam - - -
turn-around from Afghanistan westwards:
Dhofar mtns. Oman Darfur mtns. Sudan Afar mtns. Ethiopia
Kanda.har Afghanistan Hor.eb mtn. Jordan-Israel
- - -
Orange river, southwest Africa Oromo river, east Africa similarity to Andaman Onge/Aung(person), Malay orang(person), aura(dawn-gold-orange)
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