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New Discoveries in Evolution

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  • shunyadragon
    replied
    New older primate fossils linked to human evolution

    Originally posted by http://www.archaeology.org/news?page=9
    4.4 Million-Year-Old “Ardi” Linked to Humans

    PHOENIX, ARIZONA—Paleoanthropologist William Kimbel of Arizona State University and his colleagues have examined the base of a partial cranium of Ardipithecus ramidus, the 4.4 million-year-old primate known for its ape-like tiny brain and grasping big toe for climbing, and more human-like small teeth and and upper pelvis capable of bipedal locomotion. Kimbel’s results are in line with earlier studies that show the base of Ardi’s cranium links it to 3.4 million-year-old Australopithecus skulls and those of modern humans. “Given the very tiny size of the Ardi skull, the similarity of its cranial base to a human’s is astonishing,” he said.

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  • shunyadragon
    replied
    New find of 300,000 year old ancient use of fire by Hominins use of fire in Isreal.

    Originally posted by http://www.archaeology.org/news?page=4
    300,000-Year-Old Hearth Uncovered in Israel

    REHOVOT, ISRAEL—A repeatedly-used hearth full of ash and charred bone has been uncovered in Israel’s Qesem Cave. The hearth measures more than six feet in diameter at its widest point, and was located so that many individuals could have used it. Bits of stone tools that may have been used for butchering animals were also found in and around the hearth. “[The finds] …tell us something about the impressive levels of social and cognitive development of humans living some 300,000 years ago,” said Ruth Shahack-Gross of the Weizmann Institute of Science. But it is not clear exactly which hominins lived in the cave and shared this large campfire.

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  • shunyadragon
    replied
    New information from Spain


    New Dates for Atapuerca Cave Homo antecessor Site that relates to footprint discoveries in the British Isles.

    Originally posted by http://www.archaeology.org/news

    BURGOS, SPAIN—A study employing new dating methods and techniques by researchers from the Spanish National Research Centre for Human Evolution shows that the sediments at the Gran Dolina site, where the first remains of Homo antecessor were found, are 900,000 years old, or 120,000 years older than previously thought. “The change might sound very small or very large, but the TD6 stratum is known precisely as having been the place of discovery of the Homo antecessor and this further defines its age,” Josep M. Pares, leader of the study, told Science Daily. The team will attempt to date individual fossils, especially teeth, in the next phase of refining the chronology.

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  • David Hayward
    replied
    Originally posted by David Hayward View Post
    ...the PLoS article linked to by the BBC, but which was missing....
    The Happisburgh 800,000 year old footprints article is now no longer missing.

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  • David Hayward
    replied
    Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
    The sediment where the prints were found would have been covered by many feet of other sediment, all the way up to the top of the cliff walls. To become exposed those covering layers would all have to be eroded away. The prints must have been made very shortly after the sediment layer was laid down.

    The video shows this nicely in the core samples used to reach from the cliff tops to the sediment footprint layer. The video also explains more about how ancient pollen was used in the biostratagraphic dating.
    Many thanks for discovering the supplementary information that should have been in the PLoS article linked to by the BBC, but which was missing; all I found on PLoS was the article below on how to preserve and record ancient footprints, which by their very nature are vulnerable to weather etc: Preserving the Impossible: Conservation of Soft-Sediment Hominin Footprint Sites and Strategies for Three-Dimensional Digital Data Capture; it at least discusses the issues and solutions.

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  • seer
    replied
    Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
    The sediment where the prints were found would have been covered by many feet of other sediment, all the way up to the top of the cliff walls. To become exposed those covering layers would all have to be eroded away. The prints must have been made very shortly after the sediment layer was laid down.

    The video shows this nicely in the core samples used to reach from the cliff tops to the sediment footprint layer. The video also explains more about how ancient pollen was used in the biostratagraphic dating.

    Ok, I see how they get there. It is not unreasonable...

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  • HMS_Beagle
    replied
    Originally posted by seer View Post
    I understand Shuny - I read both links. The point is that this sediment was rather soft. Who knows when in history these prints were really made.
    The sediment where the prints were found would have been covered by many feet of other sediment, all the way up to the top of the cliff walls. To become exposed those covering layers would all have to be eroded away. The prints must have been made very shortly after the sediment layer was laid down.

    The video shows this nicely in the core samples used to reach from the cliff tops to the sediment footprint layer. The video also explains more about how ancient pollen was used in the biostratagraphic dating.

    Leave a comment:


  • shunyadragon
    replied
    Originally posted by seer View Post
    I understand Shuny - I read both links. The point is that this sediment was rather soft. Who knows when in history these prints were really made.
    By dating the sediments they were in.

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  • seer
    replied
    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I found the reference to being washed away. They were photographed and measured before they washed away.
    I understand Shuny - I read both links. The point is that this sediment was rather soft. Who knows when in history these prints were really made.

    Leave a comment:


  • seer
    replied
    Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
    Looks like the prints were in a layer of sediment contiguous with the shore settlement which would make them the approx. the same age. Apparently the prints had been covered/protected by a thick layer of sand which was only recently washed away by a severe winter storm.

    Will get more details when the paper goes online.
    Yes, but the the same layer could have just as well been exposed in the more recent past and the prints made then. And then covered by a thick layer of sand.

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  • HMS_Beagle
    replied
    Originally posted by seer View Post
    I'm not saying that some kind of human settlement wasn't around in that area back then but why do they think these prints were made then and not later? I mean the layer where the prints were found was so porous and soft it washed away shortly after they found them.
    Looks like the prints were in a layer of sediment contiguous with the shore settlement which would make them the approx. the same age. Apparently the prints had been covered/protected by a thick layer of sand which was only recently washed away by a severe winter storm.

    Will get more details when the paper goes online.

    Leave a comment:


  • shunyadragon
    replied
    Originally posted by seer View Post
    I'm not saying that some kind of human settlement wasn't around in that area back then but why do they think these prints were made then and not later? I mean the layer where the prints were found was so porous and soft it washed away shortly after they found them.
    I found the reference to being washed away. They were photographed and measured before they washed away.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 02-07-2014, 12:31 PM.

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  • seer
    replied
    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
    You do not appear either knowledgable nor willing to accept the scientific methods for dating rocks fossils and sediments. Do you accept that the earth is billions of years old? If you do similar dating methods are used to date everything in geologic history. First there is stratigraphic dating correlated with radiometric dating. These foot prints were found in rock dated both ways. They probably used potassium argon dating methods.

    Shuny, I'm not questioning the date of the sediment. But when the footprints were made. After all this sediment was so soft it washed away right after they found the prints. So why couldn't the prints have been made in this same 800,000 year old sediment say 10 or 15,000 years ago?

    Leave a comment:


  • shunyadragon
    replied
    Originally posted by seer View Post
    I don't get it. How do they know these were made 800,000 years ago as opposed to 10,000 0r 5,000 years ago?
    You do not appear either knowledgable nor willing to accept the scientific methods for dating rocks fossils and sediments. Do you accept that the earth is billions of years old? If you do similar dating methods are used to date everything in geologic history. First there is stratigraphic dating correlated with radiometric dating. These foot prints were found in rock dated both ways. They probably used potassium argon dating methods.

    Leave a comment:


  • seer
    replied
    Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
    That's a valid question. In the case of the Happisburgh early human settlements the dating was done through a combination of paleomagnetic analysis - indications of the Earth's magnetic field variations - and biostratigraphic analysis - the plants that were growing there at the time. Those two factors gave a range of from 0.99 to 0.78 million years ago
    I'm not saying that some kind of human settlement wasn't around in that area back then but why do they think these prints were made then and not later? I mean the layer where the prints were found was so porous and soft it washed away shortly after they found them.

    Leave a comment:

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