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The Mammoth Extinctions

 
 
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 05:06 pm
Without getting into the overwhelming body of evidence supporting one or more global floods, it might make sense to talk about the megafauna dieouts which occurred 10,000 - 12000 years ago or thereabouts by standard dating schemes, and what caused them.

Extinction is the other half of evolution theory. If the one has to have uniformitarian causes, the other does as well. It is thus a dogma of modern scientists that there has never been any sort of a planetary-scale catastrophe capable of causing mass extinctions recently, i.e. that you have to go back 65 million years to get to the last one. It's easy enough to see the rationale for the dogma since even one global scale disaster such as the flood described in the bible would ruin all of the assumptions on which standard dating schemes depend.

Moreover, the fact that the literature of all ancient nations describes two or three cosmic catastrophes is not seen as a problem for the dogma; the assumption is that all ancient peoples were simple minded and made up fairytales for themselves to believe in.

Now, if you rule out cosmic disasters as scientists do, then the only other thing known to be able to bring about the extinction of entire animal species over entire large continents, is man. Even establishment scientists have noticed that.

Trying to blame humans for the North American megafauna dieouts is a sort of a tall order; you've got to explain how 40 species or large animals got exterminated off the continent, including mammoths, mastodons, a 1400 lb super lion, a 2500 lb super bear, a 700-lb beaver, and numerous others. Moreover, given the tiny numbers of American Indian ancestors who supposedly crossed the Bering Straits, their lack of mobility, their primitive weaponry, and the known Indian attitudes towards animals and hunting, the idea of blaming these people for the great extinctions is far fetched indeed, but that doesn't stop our academic classes.

In fact the idea that Indian Ancestors wiped out all 40 such species is precisely what is taught at our otherwise PC schools, and those theories are called the "Overkill Hypothesis" and the "Blitzkrieg Overkill Hypothesis", precisely as if Indian ancestors had tiger tanks and stukas.

Now, nobody should need to be Albert Einstein to comprehend that this is basically bullshit.

In real life, to exterminate an animal species off an entire continent, it takes both firepower and mobility in quantities which Indian ancestors never dreamed of having. The first time the human race ever became remotely close to being capable of such a thing was Ghengis Khan's army.

Then too, there is obviously something missing in standard explanations of how mammoths ever lived in the far northern reaches of Siberia and Alaska and Canada in the first place, much less what caused them all to die. Those regions today are frozen wastes more than half the year, and there would be no food there for large herbivores. A mammoth would starve. Granted we find them with lush vegetation in their stomachs, there is no uniformitarian way to explain how Siberia or Alaska might have been habitable just a few thousand years ago.

Thus it should come as no surprise that these theories get American Indians pissed off. In fact, the most promenant Indian author of our age, Vine DeLoria, takes a shot at these theories in a book titled "Red Earth, White Lies". Vine was the author of a number of standard university texts on Indian affairs including the well-known "Custer Died For Your Sins".

Vine describes the evidence which indicates that mammoths died out in some sort of a vast and overwhelming catastrophe, i.e. either the flood at Noah's time or something similar to it, and that neither his ancestors nor anybody elses had anything to do with it:


Fom "Red Earth, White Lies" (Vine DeLoria):

Quote:

In even the most prejudiced murder trial there is one essential element: there has to have been a killing. Fancy legal terminology generally requires a body the corpus delictus as the TV detec tive shows are fond of telling us. It would seem reasonable, if one was to promulgate a theory of blitzkrieg slaughter as have Martin and Diamond, to identiiy where the bodies are buried and then take the reader on a gut-wrenching tour through a graveyard of waste and butchery. We are deprived of this vicarious thrill because the evidence of the destruction of the megafiuna suggests a scenario well outside the orthodox interpretation of benign natural processes. Therefore mere mention of the reality of the situation is anathema to most scholars. So let us see what the actual situation is.

The first explorers of the northern shores of Siberia and its offshore northern islands and of the interior of Alaska, and some of its northern islands, were stunned to discover an astronomical number of bones of prehistoric animals piled indiscriminately in hills and buried in the ground. The graveyards of these animals were classified as "antediluvian" (prior to Noah's flood) by the majority of scientists and laypeople alike who still believed the stories of the Old Testament. Near these grave yards, incidentally, but located in riverbanks on the northern shore of Siberia, are found the famous Siberian mammoths whose flesh was supposedly edible when thawed.

Reading an extensive set of quotations is always tedious to readers but I hope you will bear with me in this chapter be- cause it is only in the repetition of the reports of the discoveries of these areas that the entire picture of the demise of the mammoths and other creatures really becomes clear. These Siberian remains are not the thousands of mammoth bones which Jared Diamond thinks are searched frantically by archaeologists seek- ing signs of human butchering. It is doubtful that any archaeol- ogists or paleontologists have made extensive studies of the skeletons in these locations or we would certainly have a far different view of megafauna extinction than is presently acceptable to orthodox scholars.

Russian expeditions to Siberia and the northern islands of the Arctic Ocean began in the latter half of the eighteenth century, and with the discovery of these large mounds of animal bones, most prominently the tusks of mammoths and other herbivores, franchises were given to enterprising people who could harvest the ivory for the world market. Liakoff seems to have been the first iniportant ivory trader and explorer in the late eighteenth century. After his death the Russian government gave a monopo~ to a businessman in Yakutsk who sent his agent, Sannikofi, to explore the islands and locate additional sources of ivory. Sannikoff's discoveries of more islands and his reports on the animal remains found there are the best firsthand accounts of the Siberian animal graveyards.

Hedenstrom explored the area in 1809 and reported back on the richness of the ivory tusks. Sannikoff discovered the island of Kotelnoi, which is apparently the richest single location, in 1811. Finally, the czar decided to send an official expedition and from 1820 to 1823, Admiral Ferdinand Wrangell, then a young naval lieutenant, did a reasonably complete survey of the area. Since these expeditions and explorations were inspired by commercial interests and not scientific curiosity; the reports are entirely objective with no ideological or doctrinal bias to slant the interpretation of the finds.

Around the turn of the century interest in the Siberian islands seems to have increased, whether as a result of the few Christian fundamentalists who were not reconciled to evolu- tion frantically searching for tangible proof of Noah's flood, or as part of the leisure activities of the English gendemen of the time, we can't be sure. The definitive article on the Siberian prehistoric animal remains was written by the Reverend D. Gath Whitley and published by the Philosophical Society of Great Britain under the title "The Ivory Islands in the Arctic Ocean." It drew on older sources, primarily reports of expeditions of the ivory traders, and captured the spectacular nature of the discoveries well.

Liakoff discovered, on an island that now bears his name, rather substantial cliffs composed primarily of frozen sand and hundreds of elephant tusks. Later, when the Russian government sent a surveyor, Chwoinoff, to the island he reported that, with the exception of sone high mountains, the island seemed to be composed of ice and sand and bones and tusks of elephants (or mammoths) which were simply cemented together by the cold.Whitley reported:

Quote:

Sannikoff explored Kotelnoi, and found that this large
island was full of the bones and teeth of elephants, rhi-
noceroses, and musk-oxen. Having explored the coasts,
Sannikoff determined, as there was nothing but bar-
renness along the shore, to cross the island. He drove in
reindeer sledges up the Czarina River, over the hills,
and down the Sannikoff River, and completed the cir-
cuit of the island.All over the hills in the interior of the
island Sannikoff found the bones and tusks of ele-
phants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, and horses in such vast
numbers, that he concluded that these animals must
have lived in the island in enormous herds, when the
climate was milder.5


Hedenstrom explored Liakoff's island in 1809 and discovered that". .. the quantity of fossil ivory . . . was so enormous, that, although the ivory diggers had been engaged in collecting ivory from it for forty years, the supply seemed to be quite undiminished. On an expanse of sand little more than half a mile in extent, Hedenstrom saw ten tusks of mammoths stick- ing up, and as the ivory hunters had left these tusks because there were still other places where the remains of mammoths were still more abundant, the enormous quantities of elephants' tusks and bones in the island may be imagined?' Indeed, a number of explorers reported that after each ocean storm the beaches were littered with bones and tusks which had been ly- ing on the sea bottom and brought to shore by wave action.

The elephant or mammoth bones and tusks were the most spectacular finds primarily because they were so plentiful and consequently they attracted public attention the most. The islands contained an incredible mixture of bones of many extinct and some living species of mammals. Mixed with the animal bones were trees in all kinds of conditions. Whitley quoted some of the Russian explorers as reporting "it is only in the lower strata of the New Siberian wood-hills that the trunks have that position which they would assume in swimming or sinking undisturbed. On the summit of the hills they lie flung upon another in the wildest disorder, forced upright in spite of gravitation, and with their tops broken off or crushed, as if they had been thrown with great violence from the south on a bank, and there heaped up?'7

A few conclusions can be drawn from the reports of the Russian ivory traders. First, it appeared that several reasonably large islands were built primarily of animal bones, heaped in massive hills and held together by frozen sand. To indicate the scope of the debris, we should note that all of these islands are found on modern maps of the area, indicating that we are not talking about little tracts of land of limited area. Second, the sea floor north of Siberia and surrounding the islands was covered with so many additional bones that it was worthwhile for the ivory traders to check the beaches after every storm to gather up tusks and other bones.

Third, and very important for estimating the scope of the disaster, the ivory was of outstanding quality, so much so that the area provided most of the world's ivory for over a century. Estimates of the number of tusks taken from the islands range in the neighborhood of 100,000 pairs taken between the 1770s and the 1900s. Whitley noted that Sannikoff himself had brought away 10,000 pounds of fossil ivory from New Siberia Island alone in 1809.9- In reality; however, only about a quarter of the ivory was of commercial grade, so the true figure must approach half a million pairs of tusks.

Fourth, an amazing variety of animals, many extinct, were mixed with the mammoth and rhinoceros bones, although these two animals have become symbolic of the whole menagerie. Fifth, trees, plants, and other floral materials were in- discriminately mixed with the animal remains, sometimes lead- ing the Russians to suppose that the islands represented a sunken isthmus or broad stretch of land where these animals and the companion plants lived in a warmer climate. The chaotic na- ture of stratification of the remains soon abused that notion.

Finally, it is important to note that none of the bones of any of the species had carving or butchering marks made by human beings. N. K.Vereshchagin wrote: "The accumulations of mam- moth bones and carcasses of mammoth, rhinoceros, and bison found in frozen ground in Indigirka, Kolyma, and Novosibirsk lands bear no trace of hunting or activity of primitive man. Here large herbivorous animals perished and became extinct because of climatic and geomorphic changes, especially changes in the regime of winter snow and increase in depth of snow cover."9 The "climatic and geomorphic changes" must have been very sudden indeed and exceedingly violent, consid- ering the fact that these bones are always described as "heaps" of material deposited as if they had been thrown into a pile by an incredibly strong force.

The testimony regarding the richness of the animal remains in the Arctic north of the continental masses is not restricted to Russian sources. Stephen Taber, writing in his report "Perenni- ally Frozen Ground in Alaska: Its Origins and History," had this to say about the Siberian islands:

Pfizenmayer [citation omittedj states that in the New Siberia island collectors have "found inexhaustible sup- plies of mammoth bones and tusks as well as bones and horns of rhinoceros and other diluvial mammals"; and Dr. Bunge, during expeditions in the summers of 1882-1884, "gathered almost two thousand five hun- dred first class mammoth tusks on the new Siberian is- lands of Lyakhov; Kotelnyi, and Fadeyev;" although many collectors had previously obtained ivory from the islands since their discovery in 1770 by Lyakhov.~~

It would seem obvious to anyone seriously pursuing the question of the demise of the mammoth and the other mega- herbivores that a good place to locate the bodies to determine the cause of their demise would be the islands north of the Siberian peninsula. Yet we hear not a word about them in sci- entific articles and books concerning the overkill hypothesis.

When we inquire if the Alaskan area has similar deposits, we learn that the situation is the same. Early gold miners in Alaska discovered that in many cases they had to strip off a strange de- posit popularly called "muck" in order to get to the gold-bearing gravels.The muck was simply a frozen conglomerate of trees and plants, sand and gravels, some volcanic ash, and thousands if not milhons of bits of broken bones representing a wide variety of late Pleistocene and modern animals and plants.

Two scholars describe the scenes of destruction and chaos which the muck represents. Frank Hibben, in an article survey- ing the evidence of early man in Alaska, said that while the for- mation of muck was not clear,". . . there is ample evidence that at least portions of this material were deposited under cata- strophic conditions. Mammal remains are for the most part dis- membered and disarticulated, even though some fragments yet retain in this frozen state, portions of llgaments, skin, hair, and flesh. Twisted and torn trees are piled in splintered masses con- centrated in what must be regarded as ephemeral canyons or arroyo cuts."'1

Stephen Taber's report echoes the same conditions. He says: "Fossil bones are astonishingly abundant in frozen ground of Alaska, but articulated bones are scarce, and complete skeletons, except for rodents that died in their burrows, are almost un- known."'2 Many laypeople will be confused by this technical language and fail to grasp what Taber is saying, allowing him to imply a benign orthodox interpretation when the situation re- quires that a clearer picture be drawn.

When a scholar says "articulation" of bones he means an arrangement of bones that a person observing them would identify as a complete skeleton and from which an experienced observer could identify the species.To say that articulated bones are scarce, then, means that the bones are scattered and mixed so badly that expert examination is needed to idemify even the bone itself, let alone the species from which it comes. Remem- ber this problem of articulation, for we shall meet it again in another context. Taber concludes with the observation that "the dispersal of the bones is as striking as their abundance and indicates general destruction of soft parts prior to burial."13 In other words,Alaskan muck is a gigantic pile of bones represent- ing a bewildering number of species, a good number of them the megafauna I have been discussing.

We find the missing megafauna of the late Pleistocene in the Siberian islands, in the islands north ofAlaska, and in the muck in the Alaskan interior. Obviously we have here victims of an immense catastrophe which swept continents and left the de- bris in the far northern latitudes piled in jumbled masses that now form decent-sized islands. Most anthropologists and ar- chaeologists avoid discussing these deposits because the ortho- dox uniformitarian interpretation of the natural processes precludes sudden unpredictable actions.

Paul Martin, in private correspondence with me in June 1993, stated flatly that the mammoths could not have been de- stroyed by any such force or event.14 The sole basis he gave for that conclusion was radiocarbon dating of mammoth remains in the Siberian and Alaskan muck. I will have more to say about the reliability of radiocarbon dating below but if we were to accept his argument, then we would have to create a scenario where Paleo-Indians kill all these animals without leaving a trace of a spear point or hatchet blade, drag the carcasses out to sea some 150 miles north ofAlaska, and dispose of the evidence of their misdeeds. Here friendly wolves would not be much help.

Although Martin maintains that his thesis explains the disap- pearance of the megafauna, his argument really centers on the loss of three species: mammoths, mastodons, and ground sloths, with an occasional reference to horses and camels that makes it appear as if the important species have been covered. But overkill avoids asking about the possibly half-million mammoth skeletons lying frozen in the Arctic regions because that would completely negate the theory.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 05:31 pm
Actually, my understanding is that the wooly mammoths did not miss getting on Noah's ark, but rather were placed next to the Tyrannosaurus Rex' enclosure. At some point the ark hit a big wave and the mammoths smashed through the wooden barrier and were then eaten by the Tyrannosaurus Rex and his mate. That was the sad end of the wooly mammoth. Fortunately their cousins the elephants were placed next to the lambs and they survived.

(Gunga, I can't decide if you are the most pathetic man I have ever come across or some brilliant "troll")
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 06:22 pm
The late Mr. DeLoria, while unarguably a respected polemicist for the American Indian point of view and an able writer, is over his head when it comes to hard science.

No argument that human predation played a role in the late Pliestoce megafauna extinctions, but it certainly wasn't the only player, and likely was not the main player.

Quote:
Blame North America megafauna extinction on climate change, not human ancestors

DATE: Oct. 24, 2001


Even such mythical detectives as Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot would have difficulty trying to find the culprit that killed the mammoths, mastodons and other megafauna that once roamed North America.

Scientists have been picking over the bones and evidence for more than three decades but cannot agree on what caused the extinction of many of the continent's large mammals. Now, in two new papers, a University of Washington archaeologist disputes the so-called overkill hypothesis that pins the crime on the New World's first humans, calling it a "faith-based credo" that bows to Green politics.

"While the initial presentation of the overkill hypothesis was good and productive science, it has now become something more akin to a faith-based policy statement than to a scientific statement about the past," said Donald Grayson, a UW anthropology professor

Writing in the current issue of the Journal of World Prehistory and in a paper to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Grayson said there are dangerous environmental implications of using overkill hypothesis as the basis for introducing exotic mammals into arid western North America."

He looks askance at the idea of introducing modern elephants, camels and other large herbivores into the southwest United States.

"Overkill proponents have argued that these animals would still be around if people hadn't killed them and that ecological niches still exist for them. Those niches do not exist. Otherwise the herbivores would still be there."

If early humans didn't kill North America's megafauna, then what did?

Grayson points to climate shifts, during the late Pleistocene epoch, which ended about 10,000 years ago, and subsequent changes in weather and plants as the likely culprits in the demise of North America's megafauna. The massive ice sheets that covered much of the Northern Hemisphere began retreating. In North America, this icy mantle prevented Arctic weather systems from extending into the mid-continent. Seasonal weather swings were less dramatic and didn't reach as far south as they presently do. But with this change, the climate became more similar to today's, marked by cold winters and warm summers.

As a result, an unusual patchwork aggregation of plant communities ceased to exit and there was a massive reorganization of biotic communities. At the same time, new data developed by Russell Graham, a paleontologist with the Denver Museum, shows that small mammals such as shrews and voles were moving about the landscape and becoming locally extinct. And there were the extinctions of some 35 genera of large North American mammals, including horses, camels, bears, giant sloths, saber-toothed cats, mastodons and mammoths.

The overkill hypothesis was proposed by retired University of Arizona ecologist Paul Martin in 1967 and its basic arguments haven't changed since. It claims large mammal extinctions occurred 11,000 years ago; Clovis people were the first to enter North America, about 11,000 years ago; Clovis people were hunters who preyed on a diverse set of now-extinct large mammals; records from islands show that human colonists cause extinction; therefore, Clovis people caused extinctions.

"Martin's theory is glitzy, easy to understand and fits with our image of ourselves as all-powerful," said Grayson "It also fits well with the modern Green movement and the Judeo-Christian view of our place in the world. But there is no reason to believe that the early peoples of North America did what Martin's argument says they did."

First of all there is no compelling evidence that the majority of the extinctions occurred during Clovis times, said Grayson. Only 15 genera can be shown to have survived beyond 12,000 years ago and into Clovis times. For 30 years, overkill proponents have assumed that since some genera can be shown to have become extinct around 11,000 years ago, all the big North American mammals became extinct at that time, he said.

"That's an enormous assumption, even though there is no compelling evidence of it in North America," Grayson said.

He also said overkill proponents have consistently ignored the possibility that the Clovis people were not the first humans in the New World. They reject evidence from a site in Monte Verde, Chile, showing human occupation that dates some 12,500 to 12,800 years ago. Monte Verde also has yielded some material that may push human occupation back to 33,000 years before the present.

Well-accepted Clovis sites dating between 10,800 and 11,300 years ago have been found in North America, and distinctive, fluted projectile points mark this culture. Clovis artifacts have been found with mammoth remains in more than a dozen sites across the Great Plains and the southwestern United States.

Grayson said there is no reason to doubt that these people scavenged and hunted large mammals. But he cautioned that while mammoths, mastodons, horses and camels were the most common large mammals in the late Pleistocene - 10,000 to 20,000 years ago - only mammoths are found at kill sites associated with Clovis people.

As for the claim that human colonization of the world's islands resulted in widespread vertebrate extinction, Grayson said this did not occur simply because of human hunting.

"No one has ever securely documented the prehistoric extinction of any vertebrate as a result human predation, though it may certainly have happened. In virtually all cases, when people colonize an area many other changes follow - fire, erosion and the introduction of a wide range of predators and competitors.

"We do know that human colonists caused extinctions in isolated, tightly bound island settings, but islands are fundamentally different from continents," he added. "The overkill hypothesis attempts to compare the incomparable and there is no evidence of human-caused environmental change in North America. But there is evidence of climate change. Overkill is bad science because it is immune to the empirical record."
###
For more information, contact Grayson at (206) 543-5587 or [email protected]


Quote:
DNA Evidence Weighs In on Ice Age Extinction Debate

The end of the Pleistocene epoch brought with it widespread extinctions of large mammals, such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths. Ancient bison, too, were threatened with elimination, but they managed to survive. The two leading theories of what caused the precipitous population drop focus on environmental shifts and pressure from human hunters. A genetic analysis published in the current issue of the journal Science lends support to the hypothesis that climate change was the culprit.
Beth Shapiro of Oxford University and her colleagues analyzed mitochondrial DNA from 352 bison fossils recovered from eastern and western Beringia (the landmass that includes Alaska, Canada and Siberia), North America, China and Russia. In addition, the scientists performed radiocarbon dating on 220 of the samples. They determined that the genetic diversity of the bison population dropped off drastically around 37,000 years ago. "The timing of this decline correlates with environmental changes associated with the onset of the last glacial cycle," the team reports, "whereas archaeological evidence does not support the presence of large populations of humans in eastern Beringia until more than 15,000 years later.

The authors suggest that their findings will help inform the debate about end-Pleistocene megafauna extinctions because "they offer the first evidence of the initial decline of a population, rather than simply the resulting extinction event." The researchers do not rule out human intervention entirely, however, because some disputed archaeological evidence suggests a low number of humans may have been present at the time. Future studies with more samples from around the time of the Last Glacial Maximum, they say, should help clarify the course of extinction events. --Sarah Graham



Quote:
Climate Change Blamed for Pleistocene Megafauna Bust and Boom

Around 13,000 years ago, the world's climate began to change. Seas rose, glaciers retreated and ecosystems began to transform. At roughly the same time, humans arrived in North America, perhaps attracted by migrating game or newly hospitable land. Over the course of the next few millennia a host of indigenous large-bodied mammals, such as the mammoth, died out. Scientists have long debated whether climate warming or human hunting brought about this megafauna extinction. New radiocarbon dating results support the environmental explanation.
Arctic biologist R. Dale Guthrie of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, compiled radiocarbon dates for the permafrost-preserved fossils of six species--mammoths, horses, bison, moose, wapiti and humans--found in Alaska and Yukon Territory. The former two disappeared from the continent around 12,000 years ago as the latter four multiplied and spread.

He found that the horse Equus ferus had been declining long before humans arrived and disappeared a full 1,000 years before mammoths. This knocks out the so-called keystone theory, which holds that humans hunted the mammoths to extinction, causing a change in vegetation that subsequently precipitated other extinctions. And the mammoth's persistence over the next 1,000 years argues against precipitous overhunting.
A change in vegetation, however, does seem to hold the key to understanding this radical transformation, Guthrie argues. Prior to the warming, this geographic area lacked trees and provided only sparse forage. This would have given mammoths, horses and other related species a competitive advantage, because they can wrest sufficient nutrients from a high volume of low quality feed. But as the climate shifted, the so-called mammoth steppe became the environment we recognize today, characterized by shrubs, tundra and forests. This type of forage favors grazers such as bison, wapiti and moose. There are no signs of these species in the region before 13,000 years ago, but they appear to have proliferated rapidly thereafter.


"Archaeological refuse clearly illustrates the crucial role [in human colonization] of large mammal (at least bison and wapiti) resources as well as the increasing numbers of migratory waterfowl and salmonids in the Holocene," Guthrie writes in a paper published today in Nature. "These new data indicate that humans might have been not so much riding down the demise of [the] Pleistocene mammoth steppe as they were being carried into [the area] on a unique tide of resource abundance." In other words, at least in Alaska and the Yukon, climate change doomed the mammoths, but allowed humans, bison and other species to prosper. --David Biello




Quote:
Did ancient Chinese creature spread tuberculosis?

A new study suggests the extinction of mastodons and mammoths in North America may have come from a tuberculosis pandemic that orginated in China among an ancient mammoth-like creature.

Mastodons were ancient elephants that resembled mammoths, but were shorter and had less hair. Mammoths and mastodons roamed the North American continent before mysteriously disappearing about 10,000 years ago during the last major Ice Age.

Scientists examining mastodon skeletons found a type of bone damage in several of the animal's foot bones that is found only in sufferers of tuberculosis. Bones attacked by tuberculosis suffer a type of damage in which bone beneath cartilage is scooped out, or "excavated."

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that commonly infects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body, such as organs and bones.

Only about 1 to 7 percent of infected humans develop bone damage. The fact that more than half of the mastodon skeletons examined had the bone lesions suggests tuberculosis was a "hyperdisease" that afflicted a large percentage of the North American mastodon population.

The disease would have weakened both animals, making them easier for humans to hunt and kill. They also would have been more vulnerable to changes in the climate.

Scientists have often theorized that consumption by humans and the onslaught of the Ice Age caused their extinction in North America.

Researchers Bruce Rothschild of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Richard Laub of the Buffalo Museum of Science in New York looked at 113 mastodon skeletons and found that 52 percent showed signs of tuberculosis.

So, how did tuberculosis -- first documented in a 500,000-year-old buffalo in China -- migrate to North America and infect mastodons and mammoths?

In a separate study, Rothschild and Larry Martin from the Natural History Museum in Kansas found similar tuberculosis-caused bone damage in North American bovids. Bovids are a group of animals that include bison, musk oxen and bighorn sheep.

Tuberculosis appears to have been just as prevalent in the bovids as in the mastodons, but the record of infection for this group of animals stretches back much further -- at least 75,000 years.

It is believed bison and other bovids originated in Asia and crossed into North America by way of the Bering Land Bridge, which connected the two continents.

Rothschild and Martin think some of the bovids were probably infected with tuberculosis when they crossed the land bridge. The bovids could have spread the disease to mastodons and other species, possibly even humans, Rothschild said.

The infected mastodons were different ages and sizes and came from all over North America. They also lived at different times. The disease appears to have struck the creatures as early as 34,000-years-ago and persisted in the species until as recently as 10,000 years ago.

Both the mastodon and bovid studies will be detailed in upcoming issues of the science journal Naturwissenchaften.



Now run along and play, gunga. Be careful crossing streets, and don't talk to strangers.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 06:26 pm
Thanks for that, timber. I could not bring myself to read Gunga's post, but I found yours fascinating.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 06:31 pm
If you read my post Edgar you can figure out what Gunga's post was about.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 06:36 pm
Green Witch wrote:
If you read my post Edgar you can figure out what Gunga's post was about.


I did read your post, and that is part of the reason I skipped it.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 06:44 pm
Quote:

.....He also said overkill proponents have consistently ignored the possibility that the Clovis people were not the first humans in the New World. They reject evidence from a site in Monte Verde, Chile, showing human occupation that dates some 12,500 to 12,800 years ago. Monte Verde also has yielded some material that may push human occupation back to 33,000 years before the present.


I see. The WHITE MAN did it, as usual.

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0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 07:30 pm
timberlandko wrote:
The late Mr. DeLoria, while unarguably a respected polemicist for the American Indian point of view and an able writer, is over his head when it comes to hard science.....



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megamanXplosion
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 07:39 pm
Great counter-arguments Gunga Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 07:41 pm
Yeah ... maniacal laughter is somehow perfectly in character, ain't it?
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 07:50 pm
megamanXplosion wrote:
Great counter-arguments Gunga Rolling Eyes




That was about all it rated.

Notice that you don't see anything in any of Timber's yuppiescience quotes which even mentioned the problem of getting from any sort of a planetary weather system in which verdant fields capable of supporting large herds of large herbivores could exist in northern Siberia to today's weather systems in 12000 years (or 12,000,000 years for that matter), or anything about the massive evidence of mammoths having died out amongst catastrophic circumstances, e.g.

Quote:

Two scholars describe the scenes of destruction and chaos which the muck represents. Frank Hibben, in an article survey- ing the evidence of early man in Alaska, said that while the formation of muck was not clear,". . . there is ample evidence that at least portions of this material were deposited under catastrophic conditions. Mammal remains are for the most part dismembered and disarticulated, even though some fragments yet retain in this frozen state, portions of llgaments, skin, hair, and flesh. Twisted and torn trees are piled in splintered masses concentrated in what must be regarded as ephemeral canyons or arroyo cuts."
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 10:48 pm
gungasnake wrote:

Notice that you don't see anything in any of Timber's yuppiescience quotes which even mentioned the problem of getting from any sort of a planetary weather system in which verdant fields capable of supporting large herds of large herbivores could exist in northern Siberia to today's weather systems in 12000 years (or 12,000,000 years for that matter),

Bullshit. All the articles I cited referenced climate change pursuant to the end of the last ice age. Only a committed idiot might suppose the end of an ice age would not be an all but totally catastrophic - for many of its contemporary life forms - ecosphere-altering event, an event of significant change, in geologic and biologic timescale terms, of an abrupt, sudden manner. There is no doubt the last ice age ended, bringing about rapid and dramatic change in habitat, flora, and fauna.


Quote:
or anything about the massive evidence of mammoths having died out amongst catastrophic circumstances, e.g.

Quote:

Two scholars describe the scenes of destruction and chaos which the muck represents. Frank Hibben, in an article survey- ing the evidence of early man in Alaska, said that while the formation of muck was not clear,". . . there is ample evidence that at least portions of this material were deposited under catastrophic conditions. Mammal remains are for the most part dismembered and disarticulated, even though some fragments yet retain in this frozen state, portions of llgaments, skin, hair, and flesh. Twisted and torn trees are piled in splintered masses concentrated in what must be regarded as ephemeral canyons or arroyo cuts."

Now, as forthat bit you apparently lifted, without attribution, from noted loon Ted Holden's hilarious website, quotes Frank Hibben. Vine DeLoria may have been nothing worse than an over-reaching, misinformed charlatan, but the late Frank Hibben is a proven fraud.
Quote:
Gradually scholars, even his own students, began questioning the findings and it appears they, and other Hibben findings, were faked by salting sites with material from other sites, by machining artifacts and by misreporting data. While Frank Hibben enjoyed decades of academic triumph, today he is regarded as a sad academic fraud.
Hibben traded integrity for success. He used power and authority to bully critics. This could, and did, work for a while. Meanwhile, the community of scholars labored but could not integrate his 'findings' into the mosaic of explanation and facts we call knowledge. He managed to distort and derail inquiry for a while. He could never have succeed for long.
Source

Among Hibben's accomplishments is having been party to, probably even the originator of, the Los Lunas Decalogue fraud (he was first to "report" the so-called "discovery").


A bit more background - from a devoutly religious perspective, no less - on that particular bit of Hibben-connected archaeologic shennanigans:
Quote:
Ricks corresponded with the purported discoverer of the rock, William M. McCart, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. McCart was a treasure hunter, and Ricks concluded from the correspondence that he hoped to arouse interest in the discovery in order to raise funds to search for treasure.

Still, there was the possibility that the stone was genuine.

In 1953 Ricks and a number of others- Milton R. Hunter, Sidney B. Sperry, Hugh Nibley, and John L. Sorenson-made a trip to New Mexico to investigate the inscription on the rock.

The party picked up McCart, who led them to the rock. "We were quite thrilled at first sight and fascinated by its contents," said Sorenson. While other members of the group continued examining the rock, Sorenson "took some shots of surrounding petroglyphs and was surprised to find they were heavily patinated, whereas none of the carvings on the Phoenician stone were thus darkened. (Patination is the discoloration due to oxidation which develops on exposed surfaces of stone over very long periods of time.)"

A little farther up the hill the party was surprised and dismayed to find another inscription with the same size of groove, that read, "Eva and Hobie, 3-13-30." They found two other stones in the area in the Phoenician script, both the same size, groove and freshness as the Ten Commandment Rock. Nibley said the inscriptions appeared so fresh that dust from the cutting was still on them. When he blew on the inscription, loose grayish matter came off.

Later the group went with McCart to his home. There the McCarts showed them two stones they had inscribed in Phoenician letters and set in their back yard in order to see how long it would take for patina to form.

Ricks said it seemed odd that they had made the test at all. Why not periodically check the Ten Commandment Rock itself and why had they used unfamiliar Phoenician letters instead of English?

Also while the group was at the McCart home, a friend, Mike Castillo, came over and told them a story about a place called the Temple of Toni which he had been in and where he had found golden treasures.

However, the story was so full of holes that the party was not particularly impressed. As Ricks left the house that evening, he stopped on the porch to catch any conversation inside. "How do you think my story went?" said Castillo. McCart's wife replied, "They lapped it up."

The next day Castillo was to show them the Temple of Toni, but he was unable to find it. "You can't tell me a man could lose track of a temple of gold," said Ricks. "If he really believed his own story he would turn the mountain upside down to find it."

Finally Ricks said to McCart, "As I see the whole picture, you want to try to raise funds by showing us this stone so you can go out there in the lava area and hunt for treasure." McCart responded, "Yes!"

Ricks listed the reasons he believed the inscription was fraudulent: Lack of patination-"if they had been of ancient date there would have been some patination;" dust of freshly cut stone in the grooves; other stones found nearby with inscriptions of similar groove size--including "Eva and Hobie 3-13-30;" the questionable stories of the McCarts and their friend, and the admission of their hope to get funds for treasure hunting; and the rocks the McCarts made in Phoenician script to test for patination.

Ricks concluded:

For these reasons and others I am fully convinced that the Ten Commandment stone found near Los Lunas, New Mexico is a fraud. Its age does not go back into ancient times. It is probably from thirty to fifty years old, perhaps even dating to as late as March 13, 1930. (Sunstone Review, April 1983, NEWS)

Even Hugh Nibley rejected the stone inscription:

"Much study and care went into the preparation of this "ancient Hebrew inscription" near Los Lunas, New Mexico, yet a cursory glance was enough to reveal the crisp freshness of the newly-cut letters. Numerous other flaws appeared upon closer inspection. To anyone not determined to accept this inscription as genuine, it furnishes an interesting illustration of the pains to which people will go to produce a convincing-looking antique, and the impossibility of doing so without immense and laborious preparation. Yet such a forgery as this would be infinitely easier to get away with than one of Book of Mormon proportions." (New Approaches To Book of Mormon Study, by Hugh Nibley, Improvement Era, January, 1954.)
Source


Hell, that blatantly transparent Hibbenflummery wasn't even good enough for the Mormons.

In keeping with that to which your practice here has accustomed us gunga, your postings manage to expose the intellectual bankruptcy of your proposition while embarrassing such proponents of the proposition you foward, few as they might be, as would have the intellect and honesty to admit the emotion. Good job - keep it up.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Oct, 2006 05:19 am
timberlandko wrote:
gungasnake wrote:

Notice that you don't see anything in any of Timber's yuppiescience quotes which even mentioned the problem of getting from any sort of a planetary weather system in which verdant fields capable of supporting large herds of large herbivores could exist in northern Siberia to today's weather systems in 12000 years (or 12,000,000 years for that matter),

Bullshit. All the articles I cited referenced climate change pursuant to the end of the last ice age. Only a committed idiot might suppose the end of an ice age would not be an all but totally catastrophic - for many of its contemporary life forms - ecosphere-altering event, an event of significant change, in geologic and biologic timescale terms, of an abrupt, sudden manner. There is no doubt the last ice age ended, bringing about rapid and dramatic change in habitat, flora, and fauna....


That seems to be the end of any attempt at serious argument (everything I saw after that point amounted to stupid ad-hominems), and it seems obvious enough that you do not even comprehend the problems involved.

Having entire islands composed of mammoth bones and tusks piled into collosal heaps speaks of overwhelming catastrophe of some cosmic and planetary nature such as the genesis flood, and not some yuppietastrophe involving "climate change".

The muck deposits found in Siberia and Alaska and Canada similar speak of overwhelming catastrophe, and not of some climate change yuppietastrophe.

There is no way to get from our present world to a time ten or twelve thousand or even 30,000 years ago in which Northern Siberia and Alaska could support herds of large herbivores, without at least one overwhelming catastrophe which would have permanently changed the entire way the planet works. The ONLY standard sort of thing anybody has ever proposed along such lines would be the effect of the precession of the pole which, over the time frame in question, might have shifted regions about as far as from DC/Baltimore to the Maryland House restaurant or the Maryland/Deleware line at most. The weather between Baltimore and Newark Delaware just isn't that much different.

There is no way to think that the sun is a thermonuclear engine, which is the standard theory, and that the sun would have simply made the entire planet happily warmer all over 12,000 years ago. A thermonuclear engine or device which has been happily cooking along for 4,000,000,000 years is going to be pretty ****ing stable.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Oct, 2006 08:39 am
gunga, no ad hominem exists in what I posted in response to your misinformed post. And no evidence of understanding of science, scientific method, or logical discourse exists in what you just posted. By your consistent manner of response, it must be inferred you adopt the stance of one incapable of embarrassment.

Back to the evidence of and engines for climate change, I refer you to NOAA - WDC for Paleoclimatology: Climate Forcing Data

See also: Tuenter, E (2004): Modeling orbital induced variations in circum-Mediterranean climate, University of Utrecht (Note: 153 page .pdf download)


Apart from Mankovitch cycles (Earth's orbital and axial precessions, or "wobble"), Solar Activity cycles are significant contributors to climate change. The combination of those 2 cyclic engines, together with others and the effect on habitat of altered biomass resultant from climate change, can be expected to have not other than dramatic impact on the entire biosphere, and that precisely is what the evidence - real science as conducted, reviewed and reported by real scientists shows - as opposed to the intellectual and academic bankruptcy exposed via the ignorance, misinformation and junk science you, by your posts, appear to favor.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Oct, 2006 11:12 am
timberlandko wrote:
.....Apart from Mankovitch cycles (Earth's orbital and axial precessions, or "wobble"), Solar Activity cycles are significant contributors to climate change. The combination of those 2 cyclic engines, together with others and the effect on habitat of altered biomass resultant from climate change, can be expected to have not other than dramatic impact on the entire biosphere...... blah, blah, blah.....


As I noted, the total effect you could get from "Mankovich cycles" would be about the difference in weather between Baltimore and Newark Delaware while what is needed is the difference between India and the Liakhovs. You could start an elephant walking towards Northern Siberia from any place on Earth habitable to elephants on a yearly basis and he'd never get there and it would have nothing to do with whether he could survive the cold. Winter would set in, and he'd starve.

Likewise with solar activity. In recorded history we've seen every sort of solar activity there is, and there is nothing anybody has seen which could make a verdant plain out of Northern Siberia or the Liakhovs, and make them habitable to vast herds of large herbivores on a continual basis.

Likewise there's nothing in any of the writings you cite which could explain how we'd find entire islands made up of mammoth bones, in a place which mammoths never could have inhabited given standard theories.

Face it, Timber; you're basically clueless and so are the idiots whose blatherings you're posting. Try to educate yourself before you embarass yourself any further.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Oct, 2006 11:31 am
gunga, that which by the ignorance and misinformation rampant throughout your postingss you do not or choose to not, understand, and that which you misinterpret, mischaracterize, and/or miscontstrue, whether through honest ignorance or duplicitous mendacity is manfoldly manifest. Even that you refuse to acknowledge that yours is a contrarian, minority POV is telling - the sum, substance, and style of your posts indicate you subscribe to an alternate reality. That of course is your choice and your right - anyone may make of themselves a laughingstock if that be their aim.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Oct, 2006 09:59 pm
University Of Sydney
Date: May 31, 2005
Australia's Megafauna Coexisted With Humans

Analyses of ancient fossils suggest that early Australian Aborigines did not wipe out the continent's megafauna in a frenzied hunting rampage. New research conducted by Australian and British scientists reveals that in fact humans and megafauna, such as gigantic three tonne wombat-like creatures, a ferocious marsupial "lion" and the world's all-time biggest lizard, may have co-existed for around 15 000 years
science daily
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Oct, 2006 12:46 pm
The megafauna extinctions have been of interest to me, and it was a subject of a thread on the late "Abuzz"(rip) website. Though it doesn't seem that gungasnake is searching for an answer but merely wants confirmation for his dogma, there are others interested in this subject.

Some time ago I saw a website that, using Sherlock Holmes and Watson, deducing another hypothesis concerning the Pleistocene extinctions. Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate this website, but it probably still exists. The hypothesis countered the common argument that the extinctions were caused by an overkill of prey animals by humans--running them over cliffs or herding them by fire and slaughtering them en masse.

The hypothesis stated that the predatory animals were killed instead, out of fear or revenge for the deaths of their own by the predators. It's probably much easier to kill a predatory cat than a mammoth, for instance, because almost any wound on a predatory animal would be mortal in that it would reduce the running and hunting ability of the predator, who would starve to death. This is all leading to an overpopulation of the herbivores because of lack of population control by the predators. Bear in mind that it takes a large population of prey animals to sustain one predator, so diminishing predators even to a small extent effects overpopulation of prey animals.

The post glacial period was apparently a drying one favoring prairie grasses over forests, which may have slowly transformed to prairies. Mastodonts and ground sloths--browsers feeding on tree and shrub leaves and forbs--overpopulated and reduced the available food. Present day elephants knock down trees in times of food shortage and there is no reason to believe that mastodonts wouldn't have done the same thing. Large numbers of downed tree created hot fires that transform forests into prairies especially when saplings are quickly eaten and the forests can't regenerate.

It becomes a snow balling effect with fierce competition for the remaining forage with no available trees or shrubs left. Browsers and grazers compete for the remaining forbs and grasses.

It's notable that the only surviving large herbivores, with the exception of the peccary, which is omnivorous, are all ruminants--animals with multiple stomachs for digesting grass forage. Mammoths, mastodonts, ground sloths, horses, and camels were non-ruminants. Camels were primative ruminants with less efficient stomachs. Horses were grazers but with single stomachs and less capable of digesting the worst forage. Deer, elk, caribou, bison, pronghorns all survived and are ruminants.

Of course this theory doesn't take into account recent finding that Asian animals crossing the land bridge brought disease with them, TB in mammoths for instance.

Counter to what gungasnake said about the inability of large herbivores to exist in the "frozen North," apparently northern Siberia and Alaska were free of glaciers.

It's at least nice to know that the sacred cow hypothesis of Pleistocene extinction by overhunting of prey animals is being challenged.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Oct, 2006 04:05 pm
coluber2001 wrote:

....The hypothesis stated that the predatory animals were killed instead, out of fear or revenge for the deaths of their own by the predators. It's probably much easier to kill a predatory cat than a mammoth, for instance, because almost any wound on a predatory animal would be mortal in that it would reduce the running and hunting ability of the predator,....


They used to show schemes like that one every week on the old Amos and Andy show.

I mean, if you didn't know any better and the only stuffed pleistocene predator you'd ever seen was a sabre-tooth, you might could think that. But in real life, there was a 1400-lb super lion walking around in North America which stood five or six feet at the shoulders and, in all likelihood, traveled in packs. Any human who were to try to **** with something like that would have his education upgraded in a big hurry.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2006 11:44 am
I reiterate that a wound on the limb of even a large lion might prove to be mortal as the animal would be unable to hunt and slowly starve to death.

I would have never thought of the "Amos and Andy" show's absurd schemes as relevant this topic, but, since you've brought it up, they do somehow seem germane to the fundamentalist's view of evolution and natural history.
0 Replies
 
 

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