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Found 10 results

  1. On the use and abuse of ancient DNA.

    On the use and abuse of ancient DNA. Researchers in several disciplines need to tread carefully over shared landscapes of the past. Ewen Callaway, Nature. March 18, 2018 https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03773-6 Some related articles are: Editorial: On the use and abuse of ancient DNA. Researchers in several disciplines need to tread carefully over shared landscapes of the past. Nature 555, 559 (2018) https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03857-3 sex, power and ancient DNA. Turi King hails David Reich’s thrilling account of mapping humans through time and place. Ewen Callaway, Nature. March 13, 2018 https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-02964-5 and Ancient-genome study finds Bronze Age ‘Beaker culture’ invaded Britain. Famous bell-shaped pots associated with group of immigrants who may have displaced Neolithic farmers. Ewen Callaway, Nature, May 17, 2017 https://www.nature.com/news/ancient-genome-study-finds-bronze-age-beaker-culture-invaded-britain-1.21996 Yours, Paul H.
  2. Was the Bering Land Bridge a good place to live? By Ned Rozell, University of Alaska Fairbanks, February 24, 2018 https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/science/2018/02/24/was-the-bering-land-bridge-a-good-place-to-live/ Was the ice age's Bering Land Bridge a good place to live? By Ned Rozell, University of Alaska Fairbanks, February 28, 2018 http://www.valdezstar.net/story/2018/02/28/main-news/was-the-ice-ages-bering-land-bridge-a-good-place-to-live/1842.html Yours, Paul H.
  3. Open access paper. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X17305485
  4. Hello All- I am doing a talk next Tuesday on the difference between Archaeology and Paleontology. I am looking for published instances where the two are used incorrectly. Can anyone help? Thanks.
  5. Fossil identification

    hello , i want to know this stone if it is a fossil metal ?? Thanks
  6. Tarsal bone id- Judean Desert

    Would love help identifying which species this bone belongs to- I think its a cuneiform bone but of what mammal?
  7. I purchased my copy at the Museum located at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. They have a book shop and a good variety of local interest books for sale. I also bought a book on the Nebraska and South Dakota Fairburn Agates, that are found north of Toadstool Park on top of the Cretaceous and in the boulder and pebble deposit on the top. Believe it or not... ask anyone driving a pickup with the Department of Agriculture emblem on the door and they will point out where to go for the Fairburns! Once you are there, deviate a bit so you are not rewalking where WE started, as no Fairburns were found on our last trip. If... you are planning to go to Nebraska, or live in Nebraska... this is an excellent issue for young, old and nearly fossilized grandparents who share an interest of what has been discovered within the State. It is written primarily by Michael R. Voorhies, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Nebraska. It is a "treasure of information", well written by an authority and the other authors are no less remarkable in the color illustrations and information. It sold originally for $12.95 and is available on the internet, used, for less. It is 162 pages of Nebraska. Nebraskaland Magazine's The Cellars of Time- Paleontology and Archaeology in Nebraska, Volume 72, Number 1, January/February 1994. If you search www.abebooks.com just type in the title The Cellars of Time. If I did not have a copy already, I would have ordered it once reading this post. And... if this does not get you off of your sofa... on page 7 is a Miocene Saber Tooth cat with one of its canines stuck in the femur of another Sabertooth cat!
  8. Paleontology Career Advice.....

    Hi, fellow fossil lovers! I'm new here and joined in the hopes of meeting others that might be connected to paleontology as a profession. I'm 24, and planning on returning to college when I can make enough money. I've been into dinosaurs for as far back as I can remember. I remember watching Jurassic Park as a 6 year old and being totally entranced. My novels of Jurassic Park, The Lost World(Crichton), And The Lost World(Doyle) are falling apart. But, for years my passion for dinosaurs died down, though my love of science has remained my whole life. The first time I went to college though I had the pleasure of taking a class about dinosaurs as a cake class. Sitting there, and looking at these casts and listening to these lectures, I found my love rekindled. I've played on and off with the idea of becoming a paleontologist for years afterwards, but have never been able to make up my mind. My main conundrum is that I'm interested in so many areas. I want to study all sorts of prehistoric animals. I'm also interested in paleolithic archaeology. I was hoping someone here might be willing to answer my questions. Can you focus on multiple areas of research in your career? Can one be both an archaeologist and a paleontologist? Or is there just to much specialization to branch out into different areas of research? Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated!
  9. a book review of: The Hunters or the Hunted?: An Introduction to African Cave Taphonomy by C.K. Brain. 1981. The University of Chicago Press. 365 pages. Large trade paperback. Suggested retail: $55 USD. In the early years of the 20th century, paleontology was still a young science. Across the 1900's it matured as unusually-rich fossil deposits offered opportunities beyond just naming extinct species. In some cases truckloads of bones could be collected; in others numerous exoskeletons were preserved in exquisite detail. Some localities sampled more than one bed, each representing a distinct world. Studying the encasing matrix became as important as the organisms because this led to the reconstructing of paleoenvironments. Geologists established a surprising big picture - plate tectonics - while paleontologists started to pay attention to the small details of an organism's path from death through deposition and called it a science of its own - taphonomy. "The Hunters or the Hunted?" is the title and the condensed version of the main question of this book: are the early hominid remains found in three cave systems in the Sterkfontein Valley of South Africa evidence of our ancestors occupying the caves or are they the discarded leftovers of carnivores that preyed upon hominids? Answering that question required new research on how bones accumulate in those caves today, research on the fossils from the caves, and research on the animals that live in the area today. The remains dated from between 1.6 and 2.6 million years ago, spanning the Late Pliocene - Early Pleistocene boundary, which marks the beginning of the ice ages. The interval is also significant because australopithecines (early human species related to the famous "Lucy") were on their way to becoming extinct while the earliest representatives of Homo, the modern genus, were spreading across Africa. The author, Charles Kimberlin Brain, then-director of the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria, South Africa, was already a respected paleoanthropologist when this book was published. Now retired but still active, he is considered a pioneer in the field of taphonomy - still in its infancy in the early 1980's with the term having been coined only forty years before. The book uses the term "hominid," which is a member of the Hominidae, the family which has traditionally comprised only extinct and modern humans. Since the 1990's, however, researchers have employed the term "hominin," a member of the Tribe Hominini, for that grouping. Meanwhile, "hominid" remains in use but is more broadly defined to include the modern great apes. This has led to some confusion among laymen and scientists who misunderstood the terms to be interchangeable (or perhaps considered "hominin" a typo). In biology a tribe is a formal classification level between family and genus. The reinterpretation of the Hominidae and the Hominini reflects recent work toward increased precision in determining ancestral groups and their descendants - part of a general reassessment of the tree of life. The book is composed of two parts. The first is a guide to the interpretation of the bone accumulations in the caves at Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, and Kromdraai with this part subdivided into eight chapters. They report on early research by Professor R.A. Dart, review the durability of various bones in a mammal skeleton, distinguish between the food remains (and activities) of various animals, and examine the observed compressional effects on bones preserved in cave sediments. The second part breaks down the combined faunas of the three cave systems and then each one individually (history of research, geology, and paleontology) with comparative notes on other australopithecine sites in southern Africa. In the last chapter, Brain goes back over his work and lists his own reservations before presenting hypotheses on the dwellers of those caves. He provides the answer to the title question, though as the evidence mounts across the previous chapters, the reader may have already reached the same conclusion. A postscript cautions that because many of the fossils (those excavated before Brain's time) were not carefully collected and documented the answer to the question should not be considered final - still ripe for further study. The appendix contains seventy pages of tables - all the fine details of the study (bone totals and identifications, various measurements, etc.). In the course of its analysis, the book presents a model for future investigations and not just for bone accumulations in caves. For any similar question of taphonomy there must be a thorough step-by-step procedure to answer it just as in any other science. Brain stresses the need for correcting the sloppy fossil collecting practices of the past (specimens previously cleaned of matrix without noting the precise stratigraphic level) and reducing other margins of error. Similar to a good mystery novel, "The Hunters or the Hunted?" introduces the setting, the suspects, the innocent bystanders, and the unwitting crime scene contaminators - all in detail. The fossils are compared to the remains of victims of known predators and scavengers living in the area now. In some cases very close relatives of modern species were present during the time in question so the behaviors of those forms can be deduced with some confidence but it was also long enough ago that the bones of saber-toothed cats and various extinct hyena species were also associated resulting in some speculation on how their behaviors would have impacted the remains. Printing in color was especially expensive in the early 1980's, so a "limited-interest" book like this featured only black-and-white illustrations except for the front to back cover photo. Some of the photos (fossils, modern animals, localities, etc.) could have been better-lit but most of them are very good. The text is further supported by numerous good drawings, maps, and charts. The book is geared to paleontologists. It is detailed yet the writing style is almost casual so an interested layman could read through the text without much trouble, especially with the way everything is described and explained in Part 1 and with the abundant illustrations throughout. I think "The Hunters or the Hunted?" would appeal to a wide range of paleo-book readers and even prompt them to look for an update on the research of the Sterkfontein caves since its release. I would recommend it for students curious about early taphonomic studies. Readers intrigued by studies of fossil-bearing caves may see similarities with sites elsewhere on the globe. Others may be interested in the mix of vertebrates that lived in southern Africa during the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene as few mainstream books cover that part of the world of that time. Some may value this book as a reminder that there was a time when humans eked out a living on the fringes of more established empires but also rose to dominance within that same geologic moment. Jess
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