miércoles, 15 de marzo de 2017

Leopards Might Have Walked Alongside Neanderthals


An artist's interpretation of the leg fossil's potential owner. Credit: © Emiliano Troco

Leopards may have roamed across Italy alongside Neanderthals, a new study finds.

Scientists analyzed an ancient, well-preserved bone discovered by amateur scientist Renato Bandera in the summer of 2014 and donated to the Paleoanthropological Museum of Po in San Daniele Po, Italy. The gray-brown fossil was the slender right shinbone of a leopard, and was found along the right bank of the Po River in northern Italy, near the harbor entrance of the city of Cremona.

The region where this bone was discovered is well-known for its fossils. Other bones from this site have suggested that the area was once home to straight-tusked elephants, steppe bison, woolly mammoths, giant deer, rhinos and elk. However, fossils of carnivores such as bears, wolves, hyenas, foxes — and now, leopards — are very rare. [...] livescience.com


Actualización: Neandertales y leopardos convivieron en el valle del Po 
El hallazgo fortuito de una tibia de leopardo revela su presencia en Italia hace unos 180.000 años 

¿Qué hacía un leopardo por la llanura del Po hace 180.000 años? Probablemente encontrarse como pez en el agua. Este felino, igual que en la actualidad, es capaz de adaptarse a un amplio rango de hábitats, y el hallazgo fortuito de una tibia en las cercanías de la ciudad italiana de Cremona nos permite saber que neandertales y leopardos ocuparon al mismo tiempo estos espacios, aunque por ahora no se hayan podido documentar eventuales interacciones...

Evidence suggests humans lived in Tunisia 72,000 years ago


The researchers believe that the Chotts megalake may have acted as a staging posts as early humans migrated north through the Mediterranean, and throughout Africa

Lying at the 'crossroads' for north-south movements between the Sahara and the Mediterranean, Tunisia is one of the world's key regions for under early human travels.

Researchers have now discovered animal bones and stone tools in the land that once formed a giant lake in Tunisia.

They say their findings suggest that there may have been human activity in the area as early as 72,000 years ago.

Researchers from Oxford University and Kings College London discovered the bones and tools on the margins of the dried up Chotts megalake.

They believe the shores of the lake may have formed an early corridor across the Sahara for the dispersal of Homo sapiens and other animals from Sub-Saharan Africa between 200,000 to 10,000 years ago.

The researchers say the bones are particularly interesting, revealing a mixture of large animals including rhinoceros, zebra, bovids, carnivores and ostrich.

Nabiha Aouadi, co-director of the project, said: 'The faunal assemblage represents a sub-Saharan and savanna biotope very different from the one that exists there today'. [...] Daily Mail Online


Related post 

Los pastores podrían haber participado activamente en la creación del desierto del Sáhara


Figure 4. Locations of early occurrences of domesticated livestock in Africa....

SERVIMEDIA. El ser humano pudo haber desempeñado un papel activo en la desertificación del Sáhara, que pasó de un exuberante paisaje verde hace 10.000 años a tener ahora condiciones áridas, debido a que comunidades pastorales se expandieron desde el río Nilo hacia el oeste del continente africano.

La desertificación del Sáhara ha sido durante mucho tiempo un objetivo para los científicos que tratan de entender el clima y los puntos de inflexión ecológicos en esas zonas del planeta. Un nuevo estudio publicado en la revista Frontiers in Earth Science por el arqueólogo David Wright, de la Universidad Nacional de Seúl (Corea del Sur), desafía la idea de que variaciones en la órbita de la Tierra o cambios naturales en la vegetación desencadenaron la aridez de esa región.

"En el este de Asia hay largas teorías establecidas de cómo las poblaciones neolíticas cambiaron el paisaje tan profundamente que los monzones dejaron de penetrar tierra adentro", explcia Wright, quien extrapola este escenario al Sáhara.

Para probar su hipótesis, Wright ha revisado evidencias arqueológicas que documentaban las primeras apariencias del pastoreo en toda la región del Sahara y las ha comparado con registros que muestran la extensión de la vegetación de matorral, un indicador de un cambio ecológico hacia condiciones desérticas. [...] RTVE.es / Link 2

Referencia bibliográfica:
David K. Wright. Humans as Agents in the Termination of the African Humid PeriodFrontiers in Earth Science (2017). DOI: 10.3389/feart.2017.00004.

Entrada relacionada


Did Humans Create the Sahara Desert? – Frontiers Blog
New research challenges the idea that changes in the Earth’s orbit triggered Sahara desertification.

The Sahara today forms one of the largest and driest expanses of land on Earth. Yet between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago, a period of time commonly referred to as the ‘African Humid Period’, both the climate and ecosystem of the Sahara were dramatically different. Instead of an arid desert landscape, the Sahara was characterized by lush and diverse vegetation, a consequence of monsoons and increased rainfall over the northern Africa landmass...