Interesting Anthropology in The News: Prof. Steve Steve Say It Ain’t So!

National Geographic has an interesting article about recent fossil finds that shed light on the ecological interaction between pandas and Gigantopithecus:

Huang said he believes the ape lost out in a three-way struggle with giant pandas and early humans over food and habitat.
Ancient panda fossils have been found before near Giganto ape remnants, and early human fossils in China have been found in the vicinity of ancient pandas.
If early humans–armed with primitive weapons like stone axes and fire–migrated like the panda through what is now southern China, they likely had contact with the giant apes, Huang said.

Prof. Steve Steve, how could you?
The article also sheds some light on the evolutionary history of pandas:

Huang said that the Hainan panda fossil provided a new piece in the puzzle of the panda’s eight-million-year-long evolution from a meat-eater into a reclusive bamboo-eater.
The earliest pandas were fierce carnivores, scientists say. While technically classified as omnivores, today’s pandas primarily depend on bamboo, which they spend an average of 12 hours a day eating.
The new fossils suggest the panda of 400,000 years ago, which was slightly larger than the modern giant panda, had by that time already become completely dependent on bamboo for survival, Huang said.

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The Narrabeen Man: Death By Spearing

This is an interesting story, construction workers in Sydney discovered a 4,000 year old skeleton. What makes the find interesting is that it seems to be the oldest example of ritual spearing in Australia.

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A Christmas Present For the Discovery Institute

ERV has a Christmas present for the Discovery Institute. I helped with the tinsel and Peter Irons helped with the wrapping. We all hope they like it!

Vote on the Worst Christmas Song

Okay, all the nominees are here in the main post and in the comments. Now is the time to vote for the Christmas song you hate. There is no limit to how many times you can vote, nor for how many songs you can vote for.

Update on afarensis’ First Ever, Vile, Wicked, Christmas Songs I Hate Contest

Back on December 16th I announced afarensis’ First Ever, Vile, Wicked, Christmas Songs I Hate Contest and called for you, my readers, to submit the Christmas songs you hate. Since most of my readers are refugees from PZ’s blog I figured I would get tons of suggestions. The results, however, are pitiful. So far, I have only received four responses. We can do better. Really people, you call yourselves Christmas hating atheists? Veterans of the war on Christmas? Bah, hamburgers! Show me the Christmas song hatin’!

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Chuck Norris Sues Penguin Books

Over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD left a comment linking to this hysterical news item. I’m sure Tegumai wanted Ed to blog about it but I couldn’t resist because of the mindnumbing contradiction that comes almost at the end of the story. Chuck Norris is suing Penguin Books because:

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Those Clever Squirrels Are At It Again

You may remember this story about anti-predator mechanisms in squirrels. National Geographic has another story on anti-predator behavior in squirrels:

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Wohoo! It Arrived!

And I will tell you all about it as soon as I have finished reading it:

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National Geographics’ Top Ten Archaeology List

National Geographics’ Top Ten Archaeology Discoveries List can be found here. It contains more in the way of biological anthropology than does Archaeology magazines list (no surprise there). Unfortunately, National Geographic does include the Jesus tomb nonsense and the Japanese “pyramid” stuff…

Four Stone Hearth, Vol 30

The Four Stone Hearth, Vol 30 is up at The Greenbelt. One of these days I’m really going to have to start submitting posts again. At anyrate, The Ridger, FCD, has assembled an excellent volume of anthropological writings for your enjoyment, and I, for one, am happy to see the wide variety of blogs that have participated in recent editions. Check it out.

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