Afarensis on Hiatus and Other Miscellany

As many of you know I lost my job a while back. After a long agonizing search I have finally found another. I’m still in the job market because this job just barely pays the bills – but at least I don’t have to worry about being homeless. It is pretty much manual labor and has me somewhat exhausted, so I am going to take a week off. When I return, hopefully refreshed, I hope to finish up some lingering business such as my series on semicircular canals.

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Conservapedia and Piltdown

Conservapedia has finally gotten around to saying something on human evolution. Specifically, they have an entry on Piltdown.

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Mounds, Preservation and Pot Hunters

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an intersting story about one person’s effort to preserve a mound:

Leach, an amateur archaeologist, is hoping at least one West County city will pass a law to help crack down on the robbing of ancient burial sites.
He’s also trying to persuade people to adopt mounds and watch over them. “It’s just one person who is going to say, ‘They may bulldoze every other mound in Missouri or loot every other mound, but not this one,'” Leach said.
Not long ago, thousands of burial mounds dotted the landscape in west St. Louis County.
Archaeologists now estimate there are probably fewer than 20 in Chesterfield and surrounding cities. Most have become casualties of development, buried beneath subdivisions and parking lots.

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Saturday Know Your Primate: Sunday Edition

Suborder Anthropoidea
Infraorder Catarrhini
Superfamily Cercopithecoidea
Family Cercopithecidae
Subfamily Cercopithecinae
Genus Lophocebus
Species Lophocebus albigena
Common Name: Gray-cheeked Mangabey

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Video Fun

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Evolution Far Fetched?

Via Scientia Natura: Evolution and Rationality comes this amusing cartoon:

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Following Antigone: Forensic Anthropology and Human Rights Investigations

This is a 40 minute video exploring the utility of Forensic Anthropology in investigating human rights abuses. Following Antigone: Forensic Anthropology and Human Rights Investigations. For those of you unfamiliar with Greek mythology, go here to learn why they choose Antigone as a symbol

Lophocebus ugandae

Lophocebus ugandae is a new species of monkey endemic to Uganda. According to Science Daily they were just discovered recently. Unfortunately, they may not be around long:

But Professor Groves said that the new species faces a serious threat if a plan to clear its major habitat area goes ahead. He said the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni had given permission for 7,000 hectares of the Mabira Forest to be cleared for sugar and palm oil production. This decision was attacked by many Ugandans, who saw it as a threat to tourism and water resources.
Professor Groves said the forest clearing would also be a catastrophic blow for the local mangabeys.

Female Chimps: The Mighty Hunters

From Kenneth Oakley’s 1957 book

Man the Tool-Maker


One may sum up by saying that apes of the present day are capable of perceiving the solution of a visible problem, and occasionally improvising a tool to meet a given situation; but to conceive the idea of shaping a stone or stick for use in an imagined future eventuality is beyond the mental capacity of any known apes. Possession of a great capacity for this conceptual thinking, in contrast to the mainly perceptual thinking of apes and other primates is generally regarded by comparative psychologists as distinctive of man. Systematic making of tools implies a marked capacity for conceptual thought.

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Minnesota Pre-Clovis

Brian Hoffman has two interesting posts up about the recent find of pre-clovis artifacts at Walker Hill, Minnesota.

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