Humans and Bos: When Did We Start Eating Cow?

I’m not quite sure what to make of this. The article is kind of interesting. A new species of Bos has been discovered in Buia, Eritrea dating to about one million years ago. Apparently the dig also yielded human remains. Continue reading

Sorting the butchered from the boiled: An Interesting Picture Of Collagen

Fig. 4. Shows TEM images which are representative of the collagen from the ‘cooked’ (group A) and ‘uncooked’ (group B) bones. In group A (images a, b and c) the collagen was mainly observed as long intact fibrils with frayed ends and beaded regions. In group B (images d, e and f) the collagen was considerably more damaged. Whilst some beaded fibrils were also present in this set of bones (f) the majority of the fibrils were observed as short fragments with frayed ends i.e. Dumbbells (e) or as gelatinous clumps (d). The scale bars are 500 nm.

From: here

Origin of Dogs: Again

In a previous post I mentioned this study which indicates dogs originated in south-eastern Asia some 16,300 years ago. A commenter asked about this study in PNAS. I don’t have access to that paper, but Science Daily summarizes the paper which takes issue with an earlier paper by Savolainen:
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Finding Bones: The Mystery Continues

Back in June I found part of a cervical vertebra. Today my dog brings me the distal epiphysis of a femur.

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New Zealand Rats: Repeatability and When Can We Toss The Dates?

Kambiz has an interesting post on the rat paper, which, just by serendipity, provides an excellent jumping point for the second post I had planned on this subject. Kambiz points out that:

One hypothesis, suggested in this 1996 Nature article, “Arrival of rats in New Zealand,” indicates people arrived with rats roughly 2,800 years ago. This was established using carbon dating of rat bones.

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Rats as Proxies for Human Expansion in the Pacific The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science has an interesting article on the settlement of New Zealand. The short version of the story is that since Pacific rats are human commensals they can serve as proxies for human expansion across the Pacific. Based on this idea, the authors of the paper used radiocarbon dating to date the first appearance of Pacific rats in New Zealand. The long version of the story serves as an instructive example on the repeatability of science and a rebuke to creationists who accuse evolutionists of arbitrarily accepting or rejecting radiocarbon dates based on their conformity to evolutionary theory. This post will explore the first part and I will return to the latter two issues in a separate post.

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Interesting Anthropology and Paleontology Stories

The BBC has an interesting, but sad, story called Botswana Bushmen refused borehole:

The government of Botswana is refusing to allow Kalahari Bushmen access to a water borehole.
In 2006, the Bushmen won a landmark legal victory against the government allowing them to return to land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
The court found they had been illegally driven off the land by the authorities.

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Frog Legs in Archaeological Assemblages

I haven’t mentioned Archaeozoology lately, so to remedy this error I would like to point you all to
Frogs in the Eneolithic diet
an excellent discussion of an interesting archaeozoology paper.

Mammoth Tusk With Evidence of Meteorite Impacts

This is very weird. Researchers at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union announced the discovery:

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What Seals Can Tell Us About Past Climates

Seals can be rather interesting creatures. Northern fur seals are even more interesting. A recent article in The Holocene combines zooarchaeology and knowledge of seal behavior to reconstruct the spread of Bering Sea ice expansion during the Neoglacial.

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