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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Ungulates, Tooth Size and Longevity

One of the more interesting areas of paleoanthropological research concerns the timing of growth and development. For example, in macaques infancy is from birth to 1.4 years, childhood from 1.4-3.2 years, and adolescence from 3.2-5.8 years. In captivity macaques can live to be 30 years old, or more. In chimps the figures are; infancy birth – 3.3, childhood 3.3-6.5, childhood 6.5-11.4. In captivity chimps can live to be in excess of 60 years old. For humans the figures are: infancy birth – 5.9, childhood 5.9-11.3, adolescence 11.3-18. Each of these stages can be defined based on a combination of tooth eruption and epiphyseal closure (which is also helpful to forensic anthropologists). Presumably, the common ancestor of chimps and humans followed the chimp pattern of development and one of the things paleoanthropologists would like to explain is how and when the human pattern evolved. I mention this because an interesting paper has been published in The American Naturalist which seems relevant to the above issues.

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Pigs and the Spread of Farming in Europe

Back in March I wrote a post about what the ancient pig DNA can tell us about the colonization of the Pacific Islands by Polynesians. A new article that will be published in PNAS, by the same group behind the last study, looks at Europe and the spread of farming. Science Daily has some details:

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Know Your Primate: Pliopapio alemui

Order: Primates
Infraorder: Catarrhini
Family: Cercopithecidae
Subfamily: Cercopithecinae
Tribe: Papionini
Genus: Pliopapio
Species: Pliopapio alemui
Between 1992 and 199 over 900 cercopithecoid specimens were recovered by the Middle Awash Research Project. The sample dates to about 4.39 million years ago. Two new species have been named based on the material recovered. One is a colobine (to be discussed in a future post), the other is Pliopapio alemui.

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Chris O’Brien on T-Rex Teeth

Chris has an excellent post called More On Ham’s Creation Museum, Tyrannosaur Teeth And The Scientific Process that totally shreds the T-Rex coconut eater myth Ham is foisting off on unsuspecting visitors to his fantasyland. One wonders what some of the T-Rex specialists such as Erickson or Holtz would make of Ham’s argument. I haven’t checked yet, but I am sure there is an abundant literature on the morphology and function of T-Rex teeth.