Mount Etna in Sicily is currently erupting. Most don’t recognize that it is part of the dangerous Campanian Volcanic Arc that extends along Italy and wraps around southern Sicily. A Campanian eruption 39,000 years ago was probably the second most powerful eruption in the world in the last million years, and it may have finished off the already declining Neanderthal population. We’re all familiar with the plaster cast people of Pompeii – those are from another eruption of this arc that occurred south of Naples in 79 AD. It’s estimated that 1.5 to 2 million people are at risk from […]
Analysis of ancient DNA indicates the man who lived near Cheddar, England 10,000 years ago had dark skin, dark, wavy hair, and blue eyes. This is further corroboration that in the movie Clan of the Cave Bear, it would have been more accurate to have Ayla played by Halle Berry than Daryl Hannah. Link to Full Article from Yahoo
Humans butchered a woolly rhino in the Philippines 700,000 years ago, but it surely wasn’t us. We weren’t around yet and wouldn’t be for at least another 350,000 years. Odds are, it was “Upright Man” – Homo erectus, who had made it out of Africa hundreds of thousands of years before and spread as far as China to England. That Homo erectus made it across a stretch of ocean and then butchered a rhino is not as surprising to me as the researchers who ascribe it to individuals who were “blown there by a hurricane and then scavenged carcasses.” […]
All non-Africans trace their ancestry to a single intrepid population that probably took a “beachcomber” route along the SE Asian coast sometime between 80,000 and 60,000 years ago. Evidence is building that our ancestors made it to Australia as early as 60,000 years ago. Even though sea levels were much lower then, they still had to have the means to cross 37 miles of open ocean. Several earlier human dispersals from Africa apparently failed, although some of these seem to have left genetic traces in the other human species (Neanderthals, Denisovans, and perhaps Homo erectus) with whom they interbred. An […]
After living millions of years in North America, the giant ground sloth died off between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago, shortly after the arrival of the first humans. These 5-ton beasts were slow-moving and could reach 17 feet. They were like dangerous, giant cows. It’s hard for me to understand why many attribute the ground sloth decline to climate change when tree-dwelling sloths were unaffected and Carribean Island sloths lasted longer – until humans reached those shores. Recently, 10,000+-year-old footprints preserved in New Mexico appear to show humans tracking a sloth and likely record a hunt. Sadly, I think we […]
Scientists have dated the mutation of body lice from head lice to determine when humans first started wearing clothes. Head lice feed and live on the scalp, whereas body lice feed on body skin, but live in clothing. The mutation that led to body lice happened about 107,000 years ago, and presumably, that’s when humans started wearing clothing.
The Clacton Spear was shaped by flint tools and fire-hardened 420,000 years ago in southern England. This spear, as well as finds at Boxgrove, England, and Schonigen, Germany prove that early man (probably Homo heidelburgensis or early Neanderthal) was able to hunt much earlier than previously thought.
This is the skull of a Tyrannosaurus, one of the largest land carnivores to ever exist. The largest complete specimen of a T-Rex measures 40 ft. long and is estimated to have weighed as much as 30,000 lbs.💀🦖 Many scientists consider it likely that T-Rex had feathers on at least parts of its body!🐓
Mammoths, cave lions, saber-toothed cats, wolves, hyenas, and woolly rhinos lived in Europe as we arrived 45,000 years ago.🏔️🦏 Even more recent paintings of many of these animals (dating from 17,000-36,000 years ago) can be seen in caves like Chauvet, France (this image), and Altamira, Spain.🐾👣 Upon viewing its beautiful artwork, Picasso said “After Altamira, all is decadence.” 🎨⠀
Above me is the Texas Pterosaur, the largest flying creature ever discovered. Some had wingspans up to 36 feet! Excavated in 1971, this amazing creature lived in what is now know as Big Bend National Park in West Texas about 65 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. 🌲🏔️⠀⠀