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News: Did Humans Colonize the World by Boat?
Research suggests our ancestors traveled the oceans 70,000 years ago
http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jun/20-did-humans-colonize-the-world-by-boat
 
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Whale Fossil Found In Kitchen Counter Leads To Important Discoveries

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Author Topic: Whale Fossil Found In Kitchen Counter Leads To Important Discoveries  (Read 811 times)
Bianca
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« on: May 23, 2009, 07:31:10 pm »









AND THEY EVOLVED OVER MILLIONS OF YEARS TO BECOME SOME OF THE ICONIC ANIMALS OF AFRICA.

ZEBRAS .

RHINOCEROS

WILDEBEEST

COULD THE QUARRY PROVIDE CLUES FROM THAT PERIOD?

TO FIND OUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PARTIALLY FUNDED AN EXPEDITION TO THE QUARRIES TO COLLECT MORE EVIDENCE.

THE TEAM INCLUDED MILLER AND GUNNELL ALONG WITH BILL SANDERS AND AHMED AL-BARKOOKI OF CAIRO UNIVERISTY.

"I DIDNT FIND ANYTHING OVER THERE. WHAT DO YOU HAVE OVER HERE? I DIDNT FIND ANYTHING IN HERE YET."

THEY CHIP AWAY AT SAMPLES.

ITS HARD AND DUSTY WORK.

"INSIDE THE LITTLE ROCKS WE LOOK FOR ANY SIGN THAT THERES ANY KIND OF BONE OR TEETH OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT AND IF WE FIND SOME IDEA THIS IS GOING TO CONTAIN BONE WE TAKE IT BACK TO THE LAB AND WE PROCESS IT THERE."

THE BONES ARE OF SMALLER MAMMALS LIKE RATS AND BATS. THEYLL HELP THE SCIENTISTS ESTABLISH WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE HERE ALL THOSE MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO.

"THE SMALL ANIMALS ARE REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEYRE VERY SENSITIVE TO TEMPERATURE AND CLIMATE. THEY DONT MOVE VERY FAR DURING THEIR LIFETIME SO THEYRE A VERY GOOD INDICATOR OF RELATIVE HUMIDITY, RAINFALL, THINGS LIKE THAT."

THE FINDINGS MAY CONFIRM THAT THIS BARREN DESERT WAS A DIFFERENT PLACE WHEN THE MAMMALS STARTED TO CROSS FROM ASIA.

IT WAS A LUSH TROPICAL DELTA --WITH A SERIES OF LARGE RIVER SYSTEMS -- IT WAS A TEMPTING NEW HOME FOR ANIMALS ON THE MOVE.

WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVED, THESE ANIMALS LOOKED VERY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE TODAY. BUT ON THE WIDE OPEN PLAINS, REMOVED AND ISOLATED FROM THEIR NOW DISTANT ASIAN ANCESTORS, THEY BEGAN TO EVOLVE.

THE GIRAFFES NECK GREW LONGER, THE ZEBRA DEVELOPED ITS STRIPES. THEY BECAME WHAT MANY THINK OF TODAY AS UNIQUELY AFRICAN ANIMALS, NOT REALIZING THAT THEY HAVE ASIAN ROOTS.

THE RESEARCHERS HAVENT FOUND ANY MAJOR FOSSILS AT THE QUARRIES YET, BUT THEYRE GATHERING MORE PIECES OF A FASCINATING PUZZLE.

"ACTUALLY EVERY FOSSIL HAS GOT ITS OWN IMPORTANCE. ITS NOT ONLY THAT WE FIND ONE FOSSIL BUT TO INTEGRATE THE INFORMATION TOGETHER TO GET THE BIGGER PICTURE."

"EVERY DAY YOU COME OUT AND YOU WORK AS HARD AS YOU CAN AND YOU HAVE TO BE OPTIMISTIC IF YOURE A PALEONTOLOGIST. YOU HAVE TO ALSO BE LUCKY. AND EVERY DAY YOU COME OUT AND YOU THINK THIS IS THE DAY THIS IS THE DAY THIS IS THE DAY AND SOME DAYS, ITS RIGHT!"

THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE YOU OFTEN FIND THE LITTLE BONES.

AND FOR THESE PALEONTOLOGISTS, THIS WAS JUST ONE OF THOSE PROVERBIAL DAYS.

WHEN AN ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY IN A LIMESTONE COUNTER-TOP IN ITALY

. LED TO NEW INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANCESTORS OF ICONIC AFRICAN ANIMALS. 
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