Monday, November 5, 2012

Neanderthals: Behind Bigfoot, fear of the dark and sex?

Frontiers of Zoology provides a fascinating take on "a different face for Neanderthals" as presented by Danny Vendramini.  Namely, they did not look so much like homo sapiens (explaining why the two species lived so long near each other without combining), were actually the main predator of our ancestors, and also raped our early counterparts as well.

I love theories, and this is a new one for me.  Mainline thought is that Neanderthals looked very similar to homo sapiens, and we simply absorbed the subspecies over time.  This new theory suggest the opposite, and that we had to adapt-or-die, to a savage, man-hunting, monster whose legacy exists in the form of Bigfoot, Sasquatch and the Abominable Snowman.

This page is intriguing as well: Modern Neanderthal?

Pleasant little child Neanderthal

Possible evidence of Neanderthal in modern day -- Russian Boxer

Neanderthal DNA traced to human populations

What a man-eating, raping, seeing-in-the-dark Neanderthal _may_ have looked like.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Mastodon Must Die!

The older I get, the more conservationist I get (did not say "conservative").  IANAEF (I am not an earth firster), but at the same time, the burgeoning human population _is_ wiping out the rest of all living things.  Something's gotta give.

Centuries to come -- if we don't nuke ourselves -- the sum total of all animals (maybe plants) will be contained on minute reserves.  That is, if we manage to finally figure out how to stop the chaos of falling/rising governments, discord and the sheer ignorance on the planet.

The stories behind the last of a species are heart breaking.  In 1922, the last Barbary Lion found itself in the sights of a hunter's rifle.  The sound of that gunshot marked the end of that animal, and that hunter -- who cared about nothing more than killing it -- had the privilege of being the last human on earth to see the largest of all modern lions alive.

I could go on, but this morning, the wired story of how the founders of modern America perceived the Pleistocene bones being discovered in the east, of titan, elephant-like animals, was both entertaining and sad.

A. Extinction was not a concept.  These animals must _still_ be alive, somewhere, on the continent.
B. They are carnivorous!  And should be feared!

The truth was:
C. They were herbivores, and they are gone forever....

Hopefully, not forever: the Barbary Lion has returned, in 2010, in the form of 2 cubs, made possible thanks to the efforts of biologists who searched for their descendants in zoos across the world.  Maybe, one day, we'll see mastodon babies too....

What a flesh-eating Mastodon may look like