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Rift Valley - Speaking of Nature

Rift Valley - Speaking of Nature | Evolution | Scoop.it
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If you were to jump into a time machine and set the dial back to 200 million BCE you would emerge into a very unfamiliar world. At this point the great supercontinent Pangea was just beginning to fracture and its sections drift away toward their modern positions. This process of ripping a continent to pieces is known as “rifting,” and it has some fairly interesting consequences.

Prior to the rifting of Pangea all of the Earth’s landmasses were connected. Once rifting started, however, large gaps started to form on the surface. Initially these gaps were filled with lava that welled up from the depths of the Earth’s interior to fill the void. This process is quite analogous to the everyday filling of a wound with blood to form a scab. The only difference is that the Earth filled its wounds with rock, traces of which we can easily find to this day.

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OAS -- Oklahoma's Past

OAS -- Oklahoma's Past | Evolution | Scoop.it
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At the end of the Ice Age, when winters were warmer and summers cooler, a Columbian mammoth wandered into a swampy slough at the bottom of a deep ravine in Caddo County. Weighing in at 10 tons, he stood some 14 feet tall. While he grazed on the lush marsh grasses, a family of prehistoric hunters, hidden downwind from the giant, quietly watched his movements. Slowly, so that the mammoth did not spook, the hunters rose. Their spears, launched with a throwing tool called the atlatl, flew with fierce power and felled the creature. The flesh of the mammoth fed the family for many weeks.

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Can pallid sturgeon hang on in the overworked Missouri River?

Can pallid sturgeon hang on in the overworked Missouri River? | Evolution | Scoop.it
In the dam-locked Upper Missouri, scientists search for signs that the ancient species hasn't reached the end of its line.
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Today's Missouri River pallids are descended from fish that lived alongside dinosaurs more than 70 million years ago. They've weathered ice ages, volcanic explosions and a mass extinction event. Through it all, the fossil record indicates that, in form and function, they've hardly changed.

Lately, though, their remarkable evolutionary tenacity has been tested. Since dam-building and channelization began on the Missouri in the early 1900s, roughly 80 percent of the fish's habitat has been modified or destroyed. Scientists estimate that if they stopped stocking the river with hatchery fish tomorrow, the species could vanish from the Upper Missouri -- the dam-locked stretches of river in Montana and the Dakotas -- by the century's end.

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The Cro-Magnon Shelter

The Cro-Magnon Shelter | Evolution | Scoop.it
In 1868, during road works, the remains of several individuals were identified in this shelter. They are associated with the bones of animals, knapped flint and jewellery.
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How there's a bit of Neanderthal in all of us: DNA link to cavemen revealed


An astonishing study has discovered that the ancestors of white Europeans and Asians bred with Neanderthals tens of thousands of years ago.

 
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Bison Kill Site Sheds Light on Ice Age Culture

Bison Kill Site Sheds Light on Ice Age Culture | Evolution | Scoop.it
A bison kill site found in Oklahoma may mean that the Paleoindians of the Ice Age are about to lose their reputation as "big game hunters." The site, which is tentatively estimated to be about 10,750 years old, provides evidence that the Clovis...
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Archaeologists digging in Oklahoma have uncovered a bison kill site that could settle a long-running debate about whether early Paleoindians in North America hunted only the big game of the Ice Age—primarily mammoths—or had a wider hunting repertoire.

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The Bering land bridge was navigable until the beginning of Halocene Period

The Bering land bridge that carried wanderers from Asia into North America was not inundated by rising seas until about 11,000 years ago.
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"This study indicates that early people were free to move across the land bridge until about 10,500 years ago, right up to the beginning of the Holocene Period," said Elias. Several Paleo Indian sites in the Nenana Valley of central Alaska that date to about 12,000 years ago are considered the earliest reliable dates for the human occupation of North America, Elias said.

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Sea Monster Washes Ashore in SC - Animal Planet: Animal Oddities

Sea Monster Washes Ashore in SC - Animal Planet: Animal Oddities | Evolution | Scoop.it
The corpse of a bizarre-looking creature washed ashore in Folly Beach, South Carolina. The large "sea monster" confounded residents, but a local veterinarian identified it as a rare but native fish. Any ideas what it could be?
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Sturgeons have been around for over 100 million years, and individual fish can live to be over 60 years old. 

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Furry Insect-Eater Tops Our Family Tree : DNews

Furry Insect-Eater Tops Our Family Tree : DNews | Evolution | Scoop.it
The small and furry creature was at the forefront of mammals that emerged some 200,000-400,000 years after dinosaurs went extinct.
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Human migration in history throughout the world

Human migration in history throughout the world | Evolution | Scoop.it

Where do you really come from? And how did you get to where you live today? DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who—about 60,000 years ago—began a remarkable journey.

 

The Genographic Project (http://genographic.nationalgeographic.com) is seeking to chart new knowledge about the migratory history of the human species by using sophisticated laboratory and computer analysis of DNA contributed by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. In this unprecedented and of real-time research effort, the Genographic Project is closing the gaps of what science knows today about humankind's ancient migration stories.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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