Located near Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil in the Dordogne department.
Font-de-Gaume cave contents contain paintings in several colours dating to almost 30,000 years.
While exploring the area, in 1901 Denis Peyrony discovered the paintings.
Prehistoric people lived in the Dordogne valley around 25000 thousand years ago. The cave was inhabited for several thousand years. Something must have happened. Because there after, the cave is believed to be long forgotten.
Many of the drawings date from around 19,000 years ago. The most famous is of 5 bison, and was discovered by accident in the 1960s when scientists were cleaning the cave.
More than 230 figures are believed to have been recorded in the cave. Included is 80 bison, 40 horses and 20 mammoths. Some say there are even more yet to be discovered.
Did you know? 200 of the paintings are in multi colour. Making Font-de-Gaume one of the best examples of polychrome (multi colour) paintings other than Lascaux.
Check it out today.
In 1908 Cap Blanc was discovered under supervision, while others worked nearby uncovering Lascaux and the Lascaux cave. While digging they found one of the most impressive carvings from the upper paleolithic.
Following the uncovering of this, the carving and additional frieze, in 1911, they built protective walls around the area. It included lowering the floor. And, at which point one of the workers hit a skull. It was Magdalenian women.
Located in the Marquay commune on the right bank of the Beune River, a few kilometers west of Eyzies-de-Tayac, in Dordogne.
What is a frieze? A frieze is a broad horizontal band of sculpted or painted decoration, especially on a wall near the ceiling.
The frieze depicts a number of animals, some in haut-relief, dating back 15,000 years. These include ten horses (one measuring 2.20 m long), at least three bison, ibex and several incomplete figures. The sculpted frieze occupies 13 of the 16 meters of the shelter.
Some of the carving are as much as 30 cm deep. Red ochre covers much of the frieze and some of the area around it is now difficult to see. Among other flint tools probably used to create the frieze were found with the Magdalenian women and include burins and scrapers.
The skeleton known as Magdalenian women is that of an early modern human dating from 13,000 to 11,000 BCE, during the Magdalenian period. It is the most complete upper paleolithic skeleton in northern Europe. When Magdalenian women was acquired in 1926 for the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, by Henry Field, then curator of Physical Anthropology. It was hailed as one of the most significant acquisitions the large museum ever made. On the first day the precious skeleton was exhibited, tens of thousands of visitors flocked to the museum to see it.
In 1910 the site was classified as a French historical monument. Currently there are guided tours, a museum and replica of magdelenian women. Be sure to check it out!
The area has no fewer than 37 decorated caves and shelters, as well as an even greater number of habitation sites from the upper paleolithic (cave man) era. These sites are the highest concentration in Europe.
Geologically, the Vézère drainage basin covers one fourth of the département of the Dordogne (river). At its centre point, the river’s course is marked by a series of turns flanked by high limestone cliffs.
The entrance to the Lascaux Cave was discovered by 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat when his dog, Robot, fell in a hole, in 1940. It was getting late in the year, and in an dangerous area, so he decided to return with some friends another day. They entered carefully through a 15m or 50 feet shaft. The teenagers discovered that the cave walls were covered with depictions of animals. Some dating to an estimated 17,000 years.
6,000 figures: animals, human figures, and abstract signs, in about 600 areas were found.
Using mineral pigments, red, yellow, and black colours were crushed and mixed from a complex multiplicity of plants and minerals. Included was iron compounds such as iron oxide (ochre), hematite, and goethite, As well as manganese-containing pigments. These were a little more advanced than taking charcoal from a stick and drawing on the wall. Many of the images are now precisely studied. 364 paintings are horses, as well as 90 paintings of horned deer. Also represented are cattle and bison, each representing 4 to 5% of the images. There are a bunch of other unique images, includes seven felines, a bird, a bear, a rhinoceros, and a human.
The most famous section of the cave is the Hall of the Bulls where bulls, equines, aurochs, stags, and even a cave bear is depicted. One of the 36 animals represented here is a bull. It is 5.2 metres (17 ft 1 in) long. The largest animal discovered so far in cave art. And, some of the bulls in this drawing appear to be in motion.
On some of the other cave walls, unique art methods were used. It is believed colour was applied as a suspension of pigment in either animal fat or calcium-rich cave groundwater or clay, and applied using swabbed or blotted paint, instead of brush. In a few other areas, the colour was applied by spraying the pigments by blowing the mixture through a tube. Many images are faint or totally deteriorated. Where the rock surface is softer, some designs were incised into the stone.
Did you know? After the cave had been opened, 15 years later, by 1955, carbon dioxide, heat, humidity, and other contaminants produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. As air condition deteriorated, fungi and lichen increasingly infested the walls. Consequently, the cave was closed to the public in 1963, and instead, it was decided 4 replicas get created nearby the cave site.
Log cabins have been affiliated with almost anything living. However more often than not, it has been the ancient history in Europe and the early settlers in the eastern US and Canadian wilderness. When do you think humans started log cabin building?
In Northern Europe or Russia, there are cabins from 3 or 4 thousand years ago. Ones that had there roofs somewhat maintained are still standing, or have been up cycled elsewhere.
Similarly to the lack of raft, ship and boat evidence before 1500ad. During roman, and war times, it was noted many log cabins were built, to be de-constructed and transported to battlefields, for weapons; even boats, jigs, firewood or whatever manufactured wood pieces were necessary at the time. It’s believed not much was left around but was re-used sustainably.
Most cultures were log cabin builders. Provided they had a flint, chert or sharp enough lithic tool supply. To manufacture broadaxes, and other pieces of stone capable of chopping suitable flat trees down, and notching the bark and tree part way out to overlap.
Architecturally speaking, in De Architectura, was the first mention of log cabins using construction with logs. It was described by Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio (20-30bc). He noted that dwellings in northeastern Turkey were constructed by laying logs horizontally overtop of each other and filling in the gaps with “chips and mud”. Most people nowadays call it chinking.
In modern times, important aspects of log cabin building are often the site upon which the cabin was built. It is aimed at providing the cabin inhabitants with both sunlight, drainage, and protection from wind and rain to help them able them see better. And, to be able to thrive and cope. Finding trees in an area on or nearby your building site, is an important factor, and thus studied in archaelogical and building site history because of it (even though most of the logs are decomposed). Extreme weather, animal attacks, and staying warm; dry and safe are also factors.
Did you know? Log cabins have origins in US politics since the early 19th century. At least seven United States presidents were born in log cabins, including Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, and James A. Garfield. William Henry Harrison was not one of the presidents. However during the 1840 presidential election his party were the first to use a log cabin as symbol to show Americans that he was a man of the people.
Did you know? Possibly the oldest surviving log house in the United States is the C. A. Nothnagle Log House (c. 1640) in New Jersey.
More recently coastal and interior log cabins builders have become popular due to there proximity to large fir, cedar, spruce and pine trees. And, the sustainability aspects of building close to the forest.
Interested in log cabin building?
Contact us/create account today.
Revised Log Construction Manual – Ultimate Guide To Building Log Homes – Full Color Edition Paperback – Unabridged, January 1, 2016
by Robert W. Chambers (Author) ISBN-10 : 0971573638
Formed in the twisting calcareous rock passages of Mount Vispieres. Around 13,000 years ago a rockfall sealed the Altamiras entrance. Its contents were preserved until its eventual discovery, which occurred after a nearby tree fell and disturbed the fallen rocks.
It was 1868 was when Modeso Cubillas discovered the Altamira cave. The cave is approximately 1,000 m (3,300 ft) long. A few years after its discovery, feeling so inclined, Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, and the university of Madrid begin studying the cave. In 1880, with support of others, reports of the cave were published, to initial public acclaim. It began a debate began about the abstract thinking for the time, and if humans were able to draw this way 10s of thousands of years ago. It stopped around 1902, (and continued on), when more caves were found in this and the French region(s).
Did you know? Before 18,500; and, after 15,000 years ago there was evidence of human life. During the two millennia in-between, in was believed prehistoric megafauna inhibited the cave.
Cave life 10,000:
The ‘polychrome ceiling’ is the most impressive feature of the cave. Depicting a herd of extinct steppe bison (bison priscus) in different poses; two horses, a large doe, and possibly a wild boar. Human occupation was limited to the cave mouth, although paintings were created throughout the length of the cave. Charcoal, ochre and hematite were used to create the images. Diluting these pigments to produce variations in intensity and creating an impression of chiaroscuro. They also exploited the natural contours of the cave walls to give their subjects a three-dimensional effect.
Did you know? The drawings were very well preserved. And, it could have been the oils and gases used in lanterns. A number of years after Altamiras discovery, in early 1900, it was discovered early ancestors or those from the stone age could had used marrow fat.
Visitors and replicas:
During the 1970s, and 2000s, the paintings were being damaged by visitors carbon dioxide and vapor. Altamira was completely closed in the late 1970s; reopened for a bit, and again was closed in early 2000s.
Interested in seeing Altamiras reproductions?
The National Museum and Research Center of Altamira;
National Archaeological Museum of Spain;
Deutsches Museum Germany (1964); and,
Its soft clay-like floor retains the paw prints of cave bears along with large, rounded depressions that are believed to be the “nests” where the Europen cave bears slept. In Grotte Chauvet-point d’arc, fossilized bones are abundant, and include the skulls of cave bears, and the horned skull of an ibex.
Located near the commune of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. On a limestone cliff, above the former bed of the river Ardèche, in the Gorges de l’Ardèche, is Chauvet cave. It is situated above the previous course of the Ardèche river before the Pont d’Arc opened up. The gorges of the Ardèche region and the site are numerous. There are many caves, much of them having some geological or archaeological importance.
This cave is amongst the best preserved caves in the world. Chauvet cave remained untouched for possibly thousands of years before it was discovered in 1994. Evidence suggests that it was due to a landslide which covered its historical entrance. Left with the cave bear foot prints were little child’s footprints, the charred remains of ancient hearths, and carbon smoke stains from torches that lit the caves.
Like many European caves, dates have been a matter of dispute. A study published in 2012 supports placing the art approximately 32,000–30,000 years ago. A newer study published in 2016, using additional 88 radiocarbon dates ,showed two periods of habitation, one 37,000- 33,500; and, the other from 31,000 to 28,000 years ago. Most of the black drawings were from even earlier periods.
Artistic ‘shamanal’ components?
Some say a magical ‘venus’ figure composed of what appears to be a vulva attached to an incomplete pair of legs is seen in the cave. Above the Venus, and in contact with it, is a bisons head. Most had led to describe the composite drawing as a Minotaur (half bull), or Centaur (half horse), or ??.
The cave even has panels of red ochre hand stencils. From blowing the crushed up pigments of ochre over hands pressed against the caves surface. And, abstract markings—lines and dots—are found throughout the cave. There are also two unidentifiable images that have a vaguely butterfly or avian shape to them. This and/or the combination of subjects (including other caves in the area) lead many to believe that there was a ritual, shamanic, or magical aspect to these paintings, and lives of humans, tens of thousands of years ago.
Lots of drawings:
The artists who produced these paintings used techniques rarely found in other cave art. Many of the paintings appear to have been made only after the walls were scraped clear of debris and concretions, leaving a smoother and noticeably lighter area upon which the artists worked.
Popular paintings include what is suggested as being a dog, however these have been challenged as being a wolf.
Hundreds of animal paintings have been catalogued, depicting at least 13 different species.
Rather than depicting only the familiar herbivores that predominate in Paleolithic cave art, i.e. horses, aurochs, mammoths, etc., the walls of the Chauvet Cave feature many predatory animals, e.g., cave lions, leopards, bears, and cave hyenas. There is also paintings of whoolly rhinoceroses. Which had not been found in North America.
One drawing, later overlaid with a sketch of a deer, is reminiscent of a volcano spewing lava, similar to the regional volcanoes that were active at the time. If confirmed, this would represent the earliest known drawing of a volcanic eruption.
Family members Sergey Zimov, and Nikita Zimov are testing a big hypothesis. Repopulating with large herbivores (and predators) can restore rich grasslands ecosystems. And, that if overhunting, and not climate change was primarily responsible for the pleistocene epoch, quanternary, or big event 11,700 years ago.
Another main aim, is to research the changes expected by the climatic effects of restoring the 10,000 year old plus ecosystem. The hypothesis is that change from tundra to grassland will result in a raised ratio of energy emission to energy absorption of the area, leading to less thawing of permafrost, and thereby less emission of greenhouse gases. It is also thought that stomping and the removal of snow by large herbivores will reduce permafrost insulation sucking in the pollution, even in cold winter.
Melted permafrost is changing the planet:
Greenhouse gasses are warming the planet. Some areas, like Siberia (Russia has 11 of the 18 million square km of permafrost), it is observed more than others. But believe it or not. When there is a lot of snow, the ground and the permafrost do not get much colder in winter. Its why its called permafrost. When these soils thaw though, old microorganisms wake up and attack. What they have not had time to consume. Releasing carbon dioxide when the soil is dry, and methane when it is saturated with water. Due to climate change, it doesn’t help because this area, it is experiencing more rain.
From the melting of the permafrost, if it was only co2 released, rather than both co2 and methane. The emissions is equivalent to that of human beings. For the greenhouse effect (and thus melting of the permafrost) methane gas can be 4 times worse than carbon dioxide. Resulting in even greater global warming. It is a big paradox. Many people do not understand this. The methane released from permafrost is more dangerous than carbon dioxide and both are bad.
In the grassland ecosystem, everything that grew during the summer must be consumed in the winter. Large herbivores need to eat. The only way to access the grass during the cold season is to dig through the cold snow. The parks animals dig in the snow all winter long. This contributes greatly to the cooling of the soil. And, absorption and release of the greenhouse gases.
It was observed that many greenhouse gases decreased during the first year and a half of covid19. While things were shut down. Instead of decreasing the methane gases increased. Due the permafrost melting. Regularly observed were appearances of new small springs where methane gases were bubbling up, in areas that used to be snow and permafrost. Other than the permafrost melting, and being replaced by trees shurbs and mosses. Not grasses, which prehistoric herbivores eat up, and stomp down. Many cannot see any other explanation for preventing this high concentration. The theory purposes that restoring the wildlife and ecosystem will absorb more greenhouse gases and help restore our natural environment. Sergey has been quoting telling the UN: “I created Pleistocene Park to observe how quickly animals could transform the moss tundra into productive grassland… why had the natural environment, which had known so many grasslands, horses, bison, mammoths, become so poor?” Permafrost has long been treated like an unwanted child in the scientific family. Reports are that by 2100 we will have lost another 10-20 percent. It is a big controversial topic.
Researching the effects of large herbivores on the arctic tundra/grasslands ecosystem, and preserving the environment; and,
To research the climatic effects of the expected changes in the ecosystem. Here the key concept is that some of the effects of the large herbivores, such as eradicating trees and shrubs or trampling snow, will result in a stronger cooling of the ground in the winter, leading to less thawing of permafrost during summer and thereby less emission of greenhouse gases.
Sergei Zimov points out contradiction to this scenario:
Similar climatic shifts occurred in previous interglacial periods without causing such massive environmental changes as we are seeing today;
Those large herbivores of the former steppe that survived until today (e.g. musk oxen, bison, horses) thrive in humid environments just as well as in arid ones; and,
The climate (both temperatures and humidity) in today’s northern Siberia is in fact most similar to that of the mammoth steppe.
Did you know? Permafrost is a large global carbon reservoir that has remained frozen throughout much of the Holocene. It is ground that continuously remains below 0 °C (32 °F) for two or more years. It is not necessarily under the snow too. Sometimes it is found hundreds of meteres deep. Due to the recent climate changes, the permafrost is increasingly thawing, releasing stored carbon and forming thermokarst lakes. When the thawed permafrost enters the thermokarst lakes, its carbon is converted into carbon dioxide and methane and released into the atmosphere. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the methane emissions from thermokarst lakes have the potential to initiate a positive feedback cycle. In which increased atmospheric methane concentrations lead to amplified global climate change. Which keeps the ball rolling to more permafrost thaw, more methane and more carbon dioxide emissions. Included in the higher temperatures, rain and climate change you see in almost all places today.
Implementation & background: regional pleistocene ecoregions. Regenerate the pleistocene terrain with its different ecological habitats such as taiga, tundra, steppe and alpine terrain:
Mainly recreate the extensive grasslands that covered the Beringia region in the late pleistocene. Mammoth steppe with large and medium herbivores. Species woolly mammoth, woolly rhino, steppe wisent, lena Horse, muskox, and reindeer. Saiga antelope, some massive herds. On the edges, barrier shrub-like terrain, and dry conifer forests (similar to taiga): woolly rhinoceros, moose, wapiti, yukon wild ass, and camels. Beyond this, mountains, more mountain-going animals like: snow sheep. Variety of carnivorous mammals. Like on the plains: beringian cave lion, apex predators, shared grey wolf, cave hyena, homotherium, brown bear, wolverine, and arctic fox. In shrubs and forests there were also brown bears, wolverines, cave bears, lynxes, tigers, leopards, and red foxes.
Did you know? Siberian tiger and Amur leopard occupied the southern present Russian-Sino border in the Amur and Primorye regions. And, both have been purposed for the park.
Few of the former species of megafauna are left; and their population density is extremely low, too low to affect the environment. Desired results density raised artificially by fencing in and concentrating existing large herbivores. A large variety of species is important as each species concerns. For example are the effects on the flora (are the mosses being replaced by grasses, etc.), the effects on the atmosphere (changes in levels of methane, carbon dioxide, water vapor) and the effects on the permafrost.
Once a high density of herbivores over a vast area has been reached, predators larger than the wolves will have to be introduced to keep the megafauna in check.
Did you know? It is believed anywhere permafrost currently exsists, or even areas burned from forest fire, the mammoth steppe can be re-created. Reducing greenhouse gases. The rate of decomposition of organic matter in the soil where there were fires depends mainly on temperature. Introducing grasses and mammoth steepe slows the process down. The only way to force the soil to retain carbon is to cool it down. For a long time, scientists have known, that dark forests absorb the sun’s rays, while the lighter, snow-covered grasslands reflect them in winter. Having a combination can have positive effects on the permafrost and environment.
-1988–1996: The first grazing experiments began in 1988 at the northeast science station in Chersky with yakutian horses.
-1996–2004: In 1996 a 50 ha (125 acre) enclosure was built in Pleistocene Park. As a first step in recreating the ancient landscape, the yakutian horses were introduced, as horses most abundant ungulates. Moose, already present in the region, introduced. The effects of larger animals (mammoths and buffalo) created by using a tank and 8×8 Argo to crush pathways through the willowshrub.
The vegetation in the park started to change. In the areas where the horses grazed, the soil compacted. Mosses, weeds and willow shrub were replaced by grass. Flat grassland is now the dominating landscape inside the park. When air temperature sank to −40 °C (−40 °F) in winter, the temperature of the ground was found to be only –5 °C (+23 °F) under an intact cover of snow, but −30 °C (−22 °F) where the animals had trampled down the snow. The grazers thus help keep permafrost intact, thereby lessening the amount of methane released by the tundra.
-2004–2011: A new fence was erected. After complete, reindeer and more moose were brought into the park.
A 32 meter (105 foot) high tower was erected in the park, in 2007, that constantly monitors the levels of methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor in the park’s atmosphere.
Muskox from Wrangel island were reintroduced in 2010
In 2011, Altai wapiti were introduced
-2011–2016: Construction of a new branch begun on the “Wild field section”, and greater energy monitoring stations were put in.
-2017–present: yak, and sheep were brought to the park. More plans for future.
Reception & Controversial aspects:
Critics admonish that introducing alien species could damage the fragile ecosystem of the existing tundra. Scientist Sergey Zimov replies: “Tundra – that is not an ecosystem. Such systems had not existed on the planet [before the disappearance of the megafauna], and there is nothing to cherish in the tundra. Of course, it would be silly to create a desert instead of the tundra, but if the same site would evolve into a steppe, then it certainly would improve the environment. If deer, foxes, bovines were more abundant, nature would only benefit from this. And people too. However, the danger still exists, of course, you have to be very careful. If it is a revival of the steppes, then, for example, small animals are really dangerous to release without control. As for large herbivores – no danger, as they are very easy to remove again.”
Another concern point is a majority of species cant be introduced in harsh conditions. For example, according to some critics, the yakutian horses, would not survive without food supply and human intervention. Mostly in the fall when water freezes and before the snow hits (the horses eat the snow for water, but cant lick the ice as easily).
Project drawdown claims the park as: “100 most substantive solutions to global warming”. Total costs and lifetime savings were monitored in the study.
In January 2020, a study from the University of Oxford assessed the viability of the park’s goals. It was estimated, if three large-scale experimental were set up, each containing 1000 animals. Over a ten year period, that 72,000 metric tons of carbon could be held and generate 360,000 US dollars in carbon revenues.
The park is a select hub for a small number of journalists; and, international scientists, and students, who come from around the world to conduct their own ecological research and experiments.
Size and administration:
Pleistocene Park is a 160 km square scientific nature reserve (Zakaznik) consisting of willow brush, grasslands, swamps, forests and a multitude of lakes.
The average temperature in January is about –33 °C; and, in July +12 °C; annual precipitation is 200–250 mm.
The reserve is surrounded by a 600 km 2 buffer zone.
Herbivores: Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus);
Moose (Alces alces);
Muskox (Ovibos moschatus); and
European bison, Bison bonasus).
Muskoxen family: Domestic yak (Bos mutus grunniens);
Edilbaevskaya sheep (a domestic breed of sheep);
Kalmykian cattle (a domestic breed of cattle adapted for the Mongolian steppe);
Plains bison (Bison bison bison);
Orenburg fur goat (Capra aegagrus hircus); and,
Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus).
Carnivores: Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx);
Tundra wolf (Canis lupus albus);
Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus);
Eurasian brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos);
Wolverine (Gulo gulo);
Red fox (Vulpes vulpes);
Sable (Martes zibellina); and,
Stoat (Mustela erminea).
Herbivores considered for reintroduction:
Wood bison (Bison bison athabascae);
Altai wapiti or Altai maral (Cervus canadensis sibiricus);
Wild yak (Bos mutus);
Snow sheep (Ovis nivicola);
Wild Bactrian camel (Camelus ferus);
Siberian roe deer (Capreolus pygargus);
Saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica); and,
Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris tigris).
Did you know? Harvard universities geneticist George Church, and others are working on a plan to genetically resurrect woolly mammoths.
Animals that could be placed in the park if revived from extinction:
Woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius);
Cave lion (Panthera spelaea);
Steppe bison (Bison priscus);
Woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis);
Irish elk (Megaloceros giganteus); and,
Cave bear (Ursus spelaeus).
Slip into your own pleistocene freedom. Wander free and create your own natural time of life. Your kind will grow stronger and stronger, as the millennia go on and on and on. Earth may overflow with life one day again. Maybe one day, all of our mistakes may even be taken back. And if it does. And, if we save the planet and be ourselves, that will be the sh*t.
Paul Schultz Martin (born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1928 – died in Tucson, Arizona September 13, 2010 ) was a well known American geoscientist at the University of Arizona. He developed the theory that the worldwide pleistocene extinction was caused by overhunting humans. His work bridged the hardworking fields of ecology, anthropology, geosciences, and paleontology.
In 1953, Martin received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Cornell university. In 1953 and 1956 he completed his master’s and doctorate programs at the university of Michigan and then proceeded with postdoctoral research at the Yale university and the university of Montreal. Martin’s early interest embraced ornithology (birds) and herpetology (reptiles and amphibians). He conducted extensive fieldwork from 1948 to 1953 in Tamaulipas, Mexico. He is considered a pioneer in these areas.
Paul published biogeographys on the birds of the Sierra de Tamaulipas, and the herpetofauna of the Gómez Farias region of Tamaulipas. Unfortunatley, while doing his under grad work. He contacted a case of polio. It did not hold him back. In 1957, he joined the faculty of the University of Arizona, and worked there until his retirement in 1989.
The overkill hypothesis was proposed in 1966. The paper, published in the journal of Nature. Wrote: “The chronology of the extinction — first in Africa, second in America, finally in Madagascar — and the intensity of the extinction — moderate in Africa, heavier in America, and extremely heavy in Madagascar … seems clearly related to the spread of human beings, to their cultural development, and to the vulnerabilities of the faunas they encountered.”
Around 13,000 and 11,000 years ago he theorized newly arriving humans hunted to extinction north America’s ice age large mammals, including ground sloths, camels, mammoths and mastodons, and many other. The theory, was again summarized in: Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Rewilding of America, 2005. Thus controversial and widely examined in academic papers.
Archaeologists Louis Leakey, Donald Grayson, and geosciencest Russell Graham were early critics of the theory . The former focused on disagreements about human capabilities and expansions out of Africa. In geosciences, the focus was on the scale, speed, ecological effects, and biodiversity consequences of climate change during the pleistocene glacial and interglacial periods. Which was also significant. Prior to Martin’s overkill idea, the mainstream scientific understanding of Pleistocene and Holocene extinction causes was climate change and significant events .
Martin later developed an ancillary hypothesis, or the “blitzkrieg model”. Focusing on the speed of human entry, and saturation of a frontier landscape. Similar to the to the ideas of Russian climatologist Mikhail I. Budyko. It relates the sudden demise of large mammal populations on different continents and at different times to the arrival of humans. Martin proposed that as humans migrated from Africa and Eurasia to Australia, the Americas, and the islands of the Pacific. The new arrivals rapidly hunted to extinction the large animals on each continent. And were also armed with newer, stronger and more lethal lithic projectiles.
Martin faced all kinds of criticism. Mainly, scientists claimed earlier dates for human arrival in the Americas. Or, later dates for certain extinct animals. He held his own, and maintained that such claims were the result of faulty scientific analysis. Pointing out that no such dates had yet been independently verified. Back then, only several pre-clovis sites are accepted by most workers. They were mainly Topper, Monte Verde, Paisley Caves and a few others.
Originator of the concept of pleistocene rewilding. By establishing breeding populations of surviving animals from other continents such as llamas, camels, lions and cheetahs. And, introducing populations of animals analogous to extinct species, i.e., elephants for mammoths. Allow extinct north American pleistocene fauna and environments to be restored. According to Vance Haynes, “unlike so many people who get infatuated with their own theories, Paul S Martin spent his professional career inviting criticism. He put together two critical conferences about Pleistocene extinctions, and the volumes that came out of those were pace-setting.”
-Birds and Biogeography of the Sierra de Tamaulipas, an Isolated Pine-Oak Habitat. The Wilson
Bulletin. Vol. 66, No. 1: 38-57. (1954);
-A Biogeography of Reptiles and Amphibians in the Gómez Farias Region, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology University of Michigan, No. 101: 1-102. (1958);
-Pleistocene Ecology and Biogeography of North America. pages 375-420: in Carl L. Hubbs
(editor). Zoogeography. Publication No. 52. American Association for the Advancement of
Science, Washington, D.C. x, 509 pp. (1958);
-Prehistoric Overkill. pages 75–120: in Paul S. Martin and H. E. Wright Jr. (editors), Pleistocene
Extinctions: The Search for a Cause. Yale University Press. New Haven, Connecticut. 453 pp.
-Prehistoric Overkill: The Global Model. pages 354-403: in Paul S. Martin and Richard G. Klein
(editors). Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution. University of Arizona Press.
Tucson, Arizona. 892 pp. (1989) ISBN 0816511004; and
-Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Rewilding of America. University of
California Press. xv, 250 pp. (2005) ISBN 0-520-23141-4.
Titles include: mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist, conservationist, explorer, author, science communicator, activist, and scientist.
Flannery is a supporter of renewable energy, phasing out coal power and rewilding.
He was raised as a regular kid near Melbourne. At a young age he became aware of marine pollution and its effect on the ecosystem. Later he earned a under grad degree, and achieved his masters and phd degrees from Austriaian universities. He also proclaimed a visiting chair at Harvard. Was a director of the south Australian museum. And, has worked with climate risk Austrailia.
At age 26, he was hired by the mammalogy department of the Australian Museum. He took his first trips to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and elsewhere, later becoming mammal curator at the museum. He took 15 trips in total to New Guinea starting in 1981, and into the 1990s. After one trip, a tapeworm he found was sent to the parasitologist. It was revealed to be a new species, and was later named ‘Burtiela flanneryi’ after him. Working closely with local tribes to undertake fieldwork. Experiences were later recounted in his book: Throwin Way Leg (1998).
Other memberships and publishing:
Flannery has written hundreds of books and articles. Both fiction and non-fiction (mostly). He is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, a governor of WWF-Australia. He was for a time director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. He has contributed to over 143 scientific papers.
Flannery is a professorial fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne. Until mid-2013 he was a professor at Macquarie University and held the Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability.
In 1980, Tim discovered an dinosaur fossil on the southern coast of Victoria, called the Allosaurid. It was the first from the family known found in Australia. In 1985, he was apart of the team to discover the first Mesozoic mammal fossil discovered in Australia. During the 1980s, Flannery described most of the known pleistocene megafaunal species in New Guinea as well as the fossil record of the phalangerids, a family of possums. As part of his doctoral studies, he reviewed the evolution of macropodidae (kangeroos/wallabies). He has described at least 29 new fossil species, including 11 new genera, and, 3 new subfamilies.
In the 1990s, Flannery published the Mammals of New Guinea (Cornell press); and, Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea (Johns Hopkins press). Both are the most comprehensive reference works on the subjects. The specific name of the greater monkey-faced bat (pteralopex flanneryi), described in 2005, honours Tim for his work.
Climate change communication:
In the 1990s, while doing fieldwork in New Guinea, Flannery observed a change in the elevational range of trees. He realised it’s likely to do with the impacts of climate change. Subsequently he began working on climate change more seriously. Shape shifting to campaigning and publicly communicating about climate change.
This prominence occasionally created hostility from the media. His academic peers were also initially critical of Flannery for speaking outside of his primary area of expertise. When discussing this in 2009, Flannery said that climate change science was a less established field earlier in his career. And that multiple experts from different fields had shifted to respond to the as well. He claimed publicly funded scientists are obliged to communicate their work and be vocal on important issues.
Flannery has frequently discussed the effects of climate change, particularly on Australia, and advocates for mitigation. Regarding links between climate change and the unprecedented recent Austrailian bushfires. He has stated: “I am absolutely certain that [the bushfires are] climate change caused.”
Australian climate commission and climate council:
In 2011, Flannery was appointed to head the Climate Commission, to explain climate change, and the need for a carbon price to the Austraian public. By 2013 (after the next election), Flannery and others launched a new body called the Climate Council. He stated that its goals: “to provide independent information on the science of climate change.
The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People, 1994
A bestseller. The book regards three “future eater” waves of Austrian and New Guinea human migration. The first wave migrated from Southeast Asia approximately 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. The second was polynesian migration to New Zealand and surrounding islands 800 to 3,500 years ago. And, the third and final wave was European colonization at the end of the 18th century. Flannery described the evolution of the first wave of future-eaters: “Sixty thousand or more years ago human technology was developing at what we would consider to be an imperceptible pace. Yet it was fast enough to give the first Australasians complete mastery over the ‘new lands’. Freed from the ecological constraints of their homeland and armed with weapons honed in the relentless arms race of Eurasia, the colonisers of the ‘new lands’ were poised to become the world’s first future eaters.” His book was adapted into a series on television.
Weather makers: history and future impact of climate change, 2005
He spent 5 years writing. The book highlights: sea levels rising, larger storms and species extinction. It also deals with mitigation to reducing emissions, and using solar, and wind power. Other points included the global carbon dictatorship; and, Geothermia. Geothermia, is a city taking advantage of gas reserves on the NSW, Queensland and south Austrialian provincial borders due to climate change. It highlights an urgency to reduce climate change, especially for the larger Austrialian cities.
Article from ‘External frontier’ proposal: “Pleistocene rewilding”: restoring the ecosystems that existed in north America before the arrival of the clovis people and the concomitant disappearance of the north American pleistocene megafauna 13,000 years ago.
He was the second major scientist, after Paul S Martin, to recommend restoring ecosystems that existed in north America before the arrival of the clovis people. Its highlights included that in addition to the wolves that have been already re-introduced to Yellowstone national park, ambush predators, such as jaguars and lions should be reintroduced as well. In order to bring the number of elk in control. The closest extant relatives of the species that became extinct around the clovis period could be introduced to North America’s nature reserves as well. For example, he purposed Indian and African elephants could substitute, respectively, for the mammoth and the mastodon. The Chacoan peccary, for its extinct cousin the flat-headed peccary (Platygonus compressus). Llamas and panthers, which still survive outside of the US, should too be brought back to that country.
Did you know?
In July 2018, at the King Solomon islands, he played a role in the Kwaio Reconciliation programme. It brought an end to a 91-year-old cycle of killings that stemmed from the murders, in 1927 of British Colonial officers, Bell and Gillies, by Kwaio leader Basiana and his followers.