Dire wolf: Aenocyon dirus. Terrible scary wolf dog.

Direwolfs are one of the most famous prehistoric carnivores in North America. Along with there extinct competitor(s): smilodon, scimitar and mountain lion. Terrible scary wolf dogs lived in the Americas and eastern Asia during the late pleistocene and early holocene epochs, 125,000–9,500 years ago.
The species was named in 1858, four years after the first specimen had been found. Two subspecies are recognized: Aenocyon dirus guildayi and Aenocyon dirus dirus. The largest collection of its fossils has been obtained from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Like smilodon (sabre tooth), thousands of specimens were pulled from here.

Dire wolf, aenocyon dirus, were hyper carnivores. Ie. they ate greater than a 70 percent meat diet. They were about 5 feet head to tail. 25% larger than the largest dogs (american massif). Males and females were similar sizes however the males had alittle larger teeth to attract mates. There teeth were strong enough to crush bones, so they could eat and digest marrow. They were about the same size as the largest modern gray wolves (Canis lupus), the Yukon wolf and the northwestern wolf.
A. d. guildayi weighed on average 60 kilograms (132 lb) and A. d. dirus was on average 68 kg (150 lb).
Terrible scary wolf dogs skull and dentition matched those of C. lupus (grey wolfs), but its teeth were larger with greater shearing ability. And, its bite force at the canine tooth was stronger than any known Canis species. Its limbs may have also been lighter and more gracile allowing it to quickly chase down prey. These characteristics are thought to be adaptations for preying on late pleistocene megaherbivores, and in North America. Its prey is known to have included western horses, ground sloths, mastodons, ancient bison, camels and more.

Temporal range:
Dire wolf remains have been found across a broad range of habitats including the plains, grasslands, and some forested mountain areas of North America. The arid savanna of south America, and the steppes of eastern Asia. Sites range in elevation from sea level to 7500 feet. There fossils have rarely been found north of 42°N latitude. They have been found Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Nevada.
Fossils found at the natural trap cavern in Wyoming with sloth and beringa wolves, may indicate there expansion north of 42 N lattitude. This may have had to do with the division between the Laurentide and the Cordilleran Ice Sheet(s). A temporary channel between them could have existed that allowed a small number of them to follow prey north.
The five unconfirmed reports of dire wolf fossils north of 42°N latitude are at Fossil Lake, Oregon (125,000–10,000 YBP), American Falls Reservoir, Idaho (125,000–75,000 YBP), Salamander Cave, South Dakota (250,000 YBP), and four closely grouped sites in northern Nebraska (250,000 YBP).
Major fossil sites for terrible scary wolf dogs are located east of the Rocky Mountains and include Friesenhahn Cave, near San Antonio, Texas; Carroll Cave, near Richland, Missouri; and Reddick, Florida.
10-15 sites have been Remains have also been found in south America and Mexico. Including San Josecito cave where like La Brae, a great presence of remains were identified.

Did you know?
In 2020, mandibles from a dire wolf was found in the vicinity of Harbin, northeastern China. The fossil was described and dated 40,000 YBP. This discovery challenges previous theories that cold temperatures and ice sheets were a barrier for dire wolves. It is proposed that the dire wolf followed migrating prey across Beringia into Eurasia. The find and hypothesis is still being studied.

Like dogs (others) taxonomy and evolution changed:
From the 1850s, the fossil remains of extinct large wolves were being found in the United States. It was not immediately clear that these all belonged to one species. The first specimen that became associated with aenocyon dirus was found in mid-1854, in the bed of the Ohio River near Evansville, Indiana. Paleontologist Joseph Leidy determined the specimen represented an extinct species of wolf. He reported it under the name of canis primaevus. It was around the 1980s scientist re-attributed the genus and species to aenocyon dirus. Before then, they had a number of synonmyns including: aenocyon dirus nebrascensis, canis ayers, canis dirus, canis indianensis, canis mississippiensis, canis nehringi, canis primaevus and others.

Did you know? There is no evidence Terrible or scary wolf or dog interbred with grey wolf.

Sexual dimorphism, (difference in male and females, other than sex organs), aside from teeth, there was little variance. Indicating that dire wolves lived in monogamous pairs. Their large size and highly carnivorous dentition vindicated direwolfs fed on large prey. To kill megafauna larger than themselves, they needed to rely on more than there strong teeth and jaws. Often consisting a alpha. They were forced to worked together as packs consisting of an mating pair and their offspring from the current and previous years.

A. d. guildayi (the smaller of the direwolfs) is the most common carnivoran found at La Brea. Remains of dire wolves outnumber remains of gray wolves in the tar pits by a ratio of five to one. It is thought, during the Last Glacial Maximum, coastal California, had a climate slightly cooler and wetter than today, and that it was a refuge. Because of this, and the larger numbers of dire wolfs found there. It is likely that fairly sizeable groups fed there together. The many A. d. guildayi remains found in the tar pits also suggests that were social predators.
The large size of the dire wolf provides an estimated prey size in the 300 to 600 kg (660 to 1,320 lb) range.
Analysis of bones and fecal mater show they had a preference for consuming ruminants such as bison. They moved to other prey such as lama, camel, horse and others when food became scarce. They even occasionally scavenged on beached whales along the Pacific coast when available. Example: A pack of modern timber wolves can bring down a 500 kg (1,100 lb) moose as their preferred prey. A pack of dire wolves bringing down a bison thus is conceivable.

Did you know: Predatory birds and mammals were attracted to dead or dying herbivores at La Brae tar pits,that had become bogged. It would then trap the predators.
It is estimated that herbivore entrapment occured once every fifty years. For every instance of herbivore remains. There were ten carnivores.

Tooth breakage:
Tooth breakage relates to carnivore’s behavior.
One study of fossilized remains of large carnivores from La Brea pits dated 36,000–10,000 years ago shows tooth breakage rates of 5–17% for the
dire wolf, coyote, American lion, and smilodon, compared to 0.5–2.7% for ten modern predators. The dire wolf broke its incisors more often
when compared to the modern gray wolf; thus, it has been proposed that the dire wolf used its incisors more closely to the bone when feeding.
A theory exists: When humans arrived, climate was already changing; and, there was a limited prey availability. Competition between carnivores increased, causing them to eat faster and consume more bone, leading to more tooth breakage. As greater prey became extinct around 10,000 years ago, so did the terrible scary wolf dog carnivores, or direwolf.

Before the appearance of the dire wolf, North America was invaded by the genus xenocyon (species of wild dog or canis). They were as large as the dire wolf but more hypercarnivorous. Evidence indicate that these, the dire wolf, smilodon, and the american lion competed for the same prey. Other large carnivores included the north American giant short-faced bear (arctodus simus), cougar (puma concolor), pleistocene coyote (canis latrans), and pleistocene gray wolf. These predators may have also competed with humans who hunted for similar prey.
At the recent find in eastern asia. The dire wolf would have even competed with cave hyena (crocuta crocuta ultima). Competition with this species may have kept Eurasian dire wolf populations very low, leading to the paucity of dire wolf fossil remains in this otherwise well-studied fossil fauna.

During the quaternary extinction event around 12,700 years ago, 90 genera of mammals weighing over 44 kilograms (97 lb) went extinct.
Scientists still debate what contributed to the event. Including overhunting, climate change; a large comet; natural disasters; or what was probably combination of factors .
Carnivores and scavengers definitely contributed to the extinction of the megaherbivore prey upon which they depended. Both dire wolf and beringian wolf went extinct, leaving only the less carnivorous and more gracile wolf to thrive. One study proposes gray wolves and coyotes survived due to their ability to hybridize with other canids. Such as the domestic dog. And, to acquire traits that resist diseases brought by taxa arriving from Eurasia, and elsewhere.
Who would have guessed such a well known critter would create so much information and folklore. Here’s to the terrible scary wolf dog, or direwolf.

Direwolf at La brae 1114

Is pendejo cave the oldest known culture in north America?

There is a geological feature and archaeological site located in southern New Mexico about 20 miles east of Orogrande. Archaeologists claimed that its human occupation pre-date clovis culture by 10s of thousands of years. Traditionally, it is believed to be one of the oldest if not the oldest culture in the Americas.

Pendejo is a relatively small cave, only 5 meters wide, 12 meters deep, and having a height of around 2 meters. It is below an escarpment rim, facing north, and about 50 metres above a canyon floor, in the Chihuahua desert. Amist sparse vegetation, the cave is located at an elevation of 1,490 metres. A slightly more moist habitat is found at the foot of the cliffs. (Pic)

Archaeological history:
12 years after its discovery. In 1990, the first archaeological expedition excavated the site. Clovis tools were found in the cave, along with tools from later indigenous societies.

Unifacial shavers, and other artifacts were uncovered. They were attributed to various Pleistocene to neolithic age(s). Several examples of worked bone included a horse scapula bone awl, and knife made from rib bone. Amongst salamanders, mice, voles, birds and rats were horse, lama, pronhorn, deer and even bear remains.

Archaeologist Richard MacNeish claimed to have found the oldest native North American artifacts in the cave. He estimated the oldest may date back as far as 75,000 years. According to MacNeish, the 3 pre-clovis strata were named, from oldest to youngest, orogrande, mcgregor, and north mesa.

Due to the lack of a human skeleton some scientists debunked the theory. Though in 2015, a journal of southwestern anthropology and history article may have re-confirmed the study.

Note that lack of skeletons had also de-vindicated dates in: Meadowcroft (PA), Cactus hill (VA), Monte verde (Chile), Pedra furado (Brazil) and others.

Faunal remains in the cave had been dated to older than 50,000 years. The manufacture and dating of some of the chipped stones and other alleged artifacts origin maybe disputed. However, pendejo cave presents that pre-clovis and Beringa human life in north America could have existed.

About as close as we could get to Pendejo Caves, outside Orogrande, New Mexico.

Long nosed peccaries (mylohyus nasutus)

Unlike modern pigs, long-nosed peccaries had upper incisors, or tusks, that grow downwards.
They had a long, slender muzzle and jaw and were about the size of a small white-tailed deer.

Most paleontologists believe these animals were omnivorous, their diet dominated by plant matter, but occasionally supplemented by small animals (e.g., eggs, mice, worms).

Unlike the flat-headed peccary, the long-nosed peccary was probably a solitary animal. They were found in caves, because often they were devoured by scimitars or mountain lions. In general, they mostly occupied parkland or forested habitats.

Long-nosed peccaries were distributed throughout eastern north America. With concentrations in Appalacia and Florida. Most fossil areas are found in the south and south-east US. Though some are from west Texas in Fowlkes Cave, up north to Kimmswick and Crankshaft Cave in Missouri. And, Pennsylvanias Frankstown and Hollidaysburg Fissue caves, and, Prairie Creek in Indiana.

Located near the modern city of Brno at the base of Mount Děvín, Dolní Věstonice is at 550 metres (or 1,800 ft).

Spanning at least 27-20k years ago. Dolní Věstonice is an open-air site located along a stream. Its people hunted mammoths and other herd animals. It was known for saving mammoth and other bones that could be used to construct living spaces, and fence-like boundarys. In this way, the perimeter of the sites would be easily distinguishable. Outside logs, fuel; weapons, tools; supply and resources could be brought in safely.

This area, was one of the first, and best known, to provide rich deposits of archaeological evidence, regarding ice age people of Europe. It showed how people constructed huts of mammoth bones, log and timber, as well as technology art and burial practices.

In one of Dolní Věstonices huts, scientists discovered possibly the oldest clay kilns. It was dating to 28-24,000 years ago. This is truly is an epi-centre for pioneers of European and neolithic tradition.

The Venice of Dolní Věstonice became well known for generations because of its fertility or possibly as a female idol or goddessness. Many carved animal bones, including ivory were found. They depicted mammoth, rhinoceros, bear and lion. Even man and women carvings were found.

It had been suggested Dolní Věstonice and its figurenes had magical significance. Nowadays we see them as pieces of art, but to paleolithic and neolithic men/women. It was probably a lot more.

In SE Austria Gudenus cave is an archaeological site near city of Krems

It is known for its animal fossils and remains of paleolithic and neolithic cave men/women.
Human artifacts include flint tools, engraved reindeer bone, even a fragment of bone flute dated to 10-30,000 years before present.

The cave is 22m (72 feet) long; its width is 2-3 m; and it is situated 7.5m (or 25 ft) above the level of stream.
The site is close to river Danube.

Animal archaeologically speaking. Deposits have yielded Woolly mammoth, Woolly rhinoceros, Aurochs, Chamois, Reindeer, and Red deer.

That’s one heck of a shelter!

Giant neolithic architecture progressive/ propaganda / manifesto

Phenomenology as “the process of letting things manifest themselves.” Phenomenology attempts to enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured; things that are so taken for granted that they are muted by abstract observation.

First aim of phenomenology is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one’s environment.

Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the product/service or motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with neolithic architecture: pest control, chimney cleaning and/or log cabin building, provoke thought and possible frustration.    Never the less revitalizing the views perception and attention to detail.    Neolithic architecture is essential but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the organization.    Because, neolithic architecture has been censored the various reactions, and interpretations of those who view it reflect their personality, and the nature of their sensibilities.    Many people who are framiliar with neolithic architecture find the idea amusing, recognizing it as nonsensical, and are able to derive straightforward meaning and visual pleasure without burdening themselves with an explanation.    The PARANOID OR CONSERVATIVE VIEW however may be confused by neolithic architectures persistent precedes and condemn it as an underground cult and subversive intentions.    Many organizations have been taken down by people who were annoyed by them, considering them an over reaction, having too much energy, being an eye sore, act of bullying, or petty or punk vandalism, which is ironic considering the number of commercial organizations and images humans are assaulted with daily.

Another phenomenon neolithic architecture has brought to light is the trendy and CONSPICUOUSLY CONSUMPTIVE nature of many members of society.    For those who have been surrounded by Neolithic Architecture, its familiarity and cultural resonance is comforting, and being a part provides a souvenir or keepsake, a memento.    People have often demanded Neolithic Architecture merely because it is everywhere, and possessing a share provides a sense of belonging.    The giant neolithic architecture seems mostly to be embraced by those who are (or at least they seem to be) rebellious.    Even though these people may not know the meaning of the organization, they enjoy its slightly disruptive underground quality, and wish to contribute to the furthering of its humorous, and absurd presence. Which seem to somehow be anti-establishment/social convention.   

Giant neolithic architecture are both embraced and rejected, the reason behind which, upon examination reflects the psyche of the viewer.    Whether the reaction be positive or negative, neolithic architectures existence is worthy as long as it causes people to consider the details and meanings of there surrounds.    In the name of fun and observation.

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Isn’t the lama cute? ancient lama: hemiaucheia

The genus name is derived from the ancient greek: hēmi-, “half” and auchēn, “neck”.
Discovered in south America in 1880.
Described in north America, in 1883, by Edward Drinker Cope.

Found Se Alberta, Canada to central Mexico. Including Floridia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington.

South American fossils were found in the Luján and Agua Blanca Formations of Buenos Aires Province and Córdoba Province, Argentina. The Tarija Formation of Bolivia. Pilauco of Osorno, Los Lagos, Chile. And, Paraíba, Ceará, and the Touro Passo Formation of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

5.5 feet at shoulder. Around 880lbs full grown.
Habitat included woodlands wetlands and grasslands
Lived in small herds. They were well known in the Mojave desert.

Species are also specified using latinised names from other languages:

H. vera (true hemiauchenia):
Relatively low-crowned teeth (part of visible teeth ends close to gums);
Large caniniform (canine-like) upper first premolar; and
Retention of lower third premolar.

H. blancoensis (blancan hemiauchenia):
Named for blancan age stratum where typically found;
Shorter mandibular diastema (teeth-spacing between incisors and molars); than H. macrocephala and H. vera;
Caniniform upper first premolar;
Absent second premolar;
Upper third premolar present or absent; and,
Lower crowned molars.

H. macrocephala (great-headed hemiauchenia):
Possesses a larger skull relative to other species;
Long, robust limbs;
Large skeletal size;
Presence of a deciduous upper second premolar;
Fully molariform deciduous second premolar (its infant bicuspids were like molars);
High-crowned molars;
Thick layer of cementum on the teeth; and,
Broad mandibular symphysis (line where the bones of the jaw join together) with incisors in a vertical fashion.

H. minima (least hemiauchenia):
Despite being the earliest recognized species, general distinguishing characteristics for H. minima are little known.

Other species:
Also, a few lesser known species. These may or may not be considered legitimate taxa.

Like horses and deer, the genus has a number of species.

Classification history:

In 1974, scientist David Webb, proposed that holomeniscus, lama, and tanupolama fossil specimens were part of a single hemiauchenia genus.

These friendly looking critters had many predators. Including: direwolfs, smilodon, american lion, coyotes and humans. Despite there looks, the ‘half necks’ probably had to keep distance from carnivores and man. And were a tasty snack.

Aurochs (Bos primigenius)

With a recorded shoulder height of more than 70 inches and horns poking out to more than 62 inches. The aurochs are considered to be the wildest ancestor of modern domestic cattle. And, if that wasn’t enough. There are one of the largest herbivores in modern times.


Both “aur” and “ur” are Germanic or Celtic words meaning wild ox. The Latin word “urus” was used for wild ox since the Gallic Wars and probably evolved. The old high German words ūr meaning “primordial” and ohso for “ox” were compounded to ūrohso, which became the early modern aurochs. Its obvious many people, especially northerners, were dependent on the aurochs for our survival.

Behavior and ecology:
Most aurochs were around 5 feet long, and weighed one ton. They lived longer than modern domestic cattle, and were capable of speeds around 30 mph.

Aurochs lived singly or in smaller groups during the summer but formed larger heards in winter. Social status was gained through displays and fights, in which both cows and bulls engaged. It was probably relating to natural selection, and using there giant horns. Because of there hypsodont jaws, the aurochs were big grazers, with a food selection very similar to domesticated cattle feeding on grass, twigs and acorns.
Mating season was in September, and calves were born in spring. The bulls would sometimes have severe fights. In Jakorow forest, Poland, there’s evidence that shows the ridiculous bull fighting led to death. Later in the seasons, aurochs ate up large amounts of food for winter, and got fatter and shinier than the rest of the year. Calves stayed with their mother until they were strong enough to join and keep up with the herd on the feeding grounds. They were vulnerable to predation by grey wolf (canis lupus), brown bear (ursus arctos), and others. While healthy adult aurochs probably did not have to fear predators. The lion (panthera leo), tiger (panthera tigris) and hyena (crocuta crocuta) were likely predators in pre-neolithic times and including Africa. According to historical descriptions, and writing. The aurochs were swift and could be very aggressive. Adult aurochs, were not afraid of neolithic humans. Just look at there bull horn size.

Culturally significance:
In 2003, the international commission on zoological nomenclature placed bos primigenius on the official list of specific names in zooology.
Three aurochs subspecies were recognized:
▪ The Eurasian aurochs (B. p. primigenius) was part of the Pleistocene megafauna in Eurasia.
▪ The Indian aurochs (B. p. namadicus) lived on the Indian subcontinent.
▪ The North African aurochs (B. p. mauritanicus) lived north of the Sahara.

Modern cattle breeds exhibit aurochs features:
The dark color and light eel stripe along the back of bulls,
the lighter color of cows, and
an aurochs-like horn shape

Cultural significance:
In Asia

-On India’s southern deccan plateau, acheulean layers in hunasagi yielded aurochs bones with lithic tool cut marks.
-At the Nesher Ramla homo site in Israel, an aurochs bone with cut marks were found in a middle paleolithic dated at about 120,000 years ago.
-An archaeological excavation in Israel yielding evidence of a large feast 12,000 years ago. It found evidence of the natufian culture, and a great feast, in which three aurochs were eaten. It even appeared to be held in conjunction with the burial of an older woman, presumably of some rarity and social status.
-Auroch petroglyphs found in gobustan rock art in azerbaijan date to the upper paleolithic to neolithic times.
-Aurochs bones and skulls found at the settlements of Mureybet, Hallan Çemi and Çayönü indicate that people stored and shared food in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B culture.
-In necropolis Sidon, and Lebanon, dating to around 3,700 years BP; aurochs was buried together with numerous animals, humans and food.
-Found in Harappa and Mohenjo-daro show an animal with curved horns like an aurochs, and included a seal from mohenjo-daro seals dating to the indus valley civilization.
-Western caucasus and the maykop cultures made aurochs figurines.
-Aurochs are denoted in the Akkadian words rīmu and rēmu, both used by rulers such as Naram-Sin of Akkad, Tiglath-Pileser I and Shalmaneser III; and in Mesopotamia. Aurochs symbolised power and sexual potency, was an epithet of the gods Enlil and Shamash. They denoted prowess as an epithet of the king Sennacherib and the hero Gilgamesh (in christian bible). In ugaritic texts, wild bulls are frequently referred to in as a hunt and sacrificed to the god Baal.
-Constructed in the 6th century BC. An aurochs depicted on Babylon’s Ishtar Gate.

In Africa
-Around 16-15,000 years ago, relief on the ishtar gate display at the pergamon museum petroglyphs depict aurochs found in the upper Nile valley. They are the oldest engravings found to date in Africa.
-Aurochs are depicted in ancient Egyptian hunting scenes. In reliefs, in a tomb at Thebes, dating to the 20th century BC. And, the youngest depiction of aurochs in ancient egypt are the mortuary temple of Ramesses III, at Medinet Habu, dating to around 1175 BC.

In Europe:
-Dating to 36,000 and 21,000 years ago, aurochs are widely represented in Paleolithic cave paintings, in Chauvet and Lascaux caves in southern France.
-In Italy, two paleolithic rock engravings in the calabrian romito cave depict aurochs. Palaeolithic engravings showing aurochs are also found in the grotta del genovese in Levanzo.
-From Gravettian to the Magdalenian cultures, upper paleolithic rock engravings and paintings depict the aurochs.
-From France, Luxemburg, Germany, Netherlands, England and Denmark auroch bones were found with lithic tool and cut marks.
-Mesolithic settlements by the Narva and Emajõgi rivers in Estonia also yielded aurochs bones.
-A cup found in the Greek site of Vaphio shows a hunting scene, where people tried to capture aurochs. One of the bulls throws the hunter on the ground while attacking the second with its horns. The cup seems to date to Mycenaean Greece.
-Greeks and Paeonians hunters used aurochs and their huge horns as trophies, cups for wine, offerings to the gods, heroes and in colosseum and amphitheatre battles.
The ox mentioned by Samus, Philippus of Thessalonica and Antipater as killed by Philip V of Macedon on the foothills of mountain Orvilos, was actually an auroch; Philip offered the horns, which were 41 in long and the skin to a temple of Hercules.
-Aurochs were described in Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico.
-Romans used Aurochs horns as horns.
-In the Nibelungenlied, Sigurd killed four aurochs.
-Many aurochs horn sheaths are preserved today. During the middle ages, aurochs horns were used as drinking horns including the horn of the last bull.
-The aurochs drinking horn at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge was engraved with the college’s coat of arms in the 17th century.
-An aurochs head with a star between its horns and Christian iconographic represent the official coat of arms for Moldavia and has been perpetuated for centuries.

Most aurochs were hunted with arrows or spears, nets and hunting dogs. Prehistoric folklore believed the hair on there foreheads cut from the living animal; increased the fertility of women. Belts were made out of this to help.
When the aurochs were slaughtered, the os cordis was extracted from the heart. This bone was believed to create mystique and magical powers.
In eastern Europe, the aurochs left traces in expressions like “behaving like an aurochs” for a drunken person behaving badly, and “a bloke like an aurochs” for big and strong people.

Last heard of around around 1600 In Jakatro forest, Poland:
It was believed the bulls started to increase during the pleistocene in Asia. It was only in modern times they started decreasing. The last one died in 1627 in Jaktorów forest in Poland.
RIP Aurochs (Bos primigenius).


Did you know? The only thing humans have in common for more than 40,000 years is mining.

A piece of limestone with chert and flint fragments
flintknapping the small fragments
Thousands of year old flint or chert carving into the side of a limestone bluff in Texas USA

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