Harlans ground sloth

Many animals, from the very large to the odd lived during the ice age. Harlan’s Ground Sloth seems to be one of the most bizarre animals from that era. A mix of large and odd, these large, furry animals are related to modern sloths, armadillos, and anteaters. Unlike its smaller modern cousin, Harlan’s ground sloths could be as tall as modern elephants and as heavy as a small car.

Sheer size was not the only odd part of a Harlan’s ground sloth. These giants were bulky, with short necks, powerful chests, and massive jaws. The sloth also had three claws per hand for digging, grabbing, or defending themselves. Just like armored armadillos today, the sloth had a protective coat of rough, brown fur, with nickel-sized bone plates underneath their skin. Scientists called this the “dermal ossicles” or bone skin

Ground sloths migrated to North America during the ice age. They spent their lives wondering open-grasslands with water sources, like rivers and lakes. Using its stubby snout and sense of smell, the sloth may have found and eat grasses, shrubs, and plants with flowers. The need for water sources may have brought Harlan’s Ground Sloths to New Mexico and southern US during the ice age. Before the sand dunes existed, a giant lake called Lake Otero filled the area. It provided a water source that attracted many ice age animals, including Harlan’s Ground Sloths.

Today on the old dried lakebed of Lake Otero or Alkali Flat, New Mexico, Harlan’s Ground Sloths left clues that they were here. Many fossilized footprints are visible. They had crescent shaped footprints. Their back feet twisted inward when they walked. This made them walk slowly, almost like waddling. These large strong slow moving animals became easy targets for daring predators such as Paleo-Human hunters.

The Giant ground sloth of course does not live today. Around 10,000 years ago, the large ice age animals died out. Scientists still debate why the larger animals disappeared. The Harlan ground sloth is reminder of a time long past however with modern technology maybe one day could be brought back.

Abu Hureyra, Syria + archaeological evidence for domestication

In 1963, despite fact project would eventually flood dozens of modern villages and ancient sites. The government of Syrian Arab Republic, decided to create dams on upper Euphrates river. Culminating a series of excavation and archaeological rescue operations. Among them, an extraordinary neolithic site. Abu Hureyra.
In a short span of less than 35 years. They gathered more information about the human being transition to agriculture, then anywhere previously; with more details. Using + setting the standard for new techniques, and with less time.

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Neolithic Critter: Woolly Mammoth

The Woolly Mammoth is a prehistoric animal who became extinct about 3900 years ago when the last ice age ended. Scientists have a lot of information about what this animal looked like thanks to the discovery of frozen mammoth carcasses in Alaska and Siberia. In 2012, in an area where he walked his dogs, an 11 year old Russian kid discovered the remnants of what turned out to be a very well preserved 30,000 year old woolly Mammoth. In 2013, in Russia, scientists discovered a baby woolly mammoth in an ice tomb. Every so often a Woolly Mammoth body parts will be discovered as well.

Woolly Mammoth Facts
• In 1796, Georges Cuvier, a French Zoologist, was the first to identify the Woolly Mammoth as an extinct species of the elephant.
• Similar in size and features to the Asian elephant, the adult Woolly Mammoth was approximately 10 feet tall (3 meters) and weighted about 6 tons (5443 kg). Newborns weighed approximately 200 pounds (90kg) at birth. Females are less.
• Early humans killed Woolly Mammoths for a number of reasons. They ate the meat, but they also made art, homes and tools out of the bones and tusks, and fur to keep warm.
• Why did the Woolly Mammoth become extinct? A definitive reason for why they became extinct is not available; however most scientists believe climate change and hunting caused its demise.

• Although ethical questions remain, the possibility exists that scientists could use the Woolly Mammoth’s genetic material with a female elephants, to one day clone and recreate the animal.
• Using there big molar teeth, the Woolly Mammoth was a herbivore that ate a variety of leaves, fruits, berries, nuts, and twigs.
• Similar to the rings on a tree, or clogged arteries on a human, scientists can determine the age and health of a Woolly Mammoth by the rings on its tusks.
• Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean, may have been the last known home of about 500-1000 Woolly Mammoths until just before 1700 BC when they fully became extinct.


Woolly Mammoths are different
• The Woolly Mammoth lived in extremely cold, arctic environments. Using there thick skin, fur, and small ears, they became well adapted to survive in this type of habitat.
• As the name suggests, the Woolly Mammoth was covered with fur but to really keep them warm, they had about four inches of pure fat for insulation underneath their skin.
• The ears and tail of the Woolly Mammoth were relatively short so they would not get frostbite and to minimize heat loss. Modern day elephants have ears that reach 180 cm (71″) where the Woolly Mammoth’s ears only reached about 30 cm (12″).
• Blood samples taken by scientists have determined that the hemoglobin of the Woolly Mammoth was even adapted to the cold environment, allowing the animal’s tissue to be supplied with oxygen no matter what the temperature.
• The jaw and teeth of the Woolly Mammoth were more vertical than modern elephants and it is believed that it allowed them to more easily feed on grass.
• The long prominent tusks of the Woolly Mammoth could reach up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) long. They would have been used for pushing away ice and snow as well as fighting and defending.

It is believed if the Woolly mammoth is cloned, it will have problems digesting due to the difference of thousands of years of microbes (things and bacteria in stomach that help digest food). There are projects at Harvard and other institutions looking into it right now! There are also ethical questions about using female elephants embryo’s, a number of times, to hybrid, then re-create the species (3-4 breeding cycles after). What do you think? Do Canadians, Russians and Scandinavians stand a better chance to recreate the species, using there arctic north, perhaps to re-invigorate post covid tourisms, with a modern day computer coded and critter cloned Disney land?

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Dymaxion map showing the Late Pleistocene distribution of M. primigenius in blue (light blue was land at the time), inferred from fossil finds
Found frozen in Siberia in 2007, Yuka died from choking on mud 39,000 years ago copy
Woolly 1

Strangers in new land (2016)

Folsom, NM
Blackwater draw, NM
Lehner, Murray springs, and Naco, AZ
Shoop, Penns.
Kimmswick bone bed, MI
Bonfire shelter, TX
Central Alaska (broken mammoth, dry creek, swan point, and walker rd.) Alaska
Elfin de mundo, Mexico

Old Crow
Calico mtn, Cali
Pendejo cave, NM
Tule springs, NV
Pedra Furada, Piavi, Brazil

Meadowcraft rockshelter, Penns.
Monte Verde, Llanquihue, Chilie
Cactus hill, Virginia
Paisley 5 made pt caves, Oregon
Schaefer & heblor mammoth, Wisconsin
Buttermilk creek, Texas (D Freilkin and Gault)

Topper, SC
Saltville, VI.
Taima-taima, Venezuela & Tibia, Columbia
Bluefish caves, Yukon
(24)

Neolithic Sites: Bonfire Shelter

Bonfire Shelter
Ariel photograph of canyon
Partially enclosed entrance before human occupation a huge portion of canyons cliff-face collapsed
1st major excavation was 63 and 64′
its a semi-circular cave vault with buffalo smashing ground on other side
Excavations here were deeper than previously accepted ones (6m)
Student points at section of the three principal stratigraphic deposits about 12000-1000bc
bones around limestone anvil or butchers block
10,000 BC charcoil and fireplace hearths
burned montell dart points
basketry and sandal fragments from zone 3
Bison horn
typical late archaic castroville and montell points
crude biface and flake scrapers
Large rockshelter hidden behind massive roof fall and desecrated bison skeletons

Kennewick man skeleton and Beringia theory


In 1996, two college students in Kennewick, Washington, stumbled on 9400 year old human bones, eroding out of the banks of the Columbia river. Denmark scientists were able to extract DNA from the skeleton. They found it was more common to “native North Americans”, than any of the other populations worldwide.

Kennewick, Washington, Columbia River, skeleton 1996

Beringia theory purposed people migrated from Siberia to Alaska across land bridge that spawned the currently Bering straight. It is believed they did so tracking large animals and game heards.

How did we get here

Neolithic Architecture Site(s): Shoop, East Pennsylvania.

Shoop, Dauphin County, East Pennsylvania, 25km NE Harrisburg, 150km NW Philadelphia.

George Gordon discovered 1930s, looted and collected since.
6500 know, 3500 documented lithic artifacts and flakes. Including stone tools, flakes, projectile points. Over 80 years!
A suspected 98% of sites paleoindian artifacts were made from Onondaga chert. Quarried at Divers Lake. Located 40km west of Buffalo (or about 300km NW of site)

1st scholarly report published in 1952, was only 3rd known paleoindian locality east of the Mississippi River.

Situated on eastern half of 375000 hectare lower Susquehanna river-Penns creek watershed.

Site lies in, small, upland valley, less than 1km north of the divide between two Susquehanna tributary streams (Armstrong creek in north, Powell creek in south). Region is complex in physiogeographic terms.

Following the pre-neolithic glacial retreat. Regional geographic changed from open parkland tundra (spruce, pine, fir, interspersed with grasses, sedges, heath species and shrubs), to a boreal forest dominated by white pine and white birch; though locally slopes were dominated by spruce and pine, and level areas had grasses and species like Oak. A spring on SE margin supplied water year round.

Neolithic Site: Shoop
2 centuries of plowing made collecting artifacts tough
Map showing boundaries of 9 physiographic sections that occur within 50km of site
Tan shaly bedrock
Students collect artifacts
Formal Shoop Boundaries
jasper adzes
Hypothetical Shoop lithic core and evolution of endscrapers
Friends and Mr. Shoop inspect the site

Bluefish Caves, Yukon territory


1st intact lake Pleistocene archaeological localities to be descend in North American arctic circle.
3 sites, in Yukon, 770km NW of Whitehorse.
Caves occupy limestone ridge in Keele ridge/zone of flat topped mountains and plateaus on northern reads of the north Ogilvie mountain ecological zone.
North flowing Bluefish river, 6km west.
It’s 580m above sea lever, unlike Old Crows Narch. Its lowland is 80km to the northeast (pics).

Blue Fish Caves Location
Rugged wild Yukon landscapes
Entrance to cave #2
A rare earth zone (arctic circle)
Vegetation and 15,000 year layers
Jacques Cinq-Mars outside cave 1
Some of Jacques discoveries 1
Caribou antler with sharp stone markings
A neolithic horses jaw