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Fri nite frite: Early North Americans dodged mastodons and mammoths?


From “Early North Americans Lived With Extinct Giant Beasts, Study Shows” (ScienceDaily, May 3, 2012), we learn,

A new University of Florida study that determined the age of skeletal remains provides evidence humans reached the Western Hemisphere during the last ice age and lived alongside giant extinct mammals.

The study published online May 3 in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology addresses the century-long debate among scientists about whether human and mammal remains found at Vero Beach in the early 1900s date to the same time period. Using rare earth element analysis to measure the concentration of naturally occurring metals absorbed during fossilization, researchers show modern humans in North America co-existed with large extinct mammals about 13,000 years ago, including mammoths, mastodons and giant ground sloths.

“The Vero site is still the only site where there was an abundance of actual human bones, not just artifacts, associated with the animals,” said co-author Barbara Purdy, UF anthropology professor emeritus and archaeology curator emeritus at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus.

Wow. So even if man did not “walk with the dinosaurs,” he dodged stuff around here that must have left him feeling pretty small.


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