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Humans “off the hook” for ancient African mammal extinction?

Only five species of massive herbivores are left and some say humans killed off the others: Writing in the journal Science, Tyler Faith, from the Natural History Museum of Utah, and colleagues argue that long-term environmental change drove the extinctions. This mainly took the form of an expansion of grasslands, in response to falling atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO ) levels. “Despite decades of literature asserting that early hominins (human relatives) impacted ancient African faunas, there have been few attempts to actually test this scenario or to explore alternatives,” said Dr Faith. “Humans ‘off the hook’ for African mammal extinction” at BBC Now that Dr. Faith mentions it, the claim is more of an accusation than a hypothesis, and it is Read More ›

Bone tools from Africa dated to 90,000 years ago

“Africa’s Stone Age was also a Bone Age,” we are told: Ancient Africans took bone tools to a new level around 90,000 years ago by making pointed knives out of animals’ ribs, scientists say. Before then, bone tools served as simpler, general-purpose cutting devices. Members of northern Africa’s Aterian culture, which originated roughly 145,000 years ago, started crafting sharp-tipped bone knives as fish and other seafood increasingly became dietary staples, researchers suggest online October 3 in PLOS ONE…  Bruce Bower, “A 90,000-year-old bone knife hints special tools appeared early in Africa” at Science News Paper. (open access) Meanwhile, the world’s oldest fishing nets (29,000 years ago) may have been discovered in Korea: The 14 stone sinkers were discovered in the Maedun Read More ›