MessageToEagle.com - The Ice Age world was, geologically, just a moment ago. Fascinating but today extinct giant animals, like
mammoths, mastodons and giant ground sloths, coexisted with early Americans in those days.
For millions of years, these animals survived, living in temperate climates and on the wind-swept lands of the frozen north –
great beasts weighing as much as eight tons and bearing tusks up to 16 feet long.
Mammoths and mastodons were wonderfully successful creatures of the Ice Age. They were a source of food and artistic
inspiration for ancient peoples who lived in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Then, something terrible happened and despite their gigantic size and ability to adapt to different habitats, these early
cousins of the elephant eventually went extinct – leaving us an abundant fossil record.
A team at the University of Florida determined the age of skeletal remains and claimed to have gathered evidence that
humans reached the Western Hemisphere during the last ice age and lived alongside the giant mammals, now extinct.
The findings, published in the 'Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology', address the century-long debate 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 fossilisation,
the researchers showed modern North Americans co-existed with large extinct mammals about 13,000 years ago.
"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.
Mammoths and Mastodons roamed the northernmost reaches of North America. Image Credits: Heinrich Harder
"Scientists who disputed the age of the human remains in the early 20th century just did not want to believe
that people were in the Western Hemisphere that early. And 100 years later, every single book written about the prehistory
of North America includes this site and the controversy that still exists," Purdy said.
Following discovery of the fossils in South Florida between 1913 and 1916, some prominent scientists convinced the
researchers the human skeletons were from more recent burials and not as old as the animals, a question that remained
unanswered because no dating methods existed.
A depiction of a mammoth, carved into a fossilised bone found at Vero Beach, Florida, may represent the earliest
known example of American art. From Purdy et al.
"The uptake of rare earth elements is time-dependent, so an old fossil is going to have very different concentrations of
rare earth elements than bones from a more recent human burial. We found the human remains have statistically the same
concentrations of rare earth elements as the fossils," said lead author Bruce MacFadden.
In their research, the team analysed samples from 24 human bones and 48 animal fossils in the Florida Museum's collections
and determined the specimens were all from the late Pleistocene epoch about 13,000 years ago.
While rare earth element analysis method is not as precise as radiocarbon dating, Purdy said the significance of human
skeletons found in Vero Beach is unquestionable in terms of their presence in the Western Hemisphere.
"Humans would have been following the animals for a food supply, but that's about all we know. We know what some of
their tools looked like and we know they were hunting the extinct animals but we know practically nothing about their
family life, such as how these ancient people raised their children and grieved for their dead," Purdy said.
Mysteries Of The Sun Explained In Video
Are you curious about the Sun? You now have an excellent chance to learn everything you ever wanted, and even more about our Sun and all its mysteries.
Five new videos called "Mysteries of the Sun" have been just released by NASA.
The videos describe the science of the sun and its effects on the solar system and Earth.
Scots Are Descendants Of A Lost Race
DNA can be used as a telescope to look back into the past, and this is excatly what a group of scientists have done to cast more light on an ancient mystery.
New ground-breaking study suggests that Scots are descendants of long lost tribes from the Sahara.
In addition, the study also reveals that Scots are very closely related to Napoleon Bonaparte!
Hidden Misshapen Celestial "Wonder"
It is one of the brightest and strangest objects in the Milky Way - the corpse of a star that exploded around 1000 years ago.
Only a handful of such young supernova remnants are known.
The object named G350.1-0.3 is also incredibly small (only eight light years across) and young in astronomical terms.
Lichen Crab Spider With A Human "Face"
A Lichen Crab spider is harmless to humans but its look can be a little frightening.
The spider has a human face on its back!
It is a very rare spider. Since 1890 only 41 one of them have ever been seen in Britain.
Mercury Surprises Scientists
On March 17, MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space Environment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) completed its one-year primary mission, orbiting Mercury, capturing nearly 100,000 images, and recording data
that reveals new information about the planet's core, topography, and the mysterious radar bright material in the permanently shadowed areas near the poles.
Living Earth Simulator - Supercomputer Predicting The Future
In Douglas Adams book the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy we encounter a machine called Deep Thought. It is the most powerful computer ever built. Deep Thought is capable of answering questions
concerning life, the Universe, and simply everything. Now scientists are planning to create a similar machine. It is called the Living Earth Simulator (LES).