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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2005 :  06:00:33  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Due to apes commonly living in forests, they don't fossilize as readly as hominids due to corpses and especally their bones being consumed by a large varity of other creatures. So when such a fossil is found, it is almost a bigger event than the discovery of an hominid.
quote:
Ancient Ape DiscoveredóLast Ape-Human Ancestor?

National Geographic News

November 18, 2004
In Spain scientists have discovered 13-million-year-old fossils of new species of ape. The species may have been the last common ancestor of humans and all great apes living today. (See pictures of the new ape species.)

The great apesówhich later gave rise to humans and which now include orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillasóare thought to have diverged from the lesser apes about 11 to 16 million years ago. Today's lesser apes include the gibbons.

The new species was christened Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, after the village, Els Hostalets de Pierola, and region, Catalonia, where it was found. Like great apes and humans, Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, had a stiff lower spine and other special adaptations for climbing trees.

The fossil skeleton's age would make it just old enough to be the last ancestor common to all modern great apes and humans, the researchers say in the November 19 issue of the journal Science. Or, if the ancestor wasn't Pierolapithecus exactly, it may have looked a lot like Pierolapithecus and been closely related.

Are we getting closer to meeting that common ancestor?


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2005 :  13:50:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
Why would forest corpses get eaten but not other habitat corpses?
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2005 :  14:47:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal

Why would forest corpses get eaten but not other habitat corpses?

Of course other corpses get eaten but in the forest, there are more bone-eaters, notably porcupines. Mice, rats and other rodents, and even lagomorphs, gnaw bones to get the calcium.

The same thing happens with antlers -- I have spent a lot of time in the woods, but only once have I found a deer antler, and it showed signs of gnawing. Also, only twice have I found a skull; from a fox and an opossum. Once the meat is gone, the bones soon follow.

Also, forest areas are less likely to provide opportunity for a quick burial than others, leaving the bones vunerable.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  07:53:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
One less gap to try to wedge ID Creationism into.

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  10:19:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Key words in the article? May have been. Dont put evidence where it isnt yet or they'll throw piltdown in your face.

Edit: Also National Geographic is losing credibility with me by the day. Their TV channel is festooned with Psychics, UFOs, Bigfeet and all sorts of gobbledygook. I know its TV but hey the majority of the people look to TV and not books for answers.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Edited by - BigPapaSmurf on 10/03/2005 10:23:56
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  10:49:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy
Of course other corpses get eaten but in the forest, there are more bone-eaters, notably porcupines. Mice, rats and other rodents, and even lagomorphs, gnaw bones to get the calcium.

The same thing happens with antlers.
Ah, so this is why the squirrels keep gnawing on the set of deer antlers my dad hung over his deck. Tenacious little things.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  11:36:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

quote:
Originally posted by filthy
Of course other corpses get eaten but in the forest, there are more bone-eaters, notably porcupines. Mice, rats and other rodents, and even lagomorphs, gnaw bones to get the calcium.

The same thing happens with antlers.
Ah, so this is why the squirrels keep gnawing on the set of deer antlers my dad hung over his deck. Tenacious little things.


Exactly! They require the minerals bone and antler contain and an added benefit is that it helps keep their ever-growing incisors worn down.

I don't think that anybody's claiming this as anything more than a very old and very rare ape fossil, not even NG (which is not a scientific publication and makes no claims to be such).

I must admit that ever since the Archeoraptor debacle, I too look for independant conformation of their more sensational articles. But then again, they're a large cut above most of the rest of the popular herd when it comes to science.

I'm curious to see what Scientific American makes of it.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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