Tuesday 15 July 2014

Lions, and Tigers, and . . . Wait! What? . . . Gomphotheres?

That's right, kiddies. Gomphotheres! 

A tip o' the old brown fedora to Phys.org, who ceaselessly work to keep me informed of science news, even if I'm not usually in a position to pay attention. Yesterday, my metaphorical archaeological divining rod dipped hard, and up came this
Meet the gomphothere: Archaeologists discover bones of elephant ancestor
W.O.W., or words to that effect. Gomphotheres! Wait. What's a Gomphothere? And what were people like us doing hanging out in the same ecosystem? Both good questions, Grasshopper. Voilá!

This brilliant paleoconstruction is the work of Sergio de la Rosa-Martínez.

The gomphothere is the little guy on the right. Who knew? They were supposed to be extinct before the original human inhabitants arrived in what was then, truly, the New World.

The paper describing the possible interaction of us and them is
"Human (Clovis)–gomphothere (Cuvieronius sp.) association ∼13,390 calibrated yBP in Sonora, Mexico," by Guadalupe Sanchez, Vance T. Holliday, Edmund P. Gaines, Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales, Natalia Martínez-Tagüeña, Andrew Kowler, Todd Lange, Gregory W. L. Hodgins, Susan M. Mentzer, and Ismael Sanchez-Morales. PNAS, published online before print July 14, 2014, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1404546111, July 14, 2014. 
That's quite a line-up!

And quite a locality, all things considered. Por ejemplo, mira usted! Forget CRYSTAL SKULLS. They're just for show! The beauty shown below, on the other hand, was for rockin' and rollin' with the pachyderms. Or, so these authors claim.

Quartz crystal Clovis biface. Credit: INAH Sonora, and Phys.org

And, there's lots more. Heaps more. Clovis. And gomphothere. Crazy.

I haven't the time to get down and subversive on the claims for the contemporaneity of and interactions between us and the gomphotheres. But I will have the time real soon.

I've missed you!