Every few months, some scientist proclaims that something else killed off every single Neanderthal as well as all our nearest relations. Yes, we are not to blame! Right. Of course, we are murdering the last of the Great Apes all over the planet. Not to mention killing off most species of nearly every class of animal on land, sea and air! But we need to blame someone else. Mother Nature! Yup, it all Her fault.
Neanderthals disappeared from Earth more than 20,000 years ago, but figuring out why continues to challenge anthropologists. One team of scientists, however, now says they have evidence to back climate change as the main culprit.
The Iberian Peninsula, better known as present-day Spain and Portugal, was one of the last Neanderthal refuges. Many scientists have thought that out-hunting by Homo sapiens and interbreeding with them brought Neanderthals to their demise, but climate change has also been proposed.
Francisco Jiménez-Espejo, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Granada in Spain, says a lack of evidence has left climate change weakly supported—until now. “We put data behind the theory,” he said, filling in a large gap in European climate records when Neanderthals faded out of existence.
Hell's Bells: we can barely restrain ourselves from killing our loved ones not to mention, butchering our neighbors and anyone in distant lands! If there was ever a species more prone to murder, humans win that laurel! Even as the record for the 20th Century is soaked in blood, as various leaders talked about enslaving and annihilating millions of people, and these guys all were 'civilized'---the desire to murder runs very deep in our genes.
My own parents told me they would never talk to me again and they disowned me because I wrote about humans being ill-tempered and hating even their own children and spouses. Proved me wrong! Heh. Well, any alien who would stumble by this planet in order to make crop circles and flash lights over cities would notice pretty fast that humans are very irritable and like to kill anyone or anything that irritates themselves.
Actually, we kill for fun, too. We kill for sexual pleasure. Mothers kill their babies if they are too annoying. Indeed, humans, unlike animals, need lots of rules, laws and commandments ordering them to not do this too often or to the wrong creatures. For example, in many places today, it is illegal to kill the wife if she overcooks the pasta! Wow. Progress!
Or killing roomates or classmates: verboten. Doesn't stop it much but at least we recognize the need to forbid doing this just in case anyone gets an idea and thinks it is time to butcher one's associates. But then, this is pretty obvious humans need many exterior restraints to prevent non-stop murder. So why do I see, week after week, studies 'proving' that all our many relatives in the human branch of the Great Ape family, died 'natural' deaths?
Are these people all Lady Macbeths, wiping the invisible blood off the hands? 'Out, out, damn spot!' they all shout as they publish their goofy papers.
At this point, it utterly pisses me off. Neanderthals didn't die in Spain, they once lived all over the place, all over Eurasia and probably northern Africa! And every last one of them was KILLED. And not over 100 years but over thousands and thousands of years. Half to the time, when they met our ancestors, things were OK. But then every few years, our ancestors would kill every Neanderthal they met. And since things were going 'badly' according to the scientists in this latest article, guess what?
WE ATE THEM. For we have strong tendencies towards cannibalism! All apes have this. We have this in spades. This is why so many religions and societies have to have RULES about cannibalism: you can't eat your baby or your clan's babies. You can't eat your brother or your wife. Not even your damned mother-in-law. Verboten. But there were no rules concerning eating Neanderthals! They were not of the clan nor were they wives or babies! Yummy. McNeanderthals!
Chinese archaeologists say they have uncovered strong evidence that Stone Age people in southern East Asia were at least as technologically advanced as their European cousins -- challenging the long-standing theory of "two cultures".
Excavations at the Dahe Stone Age site, in southwest China's Yunnan Province, had revealed elaborate stone tools and instruments that rivaled those of the Mousterian culture that existed at that time in Europe, said Ji Xueping, chief archaeologist at the site.
Dated as 36,000 to 44,000 years old, the Dahe site has since 1998 yielded cores -- stones or flints from which flakes had been removed -- including Levalloisian tortoiseshell-shaped and cylindrical blade cores, semicircular scrapers, end scrapers, denticulations (evenly spaced rectangular blocks set in a row), Mousterian-type points and beak-shaped stones.
Technologically they were very similar to European Mousterian cultures, which were characterized by flint flake tools dating from 70,000 to 32,000 BC and named after archaeological finds in the cave of Le Moustier, Dordogne, France. The Levalloisian technique describes the flaking method and is named after the French town of Levallois-Perret where it was identified.
Um, the same people who killed and probably ate, the Neanderthals were restless. Not only did they spread all over Africa and Eurasia during the last Ice Age, they crossed into North and then South America, killing everything in their path. Kill, kill, kill. Blood everywhere.
There were no Neanderthals in the New World so they ate monkeys. Humans still eat monkeys today. In Africa, Asia and the Americas. Since we still like to kill and eat them, this means we killed and ate everyone in our path.
And the humans who settled in China are ancestors to the Inuit and Indians of the New World. And over them rolled many later tribes pouring out of the agricultural revolutions. And all humans are 'smart' when it comes to killing things and making stuff to kill things. This is our heritage.
It started a few years back with a letter from a friend in Peru who built power plants. He heard this story of a chicken-eating spider. I love those kinds of stories, they are irresistible. So I had to go to Peru and see if it was true.
The spider cam allowed you to see some remarkable behavior, including some young tarantulas in the same burrow with what appeared to be a parent. ...
Yes, there were some real surprises. Seeing the big mama tarantula with the young was remarkable. Most tarantulas are in no way gregarious. In fact, they often cannibalize their own young. So seeing that was very unusual. But it may make sense. It looks like when they go out at night as a group, they can catch and kill larger prey by working together. We also discovered that those spiders appeared to be keeping a pet. There was a little frog that lived down in the hole with the spiders. It may offer some sort of service to spiders, like sweeping up ants that might bother the spiders.
Humans eat tarantulas. It is amusing to see tarantulas evolving a social lifestyle. I have captured more than one in the past. When the desert floods, they come pouring out of their holes and go to high ground like up the screen of my bedroom window in Tucson. I would then run outside, and slide them into a jar and take them inside to my aquarium. A great way to keep snoopy people out of the bedroom is to keep tarantulas and lizards around.
But none of mine were very sociable. So this news is most interesting. Nasty spiders that can be friendly with each other! And not only that, keeping a frog in the home! Almost human.