Sample records for late pleistocene human

  1. Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human migration (United States)

    Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias


    On the basis of fossil and archaeological data it has been hypothesized that the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa and into Eurasia between ~50-120 thousand years ago occurred in several orbitally paced migration episodes. Crossing vegetated pluvial corridors from northeastern Africa into the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant and expanding further into Eurasia, Australia and the Americas, early H. sapiens experienced massive time-varying climate and sea level conditions on a variety of timescales. Hitherto it has remained difficult to quantify the effect of glacial- and millennial-scale climate variability on early human dispersal and evolution. Here we present results from a numerical human dispersal model, which is forced by spatiotemporal estimates of climate and sea level changes over the past 125 thousand years. The model simulates the overall dispersal of H. sapiens in close agreement with archaeological and fossil data and features prominent glacial migration waves across the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant region around 106-94, 89-73, 59-47 and 45-29 thousand years ago. The findings document that orbital-scale global climate swings played a key role in shaping Late Pleistocene global population distributions, whereas millennial-scale abrupt climate changes, associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events, had a more limited regional effect.

  2. Early human symbolic behavior in the Late Pleistocene of Wallacea (United States)

    Brumm, Adam; Hakim, Budianto; Ramli, Muhammad; Sumantri, Iwan; Burhan, Basran; Saiful, Andi Muhammad; Siagian, Linda; Suryatman; Sardi, Ratno; Jusdi, Andi; Abdullah; Mubarak, Andi Pampang; Hasliana; Hasrianti; Oktaviana, Adhi Agus; Adhityatama, Shinatria; van den Bergh, Gerrit D.; Aubert, Maxime; Zhao, Jian-xin; Huntley, Jillian; Li, Bo; Roberts, Richard G.; Saptomo, E. Wahyu; Perston, Yinika; Grün, Rainer


    Wallacea, the zone of oceanic islands separating the continental regions of Southeast Asia and Australia, has yielded sparse evidence for the symbolic culture of early modern humans. Here we report evidence for symbolic activity 30,000–22,000 y ago at Leang Bulu Bettue, a cave and rock-shelter site on the Wallacean island of Sulawesi. We describe hitherto undocumented practices of personal ornamentation and portable art, alongside evidence for pigment processing and use in deposits that are the same age as dated rock art in the surrounding karst region. Previously, assemblages of multiple and diverse types of Pleistocene “symbolic” artifacts were entirely unknown from this region. The Leang Bulu Bettue assemblage provides insight into the complexity and diversification of modern human culture during a key period in the global dispersal of our species. It also shows that early inhabitants of Sulawesi fashioned ornaments from body parts of endemic animals, suggesting modern humans integrated exotic faunas and other novel resources into their symbolic world as they colonized the biogeographically unique regions southeast of continental Eurasia. PMID:28373568

  3. Human influence on distribution and extinctions of the late Pleistocene Eurasian megafauna. (United States)

    Pushkina, Diana; Raia, Pasquale


    Late Pleistocene extinctions are of interest to paleontological and anthropological research. In North America and Australia, human occupation occurred during a short period of time and overexploitation may have led to the extinction of mammalian megafauna. In northern Eurasia megafaunal extinctions are believed to have occurred over a relatively longer period of time, perhaps as a result of changing environmental conditions, but the picture is much less clear. To consider megafaunal extinction in Eurasia, we compare differences in the geographical distribution and commonness of extinct and extant species between paleontological and archaeological localities from the late middle Pleistocene to Holocene. Purely paleontological localities, as well as most extinct species, were distributed north of archaeological sites and of the extant species, suggesting that apart from possible differences in adaptations between humans and other species, humans could also have a detrimental effect on large mammal distribution. However, evidence for human overexploitation applies only to the extinct steppe bison Bison priscus. Other human-preferred species survive into the Holocene, including Rangifer tarandus, Equus ferus, Capreolus capreolus, Cervus elaphus, Equus hemionus, Saiga tatarica, and Sus scrofa. Mammuthus primigenius and Megaloceros giganteus were rare in archaeological sites. Carnivores appear little influenced by human presence, although they become rarer in Holocene archaeological sites. Overall, the data are consistent with the conclusion that humans acted as efficient hunters selecting for the most abundant species. Our study supports the idea that the late Pleistocene extinctions were environmentally driven by climatic changes that triggered habitat fragmentation, species range reduction, and population decrease, after which human interference either by direct hunting or via indirect activities probably became critical.

  4. Loess deposition and Paleolithic human activity in late Pleistocene in North China (United States)

    Zhang, D.


    Loess is one of the best geological records in the world for reconstruction of paleoenvironment. Loess deposited widely in North China in Quaternary, composing the famous Chinese Loess Plateau where loess sections could be as thick as 200 m. In these thick loess profiles, various archaeological remains including human fossils are found across the Chinese Loess Plateau, which indicates the aeolian loess deposition provides a good preservation environment for archaeological remains or the environment when loess is deposited in North China is favorable for human subsistence. Therefore, well developed loess studies using conventional methods such as grain size, magnetism, carbonate contents, TOC and biological or chemical methods like pollen, phytolith, stable isotopes, could provide important information for archaeologists about site formation process, human subsistence environment and human adaptation behaviors. This study focuses on late Pleistocene environment change and human adaptation in Chinese Western Loess Plateau. Over fifty Paleolithic sites were found buried in loess sections in two small rive catchments about 400 km2 in Chinese Western Loess Plateau in this study. Based on the well loess study in this region, the ages of most of the sites could be easily assumed in the field, which were usually confirmed by later radiocarbon or OSL dating results. Paleoenvironment of human subsistence is reconstructed using pollen, grain size, magnetism studies on the loess profiles producing archaeological remains. The chronological framework built with absolute dating results and loess-paleosol sequence comparison shows that humans first appear in the study area during warm and humid MIS5, may have abandoned the area in cold MIS4, reappeared in cool but humid MIS3 and continued thereafter, even extremely cold and dry LGM. A comprehensive study of 3727 pieces of stone artifacts shows that small-flake-tool industry is dominant through most of the late Pleistocene and

  5. Direct evidence for human reliance on rainforest resources in late Pleistocene Sri Lanka. (United States)

    Roberts, Patrick; Perera, Nimal; Wedage, Oshan; Deraniyagala, Siran; Perera, Jude; Eregama, Saman; Gledhill, Andrew; Petraglia, Michael D; Lee-Thorp, Julia A


    Human occupation of tropical rainforest habitats is thought to be a mainly Holocene phenomenon. Although archaeological and paleoenvironmental data have hinted at pre-Holocene rainforest foraging, earlier human reliance on rainforest resources has not been shown directly. We applied stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis to human and faunal tooth enamel from four late Pleistocene-to-Holocene archaeological sites in Sri Lanka. The results show that human foragers relied primarily on rainforest resources from at least ~20,000 years ago, with a distinct preference for semi-open rainforest and rain forest edges. Homo sapiens' relationship with the tropical rainforests of South Asia is therefore long-standing, a conclusion that indicates the time-depth of anthropogenic reliance and influence on these habitats. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. Geographic and temporal trends in proboscidean and human radiocarbon histories during the late Pleistocene (United States)

    Ugan, Andrew; Byers, David


    The causes of large animal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene remain a hotly debated topic focused primarily on the effects of human over hunting and climate change. Here we examine multiple, large radiocarbon data sets for humans and extinct proboscideans and explore how variation in their temporal and geographic distributions were related prior to proboscidean extinction. These data include 4532 archaeological determinations from Europe and Siberia and 1177 mammoth and mastodont determinations from Europe, Siberia, and North America. All span the period from 45,000 to 12,000 calendar years BP. We show that while the geographic ranges of dated human occupations and proboscidean remains overlap across the terminal Pleistocene of the Old World, the two groups remain largely segregated and increases in the frequency of human occupations do not coincide with declines in proboscidean remains. Prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ca 21,000 years BP), archaeological 14C determinations increase slightly in frequency worldwide while the frequency of dated proboscidean remains varies depending on taxon and location. After the LGM, both sympatric and allopatric groups of humans and proboscideans increase sharply as climatic conditions ameliorate. Post-LGM radiocarbon frequencies among proboscideans peak at different times, also depending upon taxon and location. Woolly mammoths in Beringia reach a maximum and then decline beginning between 16,000 and 15,500 years BP, woolly mammoths in Europe and Siberia ca 14,500 and 13,500 BP, and Columbian mammoth and American mastodont only after 13,000 BP. Declines among woolly mammoths appear to coincide with the restructuring of biotic communities following the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

  7. Ancient DNA analyses exclude humans as the driving force behind late Pleistocene musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) population dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campos, Paula; Willerslev, Eske; Sher, Andrei


    The causes of the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions are poorly understood. Different lines of evidence point to climate change, the arrival of humans, or a combination of these events as the trigger. Although many species went extinct, others, such as caribou and bison, survived......, as it was the geographic origin of all samples studied and held a large diverse population until local extinction at approximately 45,000 radiocarbon years before present ((14)C YBP). Subsequently, musk ox genetic diversity reincreased at ca. 30,000 (14)C YBP, recontracted at ca. 18,000 (14)C YBP, and finally recovered...

  8. Continuity versus discontinuity of the human settlement of Europe between the late Early Pleistocene and the early Middle Pleistocene. The mandibular evidence (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Rosell, Jordi; Blasco, Ruth; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; Carbonell, Eudald


    One of the most interesting aspects of the settlement of Europe is the possible continuity or discontinuity of the populations living in this continent during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. In this paper we present an analysis of the mandibular fossil record from four important Pleistocene European sites, Gran Dolina-TD6-2 (Sierra de Atapuerca), Mauer, Arago, and Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos. We focus this study in the recognition of key derived mandibular features that may be useful to assess the relationship among the populations represented at these sites. In order to make an approach to the ecological scenario, we also present a short review and discussion of the archaeological and paleoenvironmental evidences at that time. Our results suggest that probably there was a demographic discontinuity between the late Early Pleistocene populations (MIS 21-MIS 19), and those dated to the MIS 15. Hybridization between residents and new settlers cannot be discarded. However, some features of the Gran Dolina-TD6 hominins point to some relationship between the population represented in this site (probably dated to the MIS 21) and the European Middle Pleistocene and early Late Pleistocene populations. A hypothetical scenario is presented in order to understand this apparent contradiction with the model of discontinuity.

  9. External auditory exostoses in the Xuchang and Xujiayao human remains: Patterns and implications among eastern Eurasian Middle and Late Pleistocene crania. (United States)

    Trinkaus, Erik; Wu, Xiu-Jie


    In the context of Middle and Late Pleistocene eastern Eurasian human crania, the external auditory exostoses (EAE) of the late archaic Xuchang 1 and 2 and the Xujiayao 15 early Late Pleistocene human temporal bones are described. Xujiayao 15 has small EAE (Grade 1), Xuchang 1 presents bilateral medium EAE (Grade 2), and Xuchang 2 exhibits bilaterally large EAE (Grade 3), especially on the right side. These cranial remains join the other eastern Eurasian later Pleistocene humans in providing frequencies of 61% (N = 18) and 58% (N = 12) respectively for archaic and early modern human samples. These values are near the upper limits of recent human frequencies, and they imply frequent aquatic exposure among these Pleistocene humans. In addition, the medial extents of the Xuchang 1 and 2 EAE would have impinged on their tympanic membranes, and the large EAE of Xuchang 2 would have resulted in cerumen impaction. Both effects would have produced conductive hearing loss, a serious impairment in a Pleistocene foraging context.

  10. Size variation in early human mandibles and molars from Klasies River, South Africa: comparison with other middle and late Pleistocene assemblages and with modern humans. (United States)

    Royer, Danielle F; Lockwood, Charles A; Scott, Jeremiah E; Grine, Frederick E


    Previous studies of the Middle Stone Age human remains from Klasies River have concluded that they exhibited more sexual dimorphism than extant populations, but these claims have not been assessed statistically. We evaluate these claims by comparing size variation in the best-represented elements at the site, namely the mandibular corpora and M(2)s, to that in samples from three recent human populations using resampling methods. We also examine size variation in these same elements from seven additional middle and late Pleistocene sites: Skhūl, Dolní Vestonice, Sima de los Huesos, Arago, Krapina, Shanidar, and Vindija. Our results demonstrate that size variation in the Klasies assemblage was greater than in recent humans, consistent with arguments that the Klasies people were more dimorphic than living humans. Variation in the Skhūl, Dolní Vestonice, and Sima de los Huesos mandibular samples is also higher than in the recent human samples, indicating that the Klasies sample was not unusual among middle and late Pleistocene hominins. In contrast, the Neandertal samples (Krapina, Shanidar, and Vindija) do not evince relatively high mandibular and molar variation, which may indicate that the level of dimorphism in Neandertals was similar to that observed in extant humans. These results suggest that the reduced levels of dimorphism in Neandertals and living humans may have developed independently, though larger fossil samples are needed to test this hypothesis.

  11. The late Pleistocene to Holocene palaeogeographic evolution of the Porto Conte area: Clues for a better understanding of human colonization of Sardinia and faunal dynamics during the last 30 ka

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palombo, M.R.; Antonioli, F.; Lo Presti, V.; Mannino, M.A.; Melis, R.T.; Orru, P.; Stocchi, P.; Talamo, S.; Quarta, G.; Calcagnile, L.; Deiana, G.; Altamura, S.


    The timing of the colonization of Sardinia by mammalian fauna and anatomically modern humans (AMH) is currently under debate. The understanding of the geological and palaeoclimatological conditions that characterized the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene is essential to investigate colonization

  12. Late Pleistocene climate change and the global expansion of anatomically modern humans (United States)

    Eriksson, Anders; Betti, Lia; Friend, Andrew D.; Lycett, Stephen J.; Singarayer, Joy S.; von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen; Valdes, Paul J.; Balloux, Francois; Manica, Andrea


    The extent to which past climate change has dictated the pattern and timing of the out-of-Africa expansion by anatomically modern humans is currently unclear [Stewart JR, Stringer CB (2012) Science 335:1317–1321]. In particular, the incompleteness of the fossil record makes it difficult to quantify the effect of climate. Here, we take a different approach to this problem; rather than relying on the appearance of fossils or archaeological evidence to determine arrival times in different parts of the world, we use patterns of genetic variation in modern human populations to determine the plausibility of past demographic parameters. We develop a spatially explicit model of the expansion of anatomically modern humans and use climate reconstructions over the past 120 ky based on the Hadley Centre global climate model HadCM3 to quantify the possible effects of climate on human demography. The combinations of demographic parameters compatible with the current genetic makeup of worldwide populations indicate a clear effect of climate on past population densities. Our estimates of this effect, based on population genetics, capture the observed relationship between current climate and population density in modern hunter–gatherers worldwide, providing supporting evidence for the realism of our approach. Furthermore, although we did not use any archaeological and anthropological data to inform the model, the arrival times in different continents predicted by our model are also broadly consistent with the fossil and archaeological records. Our framework provides the most accurate spatiotemporal reconstruction of human demographic history available at present and will allow for a greater integration of genetic and archaeological evidence. PMID:22988099

  13. The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Morten; Anzick, Sarah L.; Waters, Michael R


    Montana. The human bones date to 10,705 ± 35 (14)C years bp (approximately 12,707-12,556 calendar years bp) and were directly associated with Clovis tools. We sequenced the genome to an average depth of 14.4× and show that the gene flow from the Siberian Upper Palaeolithic Mal'ta population into Native...... directly related to contemporary Native Americans. An alternative, Solutrean, hypothesis posits that the Clovis predecessors emigrated from southwestern Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum. Here we report the genome sequence of a male infant (Anzick-1) recovered from the Anzick burial site in western...

  14. Ancient inland human dispersals from Myanmar into interior East Asia since the Late Pleistocene. (United States)

    Li, Yu-Chun; Wang, Hua-Wei; Tian, Jiao-Yang; Liu, Li-Na; Yang, Li-Qin; Zhu, Chun-Ling; Wu, Shi-Fang; Kong, Qing-Peng; Zhang, Ya-Ping


    Given the existence of plenty of river valleys connecting Southeast and East Asia, it is possible that some inland route(s) might have been adopted by the initial settlers to migrate into the interior of East Asia. Here we analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) HVS variants of 845 newly collected individuals from 14 Myanmar populations and 5,907 published individuals from 115 populations from Myanmar and its surroundings. Enrichment of basal lineages with the highest genetic diversity in Myanmar suggests that Myanmar was likely one of the differentiation centers of the early modern humans. Intriguingly, some haplogroups were shared merely between Myanmar and southwestern China, hinting certain genetic connection between both regions. Further analyses revealed that such connection was in fact attributed to both recent gene flow and certain ancient dispersals from Myanmar to southwestern China during 25-10 kya, suggesting that, besides the coastal route, the early modern humans also adopted an inland dispersal route to populate the interior of East Asia.

  15. The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana

    KAUST Repository

    Rasmussen, Morten Arendt Rendt


    Clovis, with its distinctive biface, blade and osseous technologies, is the oldest widespread archaeological complex defined in North America, dating from 11,100 to 10,700 14 C years before present (bp) (13,000 to 12,600 calendar years bp). Nearly 50 years of archaeological research point to the Clovis complex as having developed south of the North American ice sheets from an ancestral technology. However, both the origins and the genetic legacy of the people who manufactured Clovis tools remain under debate. It is generally believed that these people ultimately derived from Asia and were directly related to contemporary Native Americans. An alternative, Solutrean, hypothesis posits that the Clovis predecessors emigrated from southwestern Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum. Here we report the genome sequence of a male infant (Anzick-1) recovered from the Anzick burial site in western Montana. The human bones date to 10,705 ± 35 14 C years bp (approximately 12,707-12,556 calendar years bp) and were directly associated with Clovis tools. We sequenced the genome to an average depth of 14.4× and show that the gene flow from the Siberian Upper Palaeolithic Mal\\'ta population into Native American ancestors is also shared by the Anzick-1 individual and thus happened before 12,600 years bp. We also show that the Anzick-1 individual is more closely related to all indigenous American populations than to any other group. Our data are compatible with the hypothesis that Anzick-1 belonged to a population directly ancestral to many contemporary Native Americans. Finally, we find evidence of a deep divergence in Native American populations that predates the Anzick-1 individual. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  16. The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana

    KAUST Repository

    Rasmussen, Morten Arendt Rendt; Anzick, Sarah L.; Waters, Michael R.; Skoglund, Pontus; Degiorgio, Michael; Stafford, Thomas W Jr; Rasmussen, Simon B.; Moltke, Ida; Albrechtsen, Anders; Doyle, Shane M.; Poznik, G. David; Gudmundsdottir, Valborg; Yadav, Rachita; Malaspinas, Anna Sapfo; Samuel Stockton White, V.; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Cornejo, Omar Eduardo; Tambets, Kristiina; Eriksson, Anders; Heintzman, Peter D.; Karmin, Monika; Korneliussen, Thorfinn Sand; Meltzer, David J.; Pierre, Tracey L.; Stenderup, Jesper T.; Saag, Lauri; Warmuth, Vera M.; Lopes, Margarida C.; Malhi, Ripan Singh; Brunak, Sö ren; Sicheritz-Ponté n, Thomas; Barnes, Ian; Collins, Matthew J.; Orlando, Ludovic A A; Balloux, Franç ois; Manica, Andrea; Gupta, Ramneek; Metspalu, Mait; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Jakobsson, Mattias; Nielsen, Rasmus Wedel; Willerslev, Eske


    Clovis, with its distinctive biface, blade and osseous technologies, is the oldest widespread archaeological complex defined in North America, dating from 11,100 to 10,700 14 C years before present (bp) (13,000 to 12,600 calendar years bp). Nearly 50 years of archaeological research point to the Clovis complex as having developed south of the North American ice sheets from an ancestral technology. However, both the origins and the genetic legacy of the people who manufactured Clovis tools remain under debate. It is generally believed that these people ultimately derived from Asia and were directly related to contemporary Native Americans. An alternative, Solutrean, hypothesis posits that the Clovis predecessors emigrated from southwestern Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum. Here we report the genome sequence of a male infant (Anzick-1) recovered from the Anzick burial site in western Montana. The human bones date to 10,705 ± 35 14 C years bp (approximately 12,707-12,556 calendar years bp) and were directly associated with Clovis tools. We sequenced the genome to an average depth of 14.4× and show that the gene flow from the Siberian Upper Palaeolithic Mal'ta population into Native American ancestors is also shared by the Anzick-1 individual and thus happened before 12,600 years bp. We also show that the Anzick-1 individual is more closely related to all indigenous American populations than to any other group. Our data are compatible with the hypothesis that Anzick-1 belonged to a population directly ancestral to many contemporary Native Americans. Finally, we find evidence of a deep divergence in Native American populations that predates the Anzick-1 individual. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  17. A Late Pleistocene sea level stack


    Spratt Rachel M; Lisiecki Lorraine E


    Late Pleistocene sea level has been reconstructed from ocean sediment core data using a wide variety of proxies and models. However, the accuracy of individual reconstructions is limited by measurement error, local variations in salinity and temperature, and assumptions particular to each technique. Here we present a sea level stack (average) which increases the signal-to-noise ratio of individual reconstructions. Specifically, we perform principal componen...

  18. Oldest human occupation of Wallacea at Laili Cave, Timor-Leste, shows broad-spectrum foraging responses to late Pleistocene environments (United States)

    Hawkins, Stuart; O'Connor, Sue; Maloney, Tim Ryan; Litster, Mirani; Kealy, Shimona; Fenner, Jack N.; Aplin, Ken; Boulanger, Clara; Brockwell, Sally; Willan, Richard; Piotto, Elena; Louys, Julien


    The Wallacea Archipelago provides an extraordinary laboratory for the study of human colonisation and adaptation, yet few detailed archaeological studies have been conducted in the region that span the earliest phase of human settlement. Laili Cave, in northern Timor-Leste, preserves the oldest human occupation in this insular region with a cultural sequence spanning 11,200 to 44,600 cal BP. Small-bodied vertebrates and invertebrates were recovered to the lowest excavated levels, associated with highly concentrated stone artefacts. We report on human behavioural adaptations within the context of Pleistocene environments and changing landscapes using zooarchaeological, stone artefact, bathymetric, and experimental isotopic analyses. Results indicate that Pleistocene humans used the abundant local chert liberally and engaged in mobile broad-spectrum exploitation of invertebrates and fishes from marine, estuarine, and freshwater environments within close proximity of Laili Cave. The faunal assemblage indicates heterogeneous but relatively stable environments during the late Pleistocene. Variability in subsistence strategies over time appears to be a response to changing landscapes and concomitant local resources. This record contrasts with marine specialisations evident from other sites in Timor-Leste and within the broader Wallacean region.

  19. The role of cryptotephra in refining the chronology of Late Pleistocene human evolution and cultural change in North Africa (United States)

    Barton, R. N. E.; Lane, C. S.; Albert, P. G.; White, D.; Collcutt, S. N.; Bouzouggar, A.; Ditchfield, P.; Farr, L.; Oh, A.; Ottolini, L.; Smith, V. C.; Van Peer, P.; Kindermann, K.


    Sites in North Africa hold key information for dating the presence of Homo sapiens and the distribution of Middle Stone Age (MSA), Middle Palaeolithic (MP) and Later Stone Age (LSA) cultural activity in the Late Pleistocene. Here we present new and review recently published tephrochronological evidence for five cave sites in North Africa with long MSA/MP and LSA cultural sequences. Four tephra horizons have been identified at the Haua Fteah (Cyrenaica, Libya). They include cryptotephra evidence for the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption dating to ˜39 ka that allows correlation with other Palaeolithic sequences in the eastern Mediterranean and as far north as Russia. Cryptotephra have also been recorded from the Moroccan sites of Taforalt, Rhafas and Dar es-Soltane 1. At Taforalt the geochemical composition suggests a provenance in the Azores, while examples from Sodmein (Egypt) appear to derive from central Anatolia and another unknown source. In these latter examples chemical compositional data from relevant proximal volcanic centres is currently lacking so the identification of tephra in layers of known age and cultural association provides the first reliable age determinations for distal volcanic events and their geographical extent. The future potential for tephrochronological research in North Africa is also discussed.

  20. Late Pleistocene dune activity in the central Great Plains, USA (United States)

    Mason, J.A.; Swinehart, J.B.; Hanson, P.R.; Loope, D.B.; Goble, R.J.; Miao, X.; Schmeisser, R.L.


    Stabilized dunes of the central Great Plains, especially the megabarchans and large barchanoid ridges of the Nebraska Sand Hills, provide dramatic evidence of late Quaternary environmental change. Episodic Holocene dune activity in this region is now well-documented, but Late Pleistocene dune mobility has remained poorly documented, despite early interpretations of the Sand Hills dunes as Pleistocene relicts. New optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from drill cores and outcrops provide evidence of Late Pleistocene dune activity at sites distributed across the central Great Plains. In addition, Late Pleistocene eolian sands deposited at 20-25 ka are interbedded with loess south of the Sand Hills. Several of the large dunes sampled in the Sand Hills clearly contain a substantial core of Late Pleistocene sand; thus, they had developed by the Late Pleistocene and were fully mobile at that time, although substantial sand deposition and extensive longitudinal dune construction occurred during the Holocene. Many of the Late Pleistocene OSL ages fall between 17 and 14 ka, but it is likely that these ages represent only the later part of a longer period of dune construction and migration. At several sites, significant Late Pleistocene or Holocene large-dune migration also probably occurred after the time represented by the Pleistocene OSL ages. Sedimentary structures in Late Pleistocene eolian sand and the forms of large dunes potentially constructed in the Late Pleistocene both indicate sand transport dominated by northerly to westerly winds, consistent with Late Pleistocene loess transport directions. Numerical modeling of the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum has often yielded mean monthly surface winds southwest of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that are consistent with this geologic evidence, despite strengthened anticyclonic circulation over the ice sheet. Mobility of large dunes during the Late Pleistocene on the central Great Plains may have been the result of

  1. Late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa (United States)

    Faith, J. Tyler


    Understanding the cause of late Quaternary mammal extinctions is the subject of intense debate spanning the fields of archeology and paleontology. In the global context, the losses on continental Africa have received little attention and are poorly understood. This study aims to inspire new discussion of African extinctions through a review of the extinct species and the chronology and possible causes of those extinctions. There are at least 24 large mammal (> 5 kg) species known to have disappeared from continental Africa during the late Pleistocene or Holocene, indicating a much greater taxonomic breadth than previously recognized. Among the better sampled taxa, these losses are restricted to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene, between 13,000 and 6000 yrs ago. The African extinctions preferentially affected species that are grazers or prefer grasslands. Where good terrestrial paleoenvironmental records are present, extinctions are associated with changes in the availability, productivity, or structure of grassland habitats, suggesting that environmental changes played a decisive role in the losses. In the broader evolutionary context, these extinctions represent recent examples of selective taxonomic winnowing characterized by the loss of grassland specialists and the establishment of large mammal communities composed of more ecologically flexible taxa over the last million years. There is little reason to believe that humans played an important role in African extinctions.

  2. Hominin teeth from the early Late Pleistocene site of Xujiayao, Northern China. (United States)

    Xing, Song; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, Jose María; Wu, Xiujie; Liu, Wu


    It is generally accepted that from the late Middle to the early Late Pleistocene (∼340-90 ka BP), Neanderthals were occupying Europe and Western Asia, whereas anatomically modern humans were present in the African continent. In contrast, the paucity of hominin fossil evidence from East Asia from this period impedes a complete evolutionary picture of the genus Homo, as well as assessment of the possible contribution of or interaction with Asian hominins in the evolution of Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. Here we present a comparative study of a hominin dental sample recovered from the Xujiayao site, in Northern China, attributed to the early Late Pleistocene (MIS 5 to 4). Our dental study reveals a mosaic of primitive and derived dental features for the Xujiayao hominins that can be summarized as follows: i) they are different from archaic and recent modern humans, ii) they present some features that are common but not exclusive to the Neanderthal lineage, and iii) they retain some primitive conformations classically found in East Asian Early and Middle Pleistocene hominins despite their young geological age. Thus, our study evinces the existence in China of a population of unclear taxonomic status with regard to other contemporary populations such as H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis. The morphological and metric studies of the Xujiayao teeth expand the variability known for early Late Pleistocene hominin fossils and suggest the possibility that a primitive hominin lineage may have survived late into the Late Pleistocene in China. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Size variation in Middle Pleistocene humans. (United States)

    Arsuaga, J L; Carretero, J M; Lorenzo, C; Gracia, A; Martínez, I; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Carbonell, E


    It has been suggested that European Middle Pleistocene humans, Neandertals, and prehistoric modern humans had a greater sexual dimorphism than modern humans. Analysis of body size variation and cranial capacity variation in the large sample from the Sima de los Huesos site in Spain showed instead that the sexual dimorphism is comparable in Middle Pleistocene and modern populations.

  4. Global Implications of late Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinctions in the Holarctic (United States)

    Cooper, Alan; Turney, Chris


    Improved resolution data from radiocarbon, climate and ancient DNA studies of megafauna and humans is providing the first ability to disentangle the roles of climate change and human impact in the Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions. In the Holarctic we find that megafaunal populations underwent repeated local or global extinctions apparently associated with abrupt, centennial to millennial duration warming events (Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials). Importantly, the extinction events took place both before and after the arrival of modern humans in the landscape. Here we look at the possible role of human activity in Holarctic and suggest it may be through the disruption of metapopulation processes which stabilize ecosystems and may have evolved to provide resilience to rapid and frequent climate shifts in the past. The observed relationship between climate and humans on megafaunal populations may provide a model for global extinction. Fortunately in this regard, the rapid movement of the first Native Americans throughout both American continents during the Last Deglaciation provides a powerful and unique model system for testing the competing roles on extinction because the opposing climate trends in each hemisphere at the time. Here we show that while megafaunal extinctions were associated with warming trends in both cases, the out-of-phase climate patterns caused the sequence and timing of events to be mirrored, providing a unique high-resolution view of the interactions of human colonization and rapid climate change on megafaunal ecosystems, with implications for future warming scenarios. References: Cooper, A., Turney, C., Hughen, K.A., Brook, B.W., McDonald, H.G., Bradshaw, C.J.A., 2015. Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover. Science 349, 602-606. Metcalf, J.L., Turney, C., Barnett, R., Martin, F., Bray, S.C., Vilstrup, J.T., Orlando, L., Salas-Gismondi, R., Loponte, D., Medina, M., De Nigris, M., Civalero, T., Fern

  5. Transient nature of late Pleistocene climate variability. (United States)

    Crowley, Thomas J; Hyde, William T


    Climate in the early Pleistocene varied with a period of 41 kyr and was related to variations in Earth's obliquity. About 900 kyr ago, variability increased and oscillated primarily at a period of approximately 100 kyr, suggesting that the link was then with the eccentricity of Earth's orbit. This transition has often been attributed to a nonlinear response to small changes in external boundary conditions. Here we propose that increasing variablility within the past million years may indicate that the climate system was approaching a second climate bifurcation point, after which it would transition again to a new stable state characterized by permanent mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere glaciation. From this perspective the past million years can be viewed as a transient interval in the evolution of Earth's climate. We support our hypothesis using a coupled energy-balance/ice-sheet model, which furthermore predicts that the future transition would involve a large expansion of the Eurasian ice sheet. The process responsible for the abrupt change seems to be the albedo discontinuity at the snow-ice edge. The best-fit model run, which explains almost 60% of the variance in global ice volume during the past 400 kyr, predicts a rapid transition in the geologically near future to the proposed glacial state. Should it be attained, this state would be more 'symmetric' than the present climate, with comparable areas of ice/sea-ice cover in each hemisphere, and would represent the culmination of 50 million years of evolution from bipolar nonglacial climates to bipolar glacial climates.

  6. Late Middle Pleistocene hominin teeth from Panxian Dadong, South China. (United States)

    Liu, Wu; Schepartz, Lynne A; Xing, Song; Miller-Antonio, Sari; Wu, Xiujie; Trinkaus, Erik; Martinón-Torres, María


    The hominin teeth and evidence of hominin activities recovered from 1991 to 2005 at the Panxian Dadong site in South China are dated to the late Middle Pleistocene (MIS 8-6 or ca. 130-300 ka), a period for which very little is known about the morphology of Asian populations. The present study provides the first detailed morphometric description and comparisons of four hominin teeth (I(1), C1, P(3) and P3) from this site. Our study shows that the Panxian Dadong teeth combine archaic and derived features that align them with Middle and Upper Pleistocene fossils from East and West Asia and Europe. These teeth do not display any typical Neanderthal features and they are generally more derived than other contemporaneous populations from Asia and Africa. However, the derived traits are not diagnostic enough to specifically link the Panxian Dadong teeth to Homo sapiens, a common problem when analyzing the Middle Pleistocene dental record from Africa and Asia. These findings are contextualized in the discussion of the evolutionary course of Asian Middle Pleistocene hominins, and they highlight the necessity of incorporating the Asian fossil record in the still open debate about the origin of H. sapiens. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. People of the ancient rainforest: late Pleistocene foragers at the Batadomba-lena rockshelter, Sri Lanka. (United States)

    Perera, Nimal; Kourampas, Nikos; Simpson, Ian A; Deraniyagala, Siran U; Bulbeck, David; Kamminga, Johan; Perera, Jude; Fuller, Dorian Q; Szabó, Katherine; Oliveira, Nuno V


    Batadomba-lena, a rockshelter in the rainforest of southwestern Sri Lanka, has yielded some of the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in South Asia. H. sapiens foragers were present at Batadomba-lena from ca. 36,000 cal BP to the terminal Pleistocene and Holocene. Human occupation was sporadic before the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Batadomba-lena's Late Pleistocene inhabitants foraged for a broad spectrum of plant and mainly arboreal animal resources (monkeys, squirrels and abundant rainforest snails), derived from a landscape that retained equatorial rainforest cover through periods of pronounced regional aridity during the LGM. Juxtaposed hearths, palaeofloors with habitation debris, postholes, excavated pits, and animal and plant remains, including abundant Canarium nutshells, reflect intensive habitation of the rockshelter in times of monsoon intensification and biome reorganisation after ca. 16,000 cal BP. This period corresponds with further broadening of the economic spectrum, evidenced though increased contribution of squirrels, freshwater snails and Canarium nuts in the diet of the rockshelter occupants. Microliths are more abundant and morphologically diverse in the earliest, pre-LGM layer and decline markedly during intensified rockshelter use on the wane of the LGM. We propose that changing toolkits and subsistence base reflect changing foraging practices, from shorter-lived visits of highly mobile foraging bands in the period before the LGM, to intensified use of Batadomba-lena and intense foraging for diverse resources around the site during and, especially, following the LGM. Traces of ochre, marine shell beads and other objects from an 80 km-distant shore, and, possibly burials reflect symbolic practices from the outset of human presence at the rockshelter. Evidence for differentiated use of space (individual hearths, possible habitation structures) is present in LGM and terminal Pleistocene layers. The record of Batadomba-lena demonstrates

  8. Late Pleistocene fishes of the Tennessee River Basin: an analysis of a late Pleistocene freshwater fish fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2) in Colbert County, Alabama, USA


    Stephen J. Jacquemin; Jun A. Ebersole; William C. Dickinson; Charles N. Ciampaglio


    The Tennessee River Basin is considered one of the most important regions for freshwater biodiversity anywhere on the globe. The Tennessee River Basin currently includes populations of at least half of the described contemporary diversity of extant North American freshwater fishes, crayfish, mussel, and gastropod species. However, comparatively little is known about the biodiversity of this basin from the Pleistocene Epoch, particularly the late Pleistocene (?10,000 to 30,000 years B.P.) lead...

  9. Ancient DNA reveals that bowhead whale lineages survived Late Pleistocene climate change and habitat shifts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Kaschner, Kristin; Schultze, Sebastian E.


    that a true Arctic species, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), shifted its range and tracked its core suitable habitat northwards during the rapid climate change of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Late Pleistocene lineages survived into the Holocene and effective female population size increased...

  10. Using obsidian transfer distances to explore social network maintenance in late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers. (United States)

    Pearce, Eiluned; Moutsiou, Theodora


    Social behaviour is notoriously difficult to study archaeologically and it is unclear how large the networks of prehistoric humans were, or how they remained connected. Maintaining social cohesion was crucial for early humans because social networks facilitate cooperation and are imperative for survival and reproduction. Recent hunter-gatherer social organisation typically comprises a number of nested layers, ranging from the nuclear family through to the ~1500-strong ethnolinguistic tribe. Here we compare maximum obsidian transfer distances from the late Pleistocene with ethnographic data on the size of the geographic areas associated with each of these social grouping layers in recent hunter-gatherers. The closest match between the two is taken to indicate the maximum social layer within which contact could be sustained by Pleistocene hominins. Within both the (sub)tropical African and Subarctic biomes, the maximum obsidian transfer distances for Pleistocene modern humans (~200km and ~400km respectively) correspond to the geographic ranges of the outermost tribal layer in recent hunter-gatherers. This suggests that modern humans could potentially sustain the cohesion of their entire tribe at all latitudes, even though networks are more dispersed nearer the poles. Neanderthal obsidian transfer distances (300km) indicate that although Neanderthal home ranges are larger than those of low latitude hominins, Neanderthals travelled shorter distances than modern humans living at the same high latitudes. We argue that, like modern humans, Neanderthals could have maintained tribal cohesion, but that their tribes were substantially smaller than those of contemporary modern humans living in similar environments. The greater time taken to traverse the larger modern human tribal ranges may have limited the frequency of their face-to-face interactions and thus necessitated additional mechanisms to ensure network connectivity, such as the exchange of symbolic artefacts

  11. Middle and Late Pleistocene glaciations in the southwestern Pamir and their effects on topography [Topography of the SW Pamir shaped by middle-late Pleistocene glaciation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stübner, Konstanze; Grin, Elena; Hidy, Alan J.; Schaller, Mirjam; Gold, Ryan D.


    Glacial chronologies provide insight into the evolution of paleo-landscapes, paleoclimate, topography, and the erosion processes that shape mountain ranges. In the Pamir of Central Asia, glacial morphologies and deposits indicate extensive past glaciations, whose timing and extent remain poorly constrained. Geomorphic data and 15 new "1"0Be exposure ages from moraine boulders and roches moutonnées in the southwestern Pamir document multiple Pleistocene glacial stages. The oldest exposure ages, View the MathML source113 ± 10ka, underestimate the age of the earliest preserved glacial advance and imply that the modern relief of the southwestern Pamir (peaks at ~5000–6000 m a.s.l.; valleys at ~2000–3000 m a.s.l.) already existed in the late Middle Pleistocene. Younger exposure ages (~40–80 ka, ~30 ka) complement the existing Central Asian glacial chronology and reflect successively less extensive Late Pleistocene glaciations. The topography of the Pamir and the glacial chronologies suggest that, in the Middle Pleistocene, an ice cap or ice field occupied the eastern Pamir high-altitude plateau, whereas westward flowing valley glaciers incised the southwestern Pamir. Since the Late Pleistocene deglaciation, the rivers of the southwestern Pamir adjusted to the glacially shaped landscape. As a result, localized rapid fluvial incision and drainage network reorganization reflect the transient nature of the deglaciated landscape.

  12. Canyon Creek: A late Pleistocene vertebrate locality in interior Alaska (United States)

    Weber, Florence R.; Hamilton, Thomas D.; Hopkins, David M.; Repenning, Charles A.; Haas, Herbert


    The Canyon Creek vertebrate-fossil locality is an extensive road cut near Fairbanks that exposes sediments that range in age from early Wisconsin to late Holocene. Tanana River gravel at the base of the section evidently formed during the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range. Younger layers and lenses of fluvial sand are interbedded with arkosic gravel from Canyon Creek that contains tephra as well as fossil bones of an interstadial fauna about 40,000 years old. Solifluction deposits containing ventifacts, wedge casts, and rodent burrows formed during a subsequent period of periglacial activity that took place during the maximum phase of Donnelly Glaciation about 25,000-17,000 years ago. Overlying sheets of eolian sand are separated by a 9500-year-old paleosol that may correlate with a phase of early Holocene spruce expansion through central Alaska. The Pleistocene fauna from Canyon Creek consists of rodents (indicated by burrows), Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth), Equus lambei (Yukon wild ass), Camelops hesternus (western camel), Bison sp. cf. B. crassicornis (large-horned bison), Ovis sp. cf. O. dalli (mountain sheep), Canis sp. cf. C. lupus (wolf), Lepus sp. cf. L. othus or L. arcticus (tundra hare), and Rangifer sp. (caribou). This assemblage suggests an open landscape in which trees and tall shrubs were either absent or confined to sheltered and moist sites. Camelops evidently was present in eastern Beringia during the middle Wisconsin interstadial interval but may have disappeared during the following glacial episode. The stratigraphic section at Canyon Creek appears to demonstrate that the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range is at least in part of early Wisconsin age and was separated from the succeeding Donnelly Glaciation by an interstadial rather than interglacial episode.

  13. Late Pleistocene glacial fluctuations in Cordillera Oriental, subtropical Andes (United States)

    Martini, Mateo A.; Kaplan, Michael R.; Strelin, Jorge A.; Astini, Ricardo A.; Schaefer, Joerg M.; Caffee, Marc W.; Schwartz, Roseanne


    The behavior of subtropical glaciers during Middle to Late Pleistocene global glacial maxima and abrupt climate change events, specifically in Earth's most arid low-latitude regions, remains an outstanding problem in paleoclimatology. The present-day climate of Cordillera Oriental, in arid northwestern Argentina, is influenced by shifts in subtropical climate systems, including the South American Summer Monsoon. To understand better past glacier-subtropical climates during the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 26.5-19 ka) and other time periods, we combined geomorphic features with forty-two precise 10Be ages on moraine boulders and reconstructed paleo-equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) at Nevado de Chañi (24°S) in the arid subtropical Andes. We found a major glacial expansion at ∼23 ± 1.6 ka, that is, during the global LGM. Additional glacial expansions are observed before the global LGM (at ∼52-39 ka), and after, at 15 ± 0.5 and 12 ± 0.6 ka. The ∼15 ka glacial event was found on both sides of Chañi and the ∼12 ka event is only recorded on the east side. Reconstructed ELAs of the former glaciers exhibit a rise from east to west that resembles the present subtropical climate trajectory from the Atlantic side of the continent; hence, we infer that this climate pattern must have been present in the past. Based on comparison with other low-latitude paleoclimate records, such as those from lakes and caves, we infer that both temperature and precipitation influenced past glacial occurrence in this sector of the arid Andes. Our findings also imply that abrupt deglacial climate events associated with the North Atlantic, specifically curtailed meridional overturning circulation and regional cooling, may have had attendant impacts on low subtropical Southern Hemisphere latitudes, including the climate systems that affect glacial activity around Nevado de Chañi.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Here we described the remains of Canis lupus from the bed 8 of Avetrana karst filling (Late Pleistocene; Taranto, Southern Italy. The studied specimens are larger than those collected from the early Late Pleistocene Apulian localities and those referred to the recent Italian wolf. Moreover, the remains from Avetrana are morphometrically close to Canis lupus maximus from France and to C. lupus collected from Central and Northern Italian localities, chronologically related to MIS 2 and MIS 3. Morphologically, the studied specimens slightly differ from both C. l. maximus and other Pleistocene Apulian wolves. The dimensional differences between the Avetrana wolves and those collected from the other early Late Pleistocene Apulian localities could be explained through a spread of a large-sized morphotype from the Northern Italy.

  15. Late Pleistocene fishes of the Tennessee River Basin: an analysis of a late Pleistocene freshwater fish fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2) in Colbert County, Alabama, USA. (United States)

    Jacquemin, Stephen J; Ebersole, Jun A; Dickinson, William C; Ciampaglio, Charles N


    The Tennessee River Basin is considered one of the most important regions for freshwater biodiversity anywhere on the globe. The Tennessee River Basin currently includes populations of at least half of the described contemporary diversity of extant North American freshwater fishes, crayfish, mussel, and gastropod species. However, comparatively little is known about the biodiversity of this basin from the Pleistocene Epoch, particularly the late Pleistocene (∼10,000 to 30,000 years B.P.) leading to modern Holocene fish diversity patterns. The objective of this study was to describe the fish assemblages of the Tennessee River Basin from the late Pleistocene using a series of faunas from locales throughout the basin documented from published literature, unpublished reports, and an undocumented fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2, Colbert County, AL). Herein we discuss 41 unequivocal taxa from 10 late Pleistocene localities within the basin and include a systematic discussion of 11 families, 19 genera, and 24 identifiable species (28 unequivocal taxa) specific to the Bell Cave locality. Among the described fauna are several extirpated (e.g., Northern Pike Esox lucius, Northern Madtom Noturus stigmosus) and a single extinct (Harelip Sucker Moxostoma lacerum) taxa that suggest a combination of late Pleistocene displacement events coupled with more recent changes in habitat that have resulted in modern basin diversity patterns. The Bell Cave locality represents one of the most intact Pleistocene freshwater fish deposits anywhere in North America. Significant preservational, taphonomic, sampling, and identification biases preclude the identification of additional taxa. Overall, this study provides a detailed look into paleo-river ecology, as well as freshwater fish diversity and distribution leading up to the contemporary biodiversity patterns of the Tennessee River Basin and Mississippi River Basin as a whole.

  16. Late Pleistocene fishes of the Tennessee River Basin: an analysis of a late Pleistocene freshwater fish fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2 in Colbert County, Alabama, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J. Jacquemin


    Full Text Available The Tennessee River Basin is considered one of the most important regions for freshwater biodiversity anywhere on the globe. The Tennessee River Basin currently includes populations of at least half of the described contemporary diversity of extant North American freshwater fishes, crayfish, mussel, and gastropod species. However, comparatively little is known about the biodiversity of this basin from the Pleistocene Epoch, particularly the late Pleistocene (∼10,000 to 30,000 years B.P. leading to modern Holocene fish diversity patterns. The objective of this study was to describe the fish assemblages of the Tennessee River Basin from the late Pleistocene using a series of faunas from locales throughout the basin documented from published literature, unpublished reports, and an undocumented fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2, Colbert County, AL. Herein we discuss 41 unequivocal taxa from 10 late Pleistocene localities within the basin and include a systematic discussion of 11 families, 19 genera, and 24 identifiable species (28 unequivocal taxa specific to the Bell Cave locality. Among the described fauna are several extirpated (e.g., Northern Pike Esox lucius, Northern Madtom Noturus stigmosus and a single extinct (Harelip Sucker Moxostoma lacerum taxa that suggest a combination of late Pleistocene displacement events coupled with more recent changes in habitat that have resulted in modern basin diversity patterns. The Bell Cave locality represents one of the most intact Pleistocene freshwater fish deposits anywhere in North America. Significant preservational, taphonomic, sampling, and identification biases preclude the identification of additional taxa. Overall, this study provides a detailed look into paleo-river ecology, as well as freshwater fish diversity and distribution leading up to the contemporary biodiversity patterns of the Tennessee River Basin and Mississippi River Basin as a whole.

  17. The earliest settlers of Mesoamerica date back to the late Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Stinnesbeck

    Full Text Available Preceramic human skeletal remains preserved in submerged caves near Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, reveal conflicting results regarding 14C dating. Here we use U-series techniques for dating a stalagmite overgrowing the pelvis of a human skeleton discovered in the submerged Chan Hol cave. The oldest closed system U/Th age comes from around 21 mm above the pelvis defining the terminus ante quem for the pelvis to 11311±370 y BP. However, the skeleton might be considerable older, probably as old as 13 ky BP as indicated by the speleothem stable isotope data. The Chan Hol individual confirms a late Pleistocene settling of Mesoamerica and represents one of the oldest human osteological remains in America.

  18. Origin of late pleistocene formation water in Mexican oil reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Birkle, P. [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Cuernavaca (Mexico)


    . For wellhead samples, a 20 liter-sampling-reagent was previously filled with N{sub 2}-gas for the collection and phase separation of the pressurized gas-water-crude oil mixture. No differences in {sup 14}C-concentrations were detected applying, both, conventional and AMS-techniques. In contradiction to the expected 'fossil age' of reservoir water as part of a stagnant hydraulic system, measured {sup 14}C-concentrations between 0.89 pmC and 31.86 pmC indicate a late Pleistocene-early Holocene, regional event for the infiltration of surface water into the reservoir. The variety in water mineralization from meteoric (TDS{sub max} = 0.5 g/l) to hyper-saline composition (TDS{sub max} = 338 g/l) is not caused by halite dissolution from adjacent salt domes, as shown by elevated Br/Cl ratios. In contrary, the linear correlation between {sup 18}O and Cl values reflect varying mixing proportions of two components - meteoric water and evaporated seawater. Instead of water/rock-interaction, evaporation of seawater at the surface prior to infiltration represents the principal process for fluid enrichment in {sup 18}O and chlorine, with maximum values of 17.2 %o and 228 g/l, respectively. The young residence time of formation water in Mexican oil reservoirs implies following: - The common assumption of 'hydraulically-frozen' reservoirs is not correct, as main descending fluid migration occurred during glacial period. Probably, major infiltration processes are related to periods with climatic changes and increased humidity - as observed for the adjacent Yucatan region in SE-Mexico during early-mid Holocene (6,000 yr BP) (Metcalfe et al. 2000) - with the probable transgression of Mexican Gulf seawater into the recent Mexican coastal plain. - The common hypothesis of hydrocarbon maturation within Jurassic organic-rich layers, and its subsequent expulsion and migration into Cretaceous/Tertiary sedimentary units must be expanded by a last-step-process: As glacial

  19. Bone accumulation by leopards in the Late Pleistocene in the Moncayo massif (Zaragoza, NE Spain.

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    Víctor Sauqué

    Full Text Available Eating habits of Panthera pardus are well known. When there are caves in its territory, prey accumulates inside them. This helps to prevent its kill from being stolen by other predators like hyenas. Although the leopard is an accumulator of bones in caves, few studies have been conducted on existing lairs. There are, however, examples of fossil vertebrate sites whose main collecting agent is the leopard. During the Late Pleistocene, the leopard was a common carnivore in European faunal associations. Here we present a new locality of Quaternary mammals with a scarce human presence, the cave of Los Rincones (province of Zaragoza, Spain; we show the leopard to be the main accumulator of the bones in the cave, while there are no interactions between humans and leopards. For this purpose, a taphonomic analysis is performed on different bone-layers of the cave.

  20. An enlarged parietal foramen in the late archaic Xujiayao 11 neurocranium from Northern China, and rare anomalies among Pleistocene Homo. (United States)

    Wu, Xiu-Jie; Xing, Song; Trinkaus, Erik


    We report here a neurocranial abnormality previously undescribed in Pleistocene human fossils, an enlarged parietal foramen (EPF) in the early Late Pleistocene Xujiayao 11 parietal bones from the Xujiayao (Houjiayao) site, northern China. Xujiayao 11 is a pair of partial posteromedial parietal bones from an adult. It exhibits thick cranial vault bones, arachnoid granulations, a deviated posterior sagittal suture, and a unilateral (right) parietal lacuna with a posteriorly-directed and enlarged endocranial vascular sulcus. Differential diagnosis indicates that the perforation is a congenital defect, an enlarged parietal foramen, commonly associated with cerebral venous and cranial vault anomalies. It was not lethal given the individual's age-at-death, but it may have been associated with secondary neurological deficiencies. The fossil constitutes the oldest evidence in human evolution of this very rare condition (a single enlarged parietal foramen). In combination with developmental and degenerative abnormalities in other Pleistocene human remains, it suggests demographic and survival patterns among Pleistocene Homo that led to an elevated frequency of conditions unknown or rare among recent humans.

  1. An enlarged parietal foramen in the late archaic Xujiayao 11 neurocranium from Northern China, and rare anomalies among Pleistocene Homo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiu-Jie Wu

    Full Text Available We report here a neurocranial abnormality previously undescribed in Pleistocene human fossils, an enlarged parietal foramen (EPF in the early Late Pleistocene Xujiayao 11 parietal bones from the Xujiayao (Houjiayao site, northern China. Xujiayao 11 is a pair of partial posteromedial parietal bones from an adult. It exhibits thick cranial vault bones, arachnoid granulations, a deviated posterior sagittal suture, and a unilateral (right parietal lacuna with a posteriorly-directed and enlarged endocranial vascular sulcus. Differential diagnosis indicates that the perforation is a congenital defect, an enlarged parietal foramen, commonly associated with cerebral venous and cranial vault anomalies. It was not lethal given the individual's age-at-death, but it may have been associated with secondary neurological deficiencies. The fossil constitutes the oldest evidence in human evolution of this very rare condition (a single enlarged parietal foramen. In combination with developmental and degenerative abnormalities in other Pleistocene human remains, it suggests demographic and survival patterns among Pleistocene Homo that led to an elevated frequency of conditions unknown or rare among recent humans.

  2. A critical evaluation of the evidence for multiple Late Pleistocene eruptions of Laacher See Volcano

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zernack, Anke Verena; Hoggard, Christian Steven; Sauer, Florian Rudolf

    The c. 12,900 BP Plinian eruption of Laacher See Volcano is one of the largest known volcanic events of the Late Pleistocene in the Northern Hemisphere. It buried proximal areas under tens of meters of pyroclastic flow, surge and fallout deposits and deposited a widespread tephra layer across much...... of dispersal of the products from varying eruptive stages and some sites even report two distinct Laacher See Tephra layers that have been interpreted as evidence of a precursor eruption. In order to assess the potential for multiple Late Pleistocene eruptions of Laacher See Volcano, we have compiled...

  3. Neanderthal and Anatomically Modern Human interaction with Abrupt Late Pleistocene Environments - the data is finally good enough to talk about climate change! (United States)

    Blockley, Simon; Schreve, Danielle


    The timing and nature of the appearance of Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) in Europe, their interaction with, and eventual morphological replacement of Neanderthals (despite some shared genetic heritage) has been a matter of intense debate within archaeology for a generation. This period, often termed the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition occurs in the latter part of Marine Isotope Stage Three and in recent decades archaeological interest has been complemented by the input of palaeoclimate scientists, over the role of abrupt climate change in this process. This was due to the recognition from ice core and marine proxy archives, in particular, of periods if intense cooling, correlated to the marine record of Heinrich ice rafted debris layers from the Atlantic. As a result of these collaborations between the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental communities various drivers have been proposed for the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic Transition that include: (1) resource competition between two species occupying similar niches; (2) the impact of repeated cycles of Heinrich event cooling, leading to the decline and eventual disappearance of the Neanderthal populations, leaving a new region open for AMH exploitation; and (3) catastrophic impacts of large volcanic eruptions on Neanderthal populations. Attempts to address the above hypotheses have been dogged by the chronological precision available for a number of key archives. The accuracy of many of the radiocarbon ages that underpin the chronology for both Neanderthal and AMH archaeological sites has been questioned1. This has been exacerbated by uncertainties over the influence of variability in the radiocarbon marine reservoir effect on marine palaeoclimate records and a marine dominated radiocarbon calibration curve. Additionally, the counting uncertainties of the master Greenland palaeoclimate archives are also large by this time, meaning palaeoclimate interpretation can be equivocal. However, several research

  4. Late Pleistocene Stratigraphy and Palaeobotany of the Isles of Scilly (United States)

    Scourse, J. D.


    A re-evaluation of the Pleistocene stratigraphy of the Isles of Scilly has enabled the formal definition of eight lithostratigraphic units of member status grouped into two formations. A chronology of events has been provided by radiocarbon (14C) determinations, optical and thermoluminescene (TL) dates. Intersite correlations have been strengthened by palynology, which has aided palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. The defined units have been incorporated into two lithostratigraphic models, one for the `northern' (glacial) Scillies and one for the `southern' (extra-glacial) Scillies. Raised beach sediments of the Watermill Sands and Gravel in the southern Scillies are overlain by the Porthloo Breccia, a unit of soliflucted material derived exclusively from the weathering of local granite. Organic sequences at Carn Morval, Watermill Cove, Porth Askin, Porth Seal and Bread and Cheese Cove occur within the Porthloo Breccia, and are interpreted as the infillings of ponds associated with active solifluction. Radiocarbon determinations from these organic sediments are critical because they pre-date units associated with a glacial event. The 14C determinations indicate deposition of the organic material between 34500-800+885 (Q-2410) and 21500-800+890 (Q-2358) years BP and provide a maximum age for the glacial event and the first radiometric dates for the coastal `head' sediments of southwest England. The pollen assemblages from these organic sites all record open grassland vegetation, and represent the earliest vegetational record for the Scillies. High Pinus values are interpreted as evidence of climatic deterioration. In the southern Scillies, the Porthloo Breccia is overlain by the Old Man Sandloess, a coarse aeolian silt with subdominant fine sand, TL-dated to 18600-3700+3700 years (QTL-ld and lf; Wintle 1981) and optically dated to 20000-7000+7000 and 26000-9000+10000 years (two samples; 738al and 741al; Smith et al. 1990). This material occurs in a variety of facies

  5. Signatures of Late Pleistocene fluvial incision in an Alpine landscape (United States)

    Leith, Kerry; Fox, Matthew; Moore, Jeffrey R.


    Uncertainty regarding the relative efficacy of fluvial and glacial erosion has hindered attempts to quantitatively analyse the Pleistocene evolution of alpine landscapes. Here we show that the morphology of major tributaries of the Rhone River, Switzerland, is consistent with that predicted for a landscape shaped primarily by multiple phases of fluvial incision following a period of intense glacial erosion after the mid-Pleistocene transition (∼0.7 Ma). This is despite major ice sheets reoccupying the region during cold intervals since the mid-Pleistocene. We use high-resolution LiDAR data to identify a series of convex reaches within the long-profiles of 18 tributary channels. We propose these reaches represent knickpoints, which developed as regional uplift raised tributary bedrock channels above the local fluvial baselevel during glacial intervals, and migrated upstream as the fluvial system was re-established during interglacial periods. Using a combination of integral long-profile analysis and stream-power modelling, we find that the locations of ∼80% of knickpoints in our study region are consistent with that predicted for a fluvial origin, while the mean residual error over ∼100 km of modelled channels is just 26.3 m. Breaks in cross-valley profiles project toward the elevation of former end-of-interglacial channel elevations, supporting our model results. Calculated long-term uplift rates are within ∼15% of present-day measurements, while modelled rates of bedrock incision range from ∼1 mm/yr for low gradient reaches between knickpoints to ∼6-10 mm/yr close to retreating knickpoints, typical of observed rates in alpine settings. Together, our results reveal approximately 800 m of regional uplift, river incision, and hillslope erosion in the lower half of each tributary catchment since 0.7 Ma.

  6. MicroEcos: Micro-Scale Explorations of Large-Scale Late Pleistocene Ecosystems (United States)

    Gellis, B. S.


    Pollen data can inform the reconstruction of early-floral environments by providing data for artistic representations of what early-terrestrial ecosystems looked like, and how existing terrestrial landscapes have evolved. For example, what did the Bighorn Basin look like when large ice sheets covered modern Canada, the Yellowstone Plateau had an ice cap, and the Bighorn Mountains were mantled with alpine glaciers? MicroEcos is an immersive, multimedia project that aims to strengthen human-nature connections through the understanding and appreciation of biological ecosystems. Collected pollen data elucidates flora that are visible in the fossil record - associated with the Late-Pleistocene - and have been illustrated and described in botanical literature. It aims to make scientific data accessible and interesting to all audiences through a series of interactive-digital sculptures, large-scale photography and field-based videography. While this project is driven by scientific data, it is rooted in deeply artistic and outreach-based practices, which include broad artistic practices, e.g.: digital design, illustration, photography, video and sound design. Using 3D modeling and printing technology MicroEcos centers around a series of 3D-printed models of the Last Canyon rock shelter on the Wyoming and Montana border, Little Windy Hill pond site in Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest, and Natural Trap Cave site in Wyoming's Big Horn Basin. These digital, interactive-3D sculpture provide audiences with glimpses of three-dimensional Late-Pleistocene environments, and helps create dialogue of how grass, sagebrush, and spruce based ecosystems form. To help audiences better contextualize how MicroEcos bridges notions of time, space, and place, modern photography and videography of the Last Canyon, Little Windy Hill and Natural Trap Cave sites surround these 3D-digital reconstructions.

  7. Late Pleistocene and Holocene landscape formation in a gully catchment area in Northern Hesse, Germany

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Döhler, Susanne; Damm, Bodo; Terhorst, Birgit


    the differentiation between Pleistocene and Holocene landforms. Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating are applied to add numerical data to the relative ages of the sediments and landforms. The gully channels are oriented along Pleistocene depressions that are built up of periglacial cover beds...... and intercalated reworked loess. As the gully channels cut through the periglacial cover beds, especially the upper layer, the gully system is of Holocene age. At least two phases of gully erosion are identified in the alluvial fan sediments. The initial gully erosion is dated to the time span between the Late......Permanent gully channels under forest are common geomorphological features in Central European low mountain areas. In the Rehgraben/Fuchslöchergraben gully catchment in Northern Hesse, Germany the Late Pleistocene landscape formation is reconstructed based on periglacial cover beds. In addition...

  8. Evidences of climatic variations during Late Pleistocene- Holocene in the eastern Bay of Bengal

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chauhan, O.S; Borole, D.V.; Gujar, A; Mascarenhas, A; Mislankar, P.G.; Rao, Ch.M.

    Based upon the variations of clay minerals, sediment texture, heavy mineral assemblage and sup(230)Th excess in the Late Pleistocene sediments of a hemipelagic core from the eastern Bay of Bengal (2713 m water depth), 35 cm and 73-78 cm levels...

  9. Pleistocene megafaunal interaction networks became more vulnerable after human arrival. (United States)

    Pires, Mathias M; Koch, Paul L; Fariña, Richard A; de Aguiar, Marcus A M; dos Reis, Sérgio F; Guimarães, Paulo R


    The end of the Pleistocene was marked by the extinction of almost all large land mammals worldwide except in Africa. Although the debate on Pleistocene extinctions has focused on the roles of climate change and humans, the impact of perturbations depends on properties of ecological communities, such as species composition and the organization of ecological interactions. Here, we combined palaeoecological and ecological data, food-web models and community stability analysis to investigate if differences between Pleistocene and modern mammalian assemblages help us understand why the megafauna died out in the Americas while persisting in Africa. We show Pleistocene and modern assemblages share similar network topology, but differences in richness and body size distributions made Pleistocene communities significantly more vulnerable to the effects of human arrival. The structural changes promoted by humans in Pleistocene networks would have increased the likelihood of unstable dynamics, which may favour extinction cascades in communities facing extrinsic perturbations. Our findings suggest that the basic aspects of the organization of ecological communities may have played an important role in major extinction events in the past. Knowledge of community-level properties and their consequences to dynamics may be critical to understand past and future extinctions. © 2015 The Author(s).

  10. A reassessment of the early archaeological record at Leang Burung 2, a Late Pleistocene rock-shelter site on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brumm, Adam; Hakim, Budianto; Ramli, Muhammad; Aubert, Maxime; van den Bergh, Gerrit D.; Li, Bo; Burhan, Basran; Saiful, Andi Muhammad; Siagian, Linda; Sardi, Ratno; Jusdi, Andi; Said, Abdullah; Mubarak, Andi Pampang; Moore, Mark W.; Roberts, Richard G.; Zhao, Jian-xin; McGahan, David; Jones, Brian G.; Perston, Yinika; Szabó, Katherine; Mahmud, M. Irfan; Westaway, Kira; [Unknown], Jatmiko; Saptomo, E. Wahyu; van der Kaars, Sander; Grün, Rainer; Wood, Rachel; Dodson, John; Morwood, Michael J.


    This paper presents a reassessment of the archaeological record at Leang Burung 2, a key early human occupation site in the Late Pleistocene of Southeast Asia. Excavated originally by Ian Glover in 1975, this limestone rock-shelter in the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, Indonesia, has long held

  11. The late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record of eastern Asia: synthesis and review. (United States)

    Bae, Christopher J


    Traditionally, Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils that cannot be allocated to Homo erectus sensu lato or modern H. sapiens have been assigned to different specific taxa. For example, in eastern Asia, these hominin fossils have been classified as archaic, early, or premodern H. sapiens. An increasing number of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils are currently being assigned to H. heidelbergensis. This is particularly the case for the African and European Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record. There have been suggestions that perhaps the eastern Asian late Middle Pleistocene hominins can also be allocated to the H. heidelbergensis hypodigm. In this article, I review the current state of the late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record from eastern Asia and examine the various arguments for assigning these hominins to the different specific taxa. The two primary conclusions drawn from this review are as follows: 1) little evidence currently exists in the eastern Asian Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record to support their assignment to H. heidelbergensis; and 2) rather than add to the growing list of hominin fossil taxa by using taxonomic names like H. daliensis for northeast Asian fossils and H. mabaensis for Southeast Asian fossils, it is better to err on the side of caution and continue to use the term archaic H. sapiens to represent all of these hominin fossils. What should be evident from this review is the need for an increase in the quality and quantity of the eastern Asian hominin fossil data set. Fortunately, with the increasing number of large-scale multidisciplinary paleoanthropological field and laboratory research projects in eastern Asia, the record is quickly becoming better understood. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Reconstructing the climate states of the Late Pleistocene with the MIROC climate model (United States)

    Chan, Wing-Le; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; O'ishi, Ryouta; Takahashi, Kunio


    The Late Pleistocene was a period which lasted from the Eemian interglacial period to the start of the warm Holocene and was characterized mostly by widespread glacial ice. It was also a period which saw modern humans spread throughout the world and other species of the same genus, like the Neanderthals, become extinct. Various hypotheses have been put forward to explain the extinction of Neanderthals, about 30,000 years ago. Among these is one which involves changes in past climate and the inability of Neanderthals to adapt to such changes. The last traces of Neanderthals coincide with the end of Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS3) which was marked by large fluctuations in temperature and so-called Heinrich events, as suggested by geochemical records from ice cores. It is thought that melting sea ice or icebergs originating from the Laurentide ice sheet led to a large discharge of freshwater into the North Atlantic Ocean during the Heinrich events and severely weakened the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, with important environmental ramifications across parts of Europe such as sharp decreases in temperature and reduction in forest cover. In order to assess the effects of past climate change on past hominin migration and on the extinction of certain species, it is first important to have a good understanding of the past climate itself. In this study, we have used three variants of MIROC (The Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate), a global climate model, for a time slice experiment within the Late Pleistocene: two mid-resolution models (an atmosphere model and a coupled atmosphere-ocean model) and a high-resolution atmosphere model. To obtain a fuller picture, we also look at a cool stadial state as obtained from a 'freshwater hosing' coupled-model experiment, designed to mimic the effects of freshwater discharge in the North Atlantic. We next use the sea surface temperature response from this experiment to drive the atmosphere models. We discuss

  13. Large Late Pleistocene landslides from the marginal slope of the Flysch Carpathians

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pánek, T.; Hartvich, Filip; Jankovská, Vlasta; Klimeš, Jan; Tábořík, Petr; Bubík, M.; Smolková, V.; Hradecký, J.


    Roč. 11, č. 6 (2014), s. 981-992 ISSN 1612-510X R&D Projects: GA MŠk LM2010008 Institutional support: RVO:67985891 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : fossil landslide * radiocarbon dating * electrical resistivity tomography * pollen analysis * Late Pleistocene * Flysch Carpathians * Marine Isotope Stage 3 Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.870, year: 2014

  14. Reconstruction of a semi-arid late Pleistocene paleocatena from the Lake Victoria region, Kenya (United States)

    Beverly, Emily J.; Driese, Steven G.; Peppe, Daniel J.; Arellano, L. Nicole; Blegen, Nick; Faith, J. Tyler; Tryon, Christian A.


    The effect of changing environment on the evolution of Homo sapiens is heavily debated, but few data are available from equatorial Africa prior to the last glacial maximum. The Karungu deposits on the northeast coast of Lake Victoria are ideal for paleoenvironmental reconstructions and are best studied at the Kisaaka site near Karunga in Kenya (94 to > 33 ka) where paleosols, fluvial deposits, tufa, and volcaniclastic deposits (tuffs) are exposed over a 2 km transect. Three well-exposed and laterally continuous paleosols with intercalated tuffs allow for reconstruction of a succession of paleocatenas. The oldest paleosol is a smectitic paleo-Vertisol with saline and sodic properties. Higher in the section, the paleosols are tuffaceous paleo-Inceptisols with Alfisol-like soil characteristics (illuviated clay). Mean annual precipitation (MAP) proxies indicate little change through time, with an average of 764 ± 108 mm yr- 1 for Vertisols (CALMAG) and 813 ± 182 to 963 ± 182 mm yr- 1 for all paleosols (CIA-K). Field observations and MAP proxies suggest that Karungu was significantly drier than today, consistent with the associated faunal assemblage, and likely resulted in a significantly smaller Lake Victoria during the late Pleistocene. Rainfall reduction and associated grassland expansion may have facilitated human and faunal dispersals across equatorial East Africa.

  15. Preliminary Study of Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene Plant Food Strategies in China (United States)

    Hayashi Tang, M.; Liu, X.; Fritz, G.; Zhao, Z.


    In recent decades, studies on the domestication and early cultivation of seed crops have contributed significantly to how we understand human-plant interactions, and their impact on human social organisation and the environment. It is becoming clear, however, that plants have been critical to the human diet for much longer and in more diverse ways than previously assumed. This paper is a preliminary attempt at identifying and addressing early prehistoric plant food strategies in China. In particular, very little is known about the use of vegetatively propagated plants, despite their significant representation in modern crops. Many ingredients of Chinese medicine are also roots and tubers (or vegetative storage organs, VSOs). Unlike seed crops, however, we lack a systematic criterion for examining diagnostic characters of different VSO taxa in the archaeological record. To address this issue, we characterized commonly consumed and historically significant VSOs in China, by studying experimentally charred modern samples under the optical microscope and scanning electron microscope. We then compared the characteristics of these modern VSO samples against plant remains from Late Pleistocene to early Holocene archaeological sites in China, such as Zengpiyan (Guangxi), Zhaoguodong (Guizhou), and Jiahu (Henan) sites. We found that different taxa of VSOs can be differentiated by using multiple lines of evidence, including: shape and size of various cells, texture and arrangement of cell walls, as well as anatomical arrangements of organs, especially the vascular bundles. Though identification can be difficult when fragile cell structures have collapsed or deteriorated, more robust features are often preserved for diagnosis. Our results suggest that the potential for studying the role of vegetatively propagated plants in early human-environmental interactions is overlooked, and can be expanded significantly with further investment in their systematic identification.

  16. Cheek tooth morphology and ancient mitochondrial DNA of late Pleistocene horses from the western interior of North America: Implications for the taxonomy of North American Late Pleistocene Equus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina I Barrón-Ortiz

    Full Text Available Horses were a dominant component of North American Pleistocene land mammal communities and their remains are well represented in the fossil record. Despite the abundant material available for study, there is still considerable disagreement over the number of species of Equus that inhabited the different regions of the continent and on their taxonomic nomenclature. In this study, we investigated cheek tooth morphology and ancient mtDNA of late Pleistocene Equus specimens from the Western Interior of North America, with the objective of clarifying the species that lived in this region prior to the end-Pleistocene extinction. Based on the morphological and molecular data analyzed, a caballine (Equus ferus and a non-caballine (E. conversidens species were identified from different localities across most of the Western Interior. A second non-caballine species (E. cedralensis was recognized from southern localities based exclusively on the morphological analyses of the cheek teeth. Notably the separation into caballine and non-caballine species was observed in the Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of ancient mtDNA as well as in the geometric morphometric analyses of the upper and lower premolars. Teeth morphologically identified as E. conversidens that yielded ancient mtDNA fall within the New World stilt-legged clade recognized in previous studies and this is the name we apply to this group. Geographic variation in morphology in the caballine species is indicated by statistically different occlusal enamel patterns in the specimens from Bluefish Caves, Yukon Territory, relative to the specimens from the other geographic regions. Whether this represents ecomorphological variation and/or a certain degree of geographic and genetic isolation of these Arctic populations requires further study.

  17. Reconstruction of Late Pleistocene Paleoenvironments using bulk geochemistry of paleosols from the Lake Victoria Region (United States)

    Beverly, Emily J.; Peppe, Daniel J.; Driese, Steven G.; Blegen, Nick; Faith, J. Tyler; Tryon, Christian A.; Stinchcomb, Gary E.


    The impact of changing environments on the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens is highly debated, but few data are available from equatorial Africa. Lake Victoria is the largest freshwater lake in the tropics and is currently a biogeographic barrier between the eastern and western branches of the East African Rift. The lake has previously desiccated at 17 ka and again at 15 ka, but little is known from this region prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. The Pleistocene terrestrial deposits on the northeast coast of Lake Victoria (94 to 36 ka) are ideal for paleoenvironmental reconstructions where volcaniclastic deposits (tuffs), fluvial deposits, tufa, and paleosols are exposed, which can be used to reconstruct Critical Zones (CZ) of the past (paleo-CZs). The paleo-CZ is a holistic concept that reconstructs the entire landscape using geologic records of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and pedosphere (the focus of this study). New paleosol-based mean annual precipitation (MAP) proxies from Karungu, Rusinga Island, and Mfangano Island indicate an average MAP of 750108 mm yr-1 (CALMAG), 800182 mm yr-1 (CIA-K), and 1010228 mm yr-1 (PPM1.0) with no statistical difference throughout the 11 m thick sequence. This corresponds to between 54 and 72% of modern precipitation. Tephras bracketing these paleosols have been correlated across seven sites, and sample a regional paleo-CZ across a 55 km transect along the eastern shoreline of the modern lake. Given the sensitivity of Lake Victoria to precipitation, it is likely that the lake was significantly smaller than modern between 94 ka and 36 ka. This would have removed a major barrier for the movement of fauna (including early modern humans) and provided a dispersal corridor across the equator and between the rifts. It is also consistent with the associated fossil faunal assemblage indicative of semi-arid grasslands. During the Late Pleistocene, the combined geologic and paleontological evidence suggests a

  18. Reconstruction of Late Pleistocene Paleoenvironments Using Bulk Geochemistry of Paleosols from the Lake Victoria Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily J. Beverly


    Full Text Available The impact of changing environments on the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens is highly debated, but few data are available from equatorial Africa. Lake Victoria is the largest freshwater lake in the tropics and is currently a biogeographic barrier between the eastern and western branches of the East African Rift. The lake has previously desiccated at ~17 ka and again at ~15 ka, but little is known from this region prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. The Pleistocene terrestrial deposits on the northeast coast of Lake Victoria (94–36 ka are ideal for paleoenvironmental reconstructions where volcaniclastic deposits (tuffs, fluvial deposits, tufa, and paleosols are exposed, which can be used to reconstruct Critical Zones (CZ of the past (paleo-CZs. The paleo-CZ is a holistic concept that reconstructs the entire landscape using geologic records of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and pedosphere (the focus of this study. New paleosol-based mean annual precipitation (MAP proxies from Karungu, Rusinga Island, and Mfangano Island indicate an average MAP of 750 ± 108 mm year−1 (CALMAG, 800 ± 182 mm year−1 (CIA-K, and 1,010 ± 228 mm year−1 (PPM1.0 with no statistical difference throughout the 11 m thick sequence. This corresponds to between 54 and 72% of modern precipitation. Tephras bracketing these paleosols have been correlated across seven sites, and sample a regional paleo-CZ across a ~55 km transect along the eastern shoreline of the modern lake. Given the sensitivity of Lake Victoria to precipitation, it is likely that the lake was significantly smaller than modern between 94 and 36 ka. This would have removed a major barrier for the movement of fauna (including early modern humans and provided a dispersal corridor across the equator and between the rifts. It is also consistent with the associated fossil faunal assemblage indicative of semi-arid grasslands. During the Late Pleistocene, the combined geologic and

  19. Pleistocene North African genomes link Near Eastern and sub-Saharan African human populations. (United States)

    van de Loosdrecht, Marieke; Bouzouggar, Abdeljalil; Humphrey, Louise; Posth, Cosimo; Barton, Nick; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Nickel, Birgit; Nagel, Sarah; Talbi, El Hassan; El Hajraoui, Mohammed Abdeljalil; Amzazi, Saaïd; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Pääbo, Svante; Schiffels, Stephan; Meyer, Matthias; Haak, Wolfgang; Jeong, Choongwon; Krause, Johannes


    North Africa is a key region for understanding human history, but the genetic history of its people is largely unknown. We present genomic data from seven 15,000-year-old modern humans, attributed to the Iberomaurusian culture, from Morocco. We find a genetic affinity with early Holocene Near Easterners, best represented by Levantine Natufians, suggesting a pre-agricultural connection between Africa and the Near East. We do not find evidence for gene flow from Paleolithic Europeans to Late Pleistocene North Africans. The Taforalt individuals derive one-third of their ancestry from sub-Saharan Africans, best approximated by a mixture of genetic components preserved in present-day West and East Africans. Thus, we provide direct evidence for genetic interactions between modern humans across Africa and Eurasia in the Pleistocene. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  20. Dietary traits of the late Early Pleistocene Bison menneri (Bovidae, Mammalia) from its type site Untermassfeld (Central Germany) and the problem of Pleistocene 'wood bison' (United States)

    van Asperen, Eline N.; Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich


    Over the course of the Early and early Middle Pleistocene, a climatic cooling trend led to the partial opening up of landscapes in the western Palaearctic. This led to a gradual replacement of browsers by grazers, whilst some herbivore species shifted their diet towards including more grass. Wear patterns of herbivore cheek teeth can inform our understanding of the timing and extent of this change and indicate levels of dietary plasticity. One of the indicator species of the faunal turnover is the first large-sized form of bison in the Palaearctic, Bison menneri. The dental mesowear of the palaeopopulation from the species' late Early Pleistocene type site of Untermassfeld in Central Germany and the Late Pleistocene B. priscus from Taubach, both from habitat mosaics of forested habitats and more open landscapes, have a mixed feeder profile similar to that of North American wood bison, which has a distinct preference for open habitats but occasionally consumes a high amount of browse as a fall-back food. In contrast, the grazer mesowear signature of early Middle Pleistocene B. schoetensacki voigtstedtensis from Voigtstedt indicates these animals likely did not regularly feed in the densely forested area around the site. The mesowear of B. schoetensacki from Süssenborn, in a more open environment, is similar to that of extant European bison. Both Pleistocene and extant bison are grazers to mixed feeders with relatively high tolerance of a suboptimal browsing diet. None of these species can be regarded as true 'wood bison'.

  1. Late Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinction Consistent With YDB Impact Hypothesis at Younger Dryas Onset (United States)

    Kennett, J. P.; Kennett, D. J.


    At least 35 mammal and 19 bird genera became extinct across North America near the end of the Pleistocene. Modern increases in stratigraphic and dating resolution suggest that this extinction occurred relatively rapidly near 12.9 ka (11 radiocarbon kyrs). Within the context of a long-standing debate about its cause, Firestone et al., (2007) proposed that this extinction resulted from an extraterrestrial (ET) impact over North America at 12.9 ka. This hypothesis predicts that the extinction of most of these animals should have occurred abruptly at 12.9 ka. To test this hypothesis, we have critically examined radiocarbon ages and the extinction stratigraphy of these taxa. From a large data pool, we selected only radiocarbon dates with low error margins with a preference for directly dated biological materials (e.g., bone, dung, etc.) and modern chemical purification techniques. A relatively small number of acceptable dates indicate that at least 16 animal genera and several other species became extinct close to 12.9 ka. These taxa include the most common animals of the late Pleistocene such as horses, camels, and mammoths. Also, the remains of extinct taxa are reportedly found up to, but not above, the base of a widely distributed carbon-rich layer called the black mat. This stratum forms an abrupt, major biostratigraphic boundary at the Younger Dryas onset (12.9 ka), which also contains multiple ET markers comprising the impact layer (the YDB). Surviving animal populations were abruptly reduced at the YDB (e.g., Bison), with major range restrictions and apparent evolutionary bottlenecks. The abruptness of this major extinction is inconsistent with the hypotheses of human overkill and climatic change. We argue that extinction ages older than 12.9 ka for many less common species result from the Signor-Lipps effect, but the impact hypothesis predicts that as new dates are acquired, they will approach ever closer to 12.9 ka. The megafaunal extinction is strongly

  2. Mandibular molar root morphology in Neanderthals and Late Pleistocene and recent Homo sapiens. (United States)

    Kupczik, Kornelius; Hublin, Jean-Jacques


    Neanderthals have a distinctive suite of dental features, including large anterior crown and root dimensions and molars with enlarged pulp cavities. Yet, there is little known about variation in molar root morphology in Neanderthals and other recent and fossil members of Homo. Here, we provide the first comprehensive metric analysis of permanent mandibular molar root morphology in Middle and Late Pleistocene Homo neanderthalensis, and Late Pleistocene (Aterian) and recent Homo sapiens. We specifically address the question of whether root form can be used to distinguish between these groups and assess whether any variation in root form can be related to differences in tooth function. We apply a microtomographic imaging approach to visualise and quantify the external and internal dental morphologies of both isolated molars and molars embedded in the mandible (n=127). Univariate and multivariate analyses reveal both similarities (root length and pulp volume) and differences (occurrence of pyramidal roots and dental tissue volume proportion) in molar root morphology among penecontemporaneous Neanderthals and Aterian H. sapiens. In contrast, the molars of recent H. sapiens are markedly smaller than both Pleistocene H. sapiens and Neanderthals, but share with the former the dentine volume reduction and a smaller root-to-crown volume compared with Neanderthals. Furthermore, we found the first molar to have the largest average root surface area in recent H. sapiens and Neanderthals, although in the latter the difference between M(1) and M(2) is small. In contrast, Aterian H. sapiens root surface areas peak at M(2). Since root surface area is linked to masticatory function, this suggests a distinct occlusal loading regime in Neanderthals compared with both recent and Pleistocene H. sapiens. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Direct radiocarbon dates for Vindija G1 and Velika Pećina Late Pleistocene hominid remains (United States)

    Smith, Fred H.; Trinkaus, Erik; Pettitt, Paul B.; Karavanić, Ivor; Paunović, Maja


    New accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates taken directly on human remains from the Late Pleistocene sites of Vindija and Velika Pećina in the Hrvatsko Zagorje of Croatia are presented. Hominid specimens from both sites have played critical roles in the development of current perspectives on modern human evolutionary emergence in Europe. Dates of ≈28 thousand years (ka) before the present (B.P.) and ≈29 ka B.P. for two specimens from Vindija G1 establish them as the most recent dated Neandertals in the Eurasian range of these archaic humans. The human frontal bone from Velika Pećina, generally considered one of the earliest representatives of modern humans in Europe, dated to ≈5 ka B.P., rendering it no longer pertinent to discussions of modern human origins. Apart from invalidating the only radiometrically based example of temporal overlap between late Neandertal and early modern human fossil remains from within any region of Europe, these dates raise the question of when early modern humans first dispersed into Europe and have implications for the nature and geographic patterning of biological and cultural interactions between these populations and the Neandertals. PMID:10535913

  4. Small mammal diversity loss in response to late-Pleistocene climatic change. (United States)

    Blois, Jessica L; McGuire, Jenny L; Hadly, Elizabeth A


    Communities have been shaped in numerous ways by past climatic change; this process continues today. At the end of the Pleistocene epoch about 11,700 years ago, North American communities were substantially altered by the interplay of two events. The climate shifted from the cold, arid Last Glacial Maximum to the warm, mesic Holocene interglacial, causing many mammal species to shift their geographic distributions substantially. Populations were further stressed as humans arrived on the continent. The resulting megafaunal extinction event, in which 70 of the roughly 220 largest mammals in North America (32%) became extinct, has received much attention. However, responses of small mammals to events at the end of the Pleistocene have been much less studied, despite the sensitivity of these animals to current and future environmental change. Here we examine community changes in small mammals in northern California during the last 'natural' global warming event at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition and show that even though no small mammals in the local community became extinct, species losses and gains, combined with changes in abundance, caused declines in both the evenness and richness of communities. Modern mammalian communities are thus depauperate not only as a result of megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene but also because of diversity loss among small mammals. Our results suggest that across future landscapes there will be some unanticipated effects of global change on diversity: restructuring of small mammal communities, significant loss of richness, and perhaps the rising dominance of native 'weedy' species.

  5. Synchronous genetic turnovers across Western Eurasia in Late Pleistocene collared lemmings. (United States)

    Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Baca, Mateusz; Abramson, Natalia I; Sablin, Mikhail; Socha, Paweł; Nadachowski, Adam; Prost, Stefan; Germonpré, Mietje; Kosintsev, Pavel; Smirnov, Nickolay G; Vartanyan, Sergey; Ponomarev, Dmitry; Nyström, Johanna; Nikolskiy, Pavel; Jass, Christopher N; Litvinov, Yuriy N; Kalthoff, Daniela C; Grigoriev, Semyon; Fadeeva, Tatyana; Douka, Aikaterini; Higham, Thomas F G; Ersmark, Erik; Pitulko, Vladimir; Pavlova, Elena; Stewart, John R; Węgleński, Piotr; Stankovic, Anna; Dalén, Love


    Recent palaeogenetic studies indicate a highly dynamic history in collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx spp.), with several demographical changes linked to climatic fluctuations that took place during the last glaciation. At the western range margin of D. torquatus, these changes were characterized by a series of local extinctions and recolonizations. However, it is unclear whether this pattern represents a local phenomenon, possibly driven by ecological edge effects, or a global phenomenon that took place across large geographical scales. To address this, we explored the palaeogenetic history of the collared lemming using a next-generation sequencing approach for pooled mitochondrial DNA amplicons. Sequences were obtained from over 300 fossil remains sampled across Eurasia and two sites in North America. We identified five mitochondrial lineages of D. torquatus that succeeded each other through time across Europe and western Russia, indicating a history of repeated population extinctions and recolonizations, most likely from eastern Russia, during the last 50 000 years. The observation of repeated extinctions across such a vast geographical range indicates large-scale changes in the steppe-tundra environment in western Eurasia during the last glaciation. All Holocene samples, from across the species' entire range, belonged to only one of the five mitochondrial lineages. Thus, extant D. torquatus populations only harbour a small fraction of the total genetic diversity that existed across different stages of the Late Pleistocene. In North American samples, haplotypes belonging to both D. groenlandicus and D. richardsoni were recovered from a Late Pleistocene site in south-western Canada. This suggests that D. groenlandicus had a more southern and D. richardsoni a more northern glacial distribution than previously thought. This study provides significant insights into the population dynamics of a small mammal at a large geographical scale and reveals a rather complex


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Baranica is a cave in the Balkan mountain range in the eastern part of Serbia. It contains four layers of sediments of Quaternary age. The Upper Pleistocene deposits (layers 2-4 have yielded a rich and diverse assemblage of vertebrate fauna, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small and large mammals. In this work, preliminary results of a study of the rodent fauna from the Upper Pleistocene deposits of the Baranica Cave (Knjazevac, eastern Serbia are presented. The fossil material comes from the 1995 archaeological excavation. The remains of 10 rodent species are described herein: Spermophilus cf. citelloides, Castor fiber, Sicista subtilis, Cricetulus migratorius, Cricetus cricetus, Mesocricetus newtoni, Apodemus ex gr. sylvaticus-flavicollis, Spalax leucodon, Dryomys nitedula, and Muscardinus avellanarius. Along with eight vole species, this makes altogether 18 species of rodents found in this locality. Both layers 2 and 4 (layer 3 is very poor in fossils have yielded a rodent fauna typical for the cold periods of the Late Pleistocene on the Balkan Peninsula, with a prevalence of open and steppe inhabitants, but some forest dwellers were also present. The assemblages from these layers are similar, but there are some differences in the composition of the fauna, which may indicate a slight shift towards drier conditions. They have also been compared to rodent associations from some Serbian and Bulgarian localities of the same age and their similarities and differences are discussed. SHORT NOTE-NOTA BREVE

  7. The late Pleistocene glacial sequence in the middle Maruia valley, southeast Nelson, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mabin, M.C.G.


    Glacial and fluvioglacial landforms and deposits preserved in the middle reaches of the Maruia valley, southeast Nelson, New Zealand, record the activity of the Maruia glacier during the late Pleistocene Otira Glaciation. Five advances are recognised, from oldest to youngest: Creighton 1, 2, 3, and the Reid Stream 1, 2 advances. There was an interstadial interval between the Creighton 3 and Reid Stream 1 advances. The Reid Stream 1 advance occurred shortly after 14 800 years B.P. (NZ536, old T/sub 0.5/). (auths)

  8. U-series component dating for late pleistocene basalt Longgang, Jilin province

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Fusheng; Yuan Wanming; Han Song


    Longgang volcanic swarm belongs to one of volcanic areas which have been active since modern times. In view of multiple eruptions during histories, it is very important to determine age of every eruption for evaluating volcanic hazards. The alkaline basalt samples taken from Dayizishan and diaoshuihu are analyzed by U-series component method, after magnetic separation. The ages of the two samples are (71 ± 9) ka, (106 ± 13) ka before presence, respectively. These data indicate that there exist intensively eruptive activities during late Pleistocene

  9. Phylogeography of the Alcippe morrisonia (Aves: Timaliidae: long population history beyond late Pleistocene glaciations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Shouhsien


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The role of Pleistocene glacial oscillations in current biodiversity and distribution patterns varies with latitude, physical topology and population life history and has long been a topic of discussion. However, there had been little phylogeographical research in south China, where the geophysical complexity is associated with great biodiversity. A bird endemic in Southeast Asia, the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Alcippe morrisonia, has been reported to show deep genetic divergences among its seven subspecies. In the present study, we investigated the phylogeography of A. morrisonia to explore its population structure and evolutionary history, in order to gain insight into the effect of geological events on the speciation and diversity of birds endemic in south China. Results Mitochondrial genes cytochrome b (Cytb and cytochrome c oxidase I (COI were represented by 1236 nucleotide sites from 151 individuals from 29 localities. Phylogenetic analysis showed seven monophyletic clades congruent with the geographically separated groups, which were identified as major sources of molecular variance (90.92% by AMOVA. TCS analysis revealed four disconnected networks, and that no haplotype was shared among the geographical groups. The common ancestor of these populations was dated to 11.6 Mya and several divergence events were estimated along the population evolutionary history. Isolation by distance was inferred by NCPA to be responsible for the current intra-population genetic pattern and gene flow among geographical groups was interrupted. A late Pleistocene demographic expansion was detected in the eastern geographical groups, while the expansion time (0.2–0.4 Mya was earlier than the Last Glacial Maximum. Conclusion It is proposed that the complicated topology preserves high genetic diversity and ancient lineages for geographical groups of A. morrisonia in China mainland and its two major islands, and restricts gene exchange during

  10. A reassessment of the early archaeological record at Leang Burung 2, a Late Pleistocene rock-shelter site on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (United States)

    Hakim, Budianto; Ramli, Muhammad; Aubert, Maxime; van den Bergh, Gerrit D.; Li, Bo; Burhan, Basran; Saiful, Andi Muhammad; Siagian, Linda; Sardi, Ratno; Jusdi, Andi; Abdullah; Mubarak, Andi Pampang; Moore, Mark W.; Roberts, Richard G.; Zhao, Jian-xin; McGahan, David; Jones, Brian G.; Perston, Yinika; Szabó, Katherine; Mahmud, M. Irfan; Westaway, Kira; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E. Wahyu; van der Kaars, Sander; Grün, Rainer; Wood, Rachel; Dodson, John


    This paper presents a reassessment of the archaeological record at Leang Burung 2, a key early human occupation site in the Late Pleistocene of Southeast Asia. Excavated originally by Ian Glover in 1975, this limestone rock-shelter in the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, Indonesia, has long held significance in our understanding of early human dispersals into ‘Wallacea’, the vast zone of oceanic islands between continental Asia and Australia. We present new stratigraphic information and dating evidence from Leang Burung 2 collected during the course of our excavations at this site in 2007 and 2011–13. Our findings suggest that the classic Late Pleistocene modern human occupation sequence identified previously at Leang Burung 2, and proposed to span around 31,000 to 19,000 conventional 14C years BP (~35–24 ka cal BP), may actually represent an amalgam of reworked archaeological materials. Sources for cultural materials of mixed ages comprise breccias from the rear wall of the rock-shelter–remnants of older, eroded deposits dated to 35–23 ka cal BP–and cultural remains of early Holocene antiquity. Below the upper levels affected by the mass loss of Late Pleistocene deposits, our deep-trench excavations uncovered evidence for an earlier hominin presence at the site. These findings include fossils of now-extinct proboscideans and other ‘megafauna’ in stratified context, as well as a cobble-based stone artifact technology comparable to that produced by late Middle Pleistocene hominins elsewhere on Sulawesi. PMID:29641524

  11. The diversity and biogeography of late Pleistocene birds from the lowland Neotropics (United States)

    Steadman, David W.; Oswald, Jessica A.; Rincón, Ascanio D.


    The Neotropical lowlands sustain the world's richest bird communities, yet little that we know about their history is based on paleontology. Fossils afford a way to investigate distributional shifts in individual species, and thus improve our understanding of long-term change in Neotropical bird communities. We report a species-rich avian fossil sample from a late Pleistocene tar seep (Mene de Inciarte) in northwestern Venezuela. A mere 175 identified fossils from Mene de Inciarte represent 73 species of birds, among which six are extinct, and eight others no longer occur within 100 km. These 14 species consist mainly of ducks (Anatidae), snipe (Scolopacidae), vultures/condors (Vulturidae), hawks/eagles (Accipitridae), and blackbirds (Icteridae). Neotropical bird communities were richer in the late Pleistocene than today; their considerable extinction may be related to collapse of the large mammal fauna at that time. The species assemblage at Mene de Inciarte suggests that biogeographic patterns, even at continental scales, have been remarkably labile over short geological time frames. Mene de Inciarte is but one of 300 + tar seeps in Venezuela, only two of which have been explored for fossils. We may be on the cusp of an exciting new era of avian paleontology in the Neotropics.

  12. Fossil woods of Detarioideae subfamily (Fabaceae) from El Palmar Formation (Late Pleistocene) in South America (United States)

    Ramos, R. Soledad; Brea, Mariana; Kröhling, Daniela M.


    The main aim of the present paper is to describe the first Detarioideae fossil woods from El Palmar Formation (Late Pleistocene) in the Uruguay River Basin (Entre Ríos, Argentina). This study is based on five silicified wood specimens preserved in fluvial deposits, which were transported from their growth site. Two new genera and species are described: Paraoxystigma concordiensis gen. nov and sp. nov. has medium-sized vessels, paratracheal axial parenchyma, heterocellular and multiseriate rays, and diffuse axial canals similar in size and shape to vessels, and Gossweilerodendroxylon palmariensis gen. nov and sp. nov. has medium-sized vessels, alternate intervessel pits, paratracheal and apotracheal axial parenchyma, homocellular and uni to-multiseriate rays, and small diffuse axial canals. These Detarioideae fossil records in south-eastern South America support the existence of a very old relationship with the extant West African forests. Eco-anatomical features observed in these fossil woods, along with the climatic information available from the Nearest Living Relatives (NLRs) comparison, suggest warm and humid climatic conditions for the upper-middle basin of the Uruguay River during some periods of the Late Pleistocene.

  13. Late Pleistocene ecological, environmental and climatic reconstruction based on megafauna stable isotopes from northwestern Chilean Patagonia (United States)

    González-Guarda, Erwin; Domingo, Laura; Tornero, Carlos; Pino, Mario; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Sevilla, Paloma; Villavicencio, Natalia; Agustí, Jordi


    Stable isotope analyses have been performed on the bioapatite (δ13C; δ18O) and collagen (δ13C; δ15N) of four late Pleistocene South American megafaunal taxa (Notiomastodon platensis, Equus andium, cf. Hemiauchenia paradoxa and Xenarthra indet.) to evaluate paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental conditions as well as paleoecological features of this time period. The analyzed megafauna was found at several locations in the northwestern Chilean Patagonia (38°-42°S, 74°-71°W). The bioapatite δ13C values indicated the presence of C3 vegetation ranging from forestal to woodland areas. The collagen δ15N values pointed to temperate and humid ecosystems, and to the consumption of shrubs, trees, grasses and sedges. Mean annual temperatures estimated from bioapatite δ18OPO4 values show a similarity to modern temperatures and suggested that the megafauna under study may have lived during warm stages (interstadials) of the late Pleistocene. When comparing our results with those obtained from other South American regions, we find that the diet of this particular Chilean megafauna appears to have been more influenced by resource availability than by the potential dietary range of the taxa.

  14. A Pathological Late Pleistocene canid from San Sidero (Italy): implications for social- and feeding-behaviour (United States)

    Iurino, Dawid Adam; Fico, Rosario; Petrucci, Mauro; Sardella, Raffaele


    Evidence of diseases on vertebrate fossil bones can provide detailed information on many aspects of extinct animals. This study focused on pathological craniodental remains (left maxilla and dentary) referred to the canid Cuon alpinus unearthed from a Late Pleistocene karst filling deposit at San Sidero (Apulia, southern Italy). These fossils show clear evidence of a chronic periodontitis that caused the animal's death. Clinical diagnosis of the disease and the timing of its development have been defined on the basis of a veterinary odontostomatology approach, in addition to radiographic and tomographic techniques. From the initiation of the infection until death, a time span of at least 6 months occurred, and three main steps have been defined: (1) the bacterial infections of the buccal cavity turning into severe periodontitis, (2) the fracture of the lower carnassial and (3) the loss of teeth due to the worsening infection that deformed and/or eroded maxillary and mandibular bones and enlarged alveoli. The analysis of the palaeopathology also provides information about the biomechanics of the bite, on the feeding behaviour and on the relationships of injured members in a pack of Late Pleistocene canids.

  15. Rodent burrows in late Pleistocene paleosols at Korean Palaeolithic sites and their implications for paleoclimate changes (United States)

    Lim, H.; Park, S.; Lee, J.; Lee, Y.


    Rodent burrows are commonly found at many Paleolithic archaeological sites in Korea. They are nearly straight in horizontal view and gently inclined in lateral view. Burrow diameters are mostly 7 - 10cm, and burrow length may reach a few meters. Vertical penetration depths are generally about 1 m from the surface, and the thickness of the burrow-bearing layer is about 1-2 m. Although no remains (bones, teeth, claws, and coprolites) were found within burrows, they are interpreted to have been produced by rodent-like mammals (probably ground squirrels) based on the size and architecture. According to the previous study, the age of these burrows was constrained to be between ca. 40,000 and 25,000 yr BP by tephrochronology, radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating results (Lim et al., 2007). However, little is known about the reason why these burrows have disappeared after late Pleistocene time. For this question, two explanations can be considered: extinction or migration. Since same kinds of burrows are still found in the high-latitude regions, such as Mongolia and North America, the possibility of extinction can be ruled out. Therefore, migration seems to be the most likely explanation. Our results show that the destruction of habitat caused by climate change during this period is the main reason for the northward migration of burrowing animals. This study suggests that rodent burrows found in the late Pleistocene paleosols can provide useful information on paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental changes.

  16. Paleosoils and pedogenic calcretes formations in Fray Bentos (Oligocene - early miocene) Raigon (late pliocene and middle pleistocene) and Libertad (early - middle pleistocene)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tofalo, O.; Morras, H.; Sanchez-Bettucci, L.


    The Fray Bentos formation is composed by loessic deposits based on paleosoils and pedogenic calcretes (Oligocene - early miocene). In this deposits are tubular and lamellar formations which would have been formed in arid climates.The fluvial origen of Raigon Formation, (late pliocene and middle pleistocene) presents a paleosoil roof which is generated under a subhumid climate.The Libertad Formation during the glacial intervals consisted of loess deposits

  17. Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Rock Art from the Mongolian Altai: The Material and its Cultural Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Jacobson-Tepfer


    Full Text Available Rock-pecked images from the northern Mongolian Altai attest to the presence of human communities within the high valleys of that region during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene. The material provides evidence that is hitherto largely missing from the archaeological record of that region. This paper reviews the rock art, its find sites and larger physical contexts and uses evidence from paleoenvironmental studies to propose dating and cultural significance. The material is compared with other sites said to have Paleolithic imagery from Mongolia and the adjoining Russian Altai. The body of presented material offers a major resource for the study of early hunter-gatherer communities at the interface of Central and North Asia.

  18. Earthquake-induced soft-sediment deformation structures in Late Pleistocene lacustrine deposits of Issyk-Kul lake (Kyrgyzstan) (United States)

    Gladkov, A. S.; Lobova, E. U.; Deev, E. V.; Korzhenkov, A. M.; Mazeika, J. V.; Abdieva, S. V.; Rogozhin, E. A.; Rodkin, M. V.; Fortuna, A. B.; Charimov, T. A.; Yudakhin, A. S.


    This paper discusses the composition and distribution of soft-sediment deformation structures induced by liquefaction in Late Pleistocene lacustrine terrace deposits on the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake in the northern Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan. The section contains seven deformed beds grouped in two intervals. Five deformed beds in the upper interval contain load structures (load casts and flame structures), convolute lamination, ball-and-pillow structures, folds and slumps. Deformation patterns indicate that a seismic trigger generated a multiple slump on a gentle slope. The dating of overlying subaerial deposits suggests correlation between the deformation features and strong earthquakes in the Late Pleistocene.

  19. Middle Pleistocene protein sequences from the rhinoceros genus Stephanorhinus and the phylogeny of extant and extinct Middle/Late Pleistocene Rhinocerotidae. (United States)

    Welker, Frido; Smith, Geoff M; Hutson, Jarod M; Kindler, Lutz; Garcia-Moreno, Alejandro; Villaluenga, Aritza; Turner, Elaine; Gaudzinski-Windheuser, Sabine


    Ancient protein sequences are increasingly used to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships between extinct and extant mammalian taxa. Here, we apply these recent developments to Middle Pleistocene bone specimens of the rhinoceros genus Stephanorhinus . No biomolecular sequence data is currently available for this genus, leaving phylogenetic hypotheses on its evolutionary relationships to extant and extinct rhinoceroses untested. Furthermore, recent phylogenies based on Rhinocerotidae (partial or complete) mitochondrial DNA sequences differ in the placement of the Sumatran rhinoceros ( Dicerorhinus sumatrensis ). Therefore, studies utilising ancient protein sequences from Middle Pleistocene contexts have the potential to provide further insights into the phylogenetic relationships between extant and extinct species, including Stephanorhinus and Dicerorhinus . ZooMS screening (zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry) was performed on several Late and Middle Pleistocene specimens from the genus Stephanorhinus , subsequently followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to obtain ancient protein sequences from a Middle Pleistocene Stephanorhinus specimen. We performed parallel analysis on a Late Pleistocene woolly rhinoceros specimen and extant species of rhinoceroses, resulting in the availability of protein sequence data for five extant species and two extinct genera. Phylogenetic analysis additionally included all extant Perissodactyla genera ( Equus , Tapirus ), and was conducted using Bayesian (MrBayes) and maximum-likelihood (RAxML) methods. Various ancient proteins were identified in both the Middle and Late Pleistocene rhinoceros samples. Protein degradation and proteome complexity are consistent with an endogenous origin of the identified proteins. Phylogenetic analysis of informative proteins resolved the Perissodactyla phylogeny in agreement with previous studies in regards to the placement of the families Equidae, Tapiridae, and

  20. Testing the correlation of fragmented pollen records of the middle and late Pleistocene temperate stages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuneš, Petr; Odgaard, Bent Vad

    Quaternary temperate stages have long been described based on changing pollen abundances of various tree taxa in lacustrine sediments. Later, attempts have been made to assign such biostratigraphic units to distinct marine isotope stages (MIS). Existing continuous chronosequences from Southern...... records depends on site-to-site correlations. This comparison has often been performed on a visual basis, lacking clearly defined protocols and statements of underlying assumptions. Here I test the correlation of well and poorly known pollen records of the middle- and late-Pleistocene temperate stages...... from Northern-Central Europe and evaluate the usefulness of several numerical techniques. TWINSPAN analysis identifies groups of temperate stages based on presence/absence of their indicative taxa and may be useful for distinguishing between older and younger interglacials. Site-to-site sequence...

  1. Late Pleistocene sedimentation: A case study of the central Indian Ocean Basin

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Borole, D

    -Sea Research 1, Vol 40, No 4, pp 761-775, 1993 0967-0637/93 $6 00 + 0 00 Printed m Great Britain © 1993 Pergamon Press Lid Late Pleistocene sedimentation: a case study of the central Indian Ocean Basin D. V. BOROLE* (Recetved 26 August 1988, in revised... 26 + 0 11 4 10 + 0.20 1 30 + 0 10 5 03 20-25 1 10 + 0.07 3 60 + 0.14 1 08 ___ 0 09 5 3 30-35 1 51 + 0.10 3.28 + 0 34 1.10 + 0.15 5 3 65-70 1.08 + 0 05 3 20 + 0.23 0 97 + 0.09 4 38 80-85 0 81 + 0 05 1 80 + 0.12 0 63 + 0 06 4 37 Conanued 766 D V...

  2. Human talus bones from the Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). (United States)

    Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gracia, Ana; Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis


    Here we present and describe comparatively 25 talus bones from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). These tali belong to 14 individuals (11 adult and three immature). Although variation among Middle and Late Pleistocene tali tends to be subtle, this study has identified unique morphological characteristics of the SH tali. They are vertically shorter than those of Late Pleistocene Homo sapiens, and show a shorter head and a broader lateral malleolar facet than all of the samples. Moreover, a few shared characters with Neanderthals are consistent with the hypothesis that the SH population and Neanderthals are sister groups. These shared characters are a broad lateral malleolar facet, a trochlear height intermediate between modern humans and Late Pleistocene H. sapiens, and a short middle calcaneal facet. It has been possible to propose sex assignment for the SH tali based on their size. Stature estimates based on these fossils give a mean stature of 174.4 cm for males and 161.9 cm for females, similar to that obtained based on the long bones from this same site. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Late Pleistocene lithostratigraphy and sequences in the southwestern Mesopotamia (Argentina): Evidences of the last interglacial stage (United States)

    Ernesto, Brunetto; Soledad, Ferrero Brenda; Ignacio, Noriega Jorge


    The aim of this paper is to show the stratigraphic record of the Late Pleistocene corresponding to the distal region of the Paraná River basin. It displays sedimentological, paleontological and geochronological evidences that characterise the last interglacial-glacial cycle. In particular, strong environmental records are shown for the Last Interglacial Stage (LIS). Salto Ander Egg Formation (SAEF) is defined as a new lithostratigraphic unit representative of the Late Pleistocene in southwestern Mesopotamia. This unit is formed of complex fluvial deposits, which contains a heterogeneous collection of sub-environments, of ages ranging from 120 to 60 ky BP. The clast-supported gravel facies containing sparse boulders indicate high flow during a humid climate. The large and middle-scale architectures of fluvial sedimentary bodies evidence the relationship between the sediment accommodation and the sea level oscillations. Three sub-sequences identified in the succession suggest a transgressive trend during the MIS5e, a highstand stage in MIS5c, and a minor transgressive cycle during MIS3. A Brazilian faunal association collected at the bottom of the sequence and sedimentological interpretations display wet and warm climatic conditions, typical of tropical or subtropical environments. Such environmental conditions are characteristic of the maximum of the last interglacial stage (MIS5e) and show a signal stronger than the signal of the current interglacial stage. All these data show a direct correlation between the increases of paleodischarges and the elevation of the sea level. The whole sequence is completed with transitional swampy deposits, accumulated probably during the MIS3/MIS2 transition, and the typical loess of the Tezanos Pinto Formation, mantled during the Last Maximum Glacial.

  4. A complete human pelvis from the Middle Pleistocene of Spain. (United States)

    Arsuaga, J L; Lorenzo, C; Carretero, J M; Gracia, A; Martínez, I; García, N; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Carbonell, E


    The Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, has yielded around 2,500 fossils from at least 33 different hominid individuals. These have been dated at more than 200,000 years ago and have been classified as ancestors of Neanderthals. An almost complete human male pelvis (labelled Pelvis 1) has been found, which we associate with two fragmentary femora. Pelvis 1 is robust and very broad with a very long superior pubic ramus, marked iliac flare, and a long femoral neck. This pattern is probably the primitive condition from which modern humans departed. A modern human newborn would pass through the birth canal of Pelvis 1 and this would be even larger in a female individual. We estimate the body mass of this individual at 95 kg or more. Using the cranial capacities of three specimens from Sima de los Huesos, the encephalization quotients are substantially smaller than in Neanderthals and modern humans.

  5. Trophic interactions between larger crocodylians and giant tortoises on Aldabra Atoll, Western Indian Ocean, during the Late Pleistocene. (United States)

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Delfino, Massimo; Klein, Nicole; Bunbury, Nancy; Fleischer-Dogley, Frauke; Hansen, Dennis M


    Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra Atoll is home to about 100 000 giant tortoises, Aldabrachelys gigantea , whose fossil record goes back to the Late Pleistocene. New Late Pleistocene fossils (age ca . 90-125 000 years) from the atoll revealed some appendicular bones and numerous shell fragments of giant tortoises and cranial and postcranial elements of crocodylians. Several tortoise bones show circular holes, pits and scratch marks that are interpreted as bite marks of crocodylians. The presence of a Late Pleistocene crocodylian species, Aldabrachampsus dilophus , has been known for some time, but the recently found crocodylian remains presented herein are distinctly larger than those previously described. This indicates the presence of at least some larger crocodylians, either of the same or of a different species, on the atoll. These larger crocodylians, likely the apex predators in the Aldabra ecosystem at the time, were well capable of inflicting damage on even very large giant tortoises. We thus propose an extinct predator-prey interaction between crocodylians and giant tortoises during the Late Pleistocene, when both groups were living sympatrically on Aldabra, and we discuss scenarios for the crocodylians directly attacking the tortoises or scavenging on recently deceased animals.

  6. New evidences on the presence of Stegomastodon platensis Ameghino, 1888, Proboscidea: Gomphotheriidae, in the Late Pleistocene of Central Chile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Labarca, R.; Alberdi, M.T.; Prado, J.L.; Mansilla, P.; Mourgues, F.A.


    This paper contextualizes, describes and taxonomically assigned cranial and dental Gomphotheriidae materials from the El Trebal 1, late Pleistocene form central Chile. Starting from metric and morphological variables fossils are included in Stegomastodon platensis. Taxonomic implications of this finding as well as some regional paleoenvironmental history are discussed. (Author)

  7. A cave response to environmental changes in the Late Pleistocene: a study of Budimirica Cave sediments, Macedonia

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Temovski, M.; Pruner, Petr; Hercman, H.; Bosák, Pavel


    Roč. 69, č. 3 (2016), s. 307-316 ISSN 1330-030X Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : cave sediments * palaeoenvironmental changes * Late Pleistocene * Budimirica Cave * Macedonia Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.595, year: 2016 http://www. geologia

  8. Nitrogen isotopes suggest a change in nitrogen dynamics between the Late Pleistocene and modern time in Yukon, Canada (United States)

    Longstaffe, Fred J.; Zazula, Grant


    A magnificent repository of Late Pleistocene terrestrial megafauna fossils is contained in ice-rich loess deposits of Alaska and Yukon, collectively eastern Beringia. The stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope compositions of bone collagen from these fossils are routinely used to determine paleodiet and reconstruct the paleoecosystem. This approach requires consideration of changes in C- and N-isotope dynamics over time and their effects on the terrestrial vegetation isotopic baseline. To test for such changes between the Late Pleistocene and modern time, we compared δ13C and δ15N for vegetation and bone collagen and structural carbonate of some modern, Yukon, arctic ground squirrels with vegetation and bones from Late Pleistocene fossil arctic ground squirrel nests preserved in Yukon loess deposits. The isotopic discrimination between arctic ground squirrel bone collagen and their diet was measured using modern samples, as were isotopic changes during plant decomposition; Over-wintering decomposition of typical vegetation following senescence resulted in a minor change (~0–1 ‰) in δ13C of modern Yukon grasses. A major change (~2–10 ‰) in δ15N was measured for decomposing Yukon grasses thinly covered by loess. As expected, the collagen-diet C-isotope discrimination measured for modern samples confirms that modern vegetation δ13C is a suitable proxy for the Late Pleistocene vegetation in Yukon Territory, after correction for the Suess effect. The N-isotope composition of vegetation from the fossil arctic ground squirrel nests, however, is determined to be ~2.8 ‰ higher than modern grasslands in the region, after correction for decomposition effects. This result suggests a change in N dynamics in this region between the Late Pleistocene and modern time. PMID:29447202

  9. Simple technologies and diverse food strategies of the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene at Huaca Prieta, Coastal Peru. (United States)

    Dillehay, Tom D; Goodbred, Steve; Pino, Mario; Vásquez Sánchez, Víctor F; Tham, Teresa Rosales; Adovasio, James; Collins, Michael B; Netherly, Patricia J; Hastorf, Christine A; Chiou, Katherine L; Piperno, Dolores; Rey, Isabel; Velchoff, Nancy


    Simple pebble tools, ephemeral cultural features, and the remains of maritime and terrestrial foods are present in undisturbed Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene deposits underneath a large human-made mound at Huaca Prieta and nearby sites on the Pacific coast of northern Peru. Radiocarbon ages indicate an intermittent human presence dated between ~15,000 and 8000 calendar years ago before the mound was built. The absence of fishhooks, harpoons, and bifacial stone tools suggests that technologies of gathering, trapping, clubbing, and exchange were used primarily to procure food resources along the shoreline and in estuarine wetlands and distant mountains. The stone artifacts are minimally worked unifacial stone tools characteristic of several areas of South America. Remains of avocado, bean, and possibly cultivated squash and chile pepper are also present, suggesting human transport and consumption. Our new findings emphasize an early coastal lifeway of diverse food procurement strategies that suggest detailed observation of resource availability in multiple environments and a knowledgeable economic organization, although technologies were simple and campsites were seemingly ephemeral and discontinuous. These findings raise questions about the pace of early human movement along some areas of the Pacific coast and the level of knowledge and technology required to exploit maritime and inland resources.

  10. The late Pleistocene environment of the Eastern West Beringia based on the principal section at the Main River, Chukotka

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuzmina, Svetlana A.; Sher, Andrei V.; Edwards, Mary E.


    Chukotka is a key region for understanding both Quaternary environmental history and transcontinental migrations of flora and fauna during the Pleistocene as it lies at the far eastern edge of Asia bordering the Bering Sea. The now submerged land bridge is the least understood region of Beringia...... yet the most critical to understanding migrations between the Old and New Worlds. The insect fauna of the Main River Ledovy Obryv (Ice Bluff) section, which is late Pleistocene in age (MIS 3-2), is markedly different from coeval faunas of areas further to the west, as it is characterized by very few...

  11. Expansion of the known distribution of Asiatic mouflon (Ovis orientalis) in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant (United States)

    Yeomans, Lisa; Martin, Louise; Richter, Tobias


    Wild sheep (Ovis orientalis) bones recovered from the Natufian site of Shubayqa 1 demonstrate a wider distribution of mouflon in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant than previously known. Early Epipalaeolithic sites are common in the limestone steppe region of eastern Jordan but have yielded only a handful of caprine bones that cannot be identified to species level and few faunal remains from excavated Late Epipalaeolithic sites have been reported. Analysis of animal bone from Shubayqa 1 suggests a significant population of wild sheep could be found concentrated in the basalt desert environment of eastern Jordan during the Late Pleistocene, especially where higher rainfall over the Jebel Druze provided more water. A population of wild sheep was still present in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A when the nearby site of Shubayqa 6 was occupied. Hunting of diverse, locally available resources including wild sheep at the end of the Pleistocene illustrates the flexible and adaptive exploitation strategies that hunter-forager groups engaged in. This provides further evidence to the increasing body of data showing the creative and opportunistic approach of terminal Pleistocene groups allowing continued occupation even in more marginal environments in a period of environmental change.

  12. Late Pleistocene songbirds of Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia); the first fossil passerine fauna described from Wallacea (United States)

    Sutikna, Thomas; Saptomo, Wahyu; Jatmiko; Wasisto, Sri; Tocheri, Matthew W.; Mayr, Gerald


    Background Passerines (Aves: Passeriformes) dominate modern terrestrial bird communities yet their fossil record is limited. Liang Bua is a large cave on the Indonesian island of Flores that preserves Late Pleistocene–Holocene deposits (∼190 ka to present day). Birds are the most diverse faunal group at Liang Bua and are present throughout the stratigraphic sequence. Methods We examined avian remains from the Late Pleistocene deposits of Sector XII, a 2 × 2 m area excavated to about 8.5 m depth. Although postcranial passerine remains are typically challenging to identify, we found several humeral characters particularly useful in discriminating between groups, and identified 89 skeletal elements of passerines. Results At least eight species from eight families are represented, including the Large-billed Crow (Corvus cf. macrorhynchos), the Australasian Bushlark (Mirafra javanica), a friarbird (Philemon sp.), and the Pechora Pipit (Anthus cf. gustavi). Discussion These remains constitute the first sample of fossil passerines described in Wallacea. Two of the taxa no longer occur on Flores today; a large sturnid (cf. Acridotheres) and a grassbird (Megalurus sp.). Palaeoecologically, the songbird assemblage suggests open grassland and tall forests, which is consistent with conditions inferred from the non-passerine fauna at the site. Corvus cf. macrorhynchos, found in the Homo floresiensis-bearing layers, was likely part of a scavenging guild that fed on carcasses of Stegodon florensis insularis alongside vultures (Trigonoceps sp.), giant storks (Leptoptilos robustus), komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis), and probably H. floresiensis as well. PMID:28828271

  13. Late Pleistocene songbirds of Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia; the first fossil passerine fauna described from Wallacea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanneke J.M. Meijer


    Full Text Available Background Passerines (Aves: Passeriformes dominate modern terrestrial bird communities yet their fossil record is limited. Liang Bua is a large cave on the Indonesian island of Flores that preserves Late Pleistocene–Holocene deposits (∼190 ka to present day. Birds are the most diverse faunal group at Liang Bua and are present throughout the stratigraphic sequence. Methods We examined avian remains from the Late Pleistocene deposits of Sector XII, a 2 × 2 m area excavated to about 8.5 m depth. Although postcranial passerine remains are typically challenging to identify, we found several humeral characters particularly useful in discriminating between groups, and identified 89 skeletal elements of passerines. Results At least eight species from eight families are represented, including the Large-billed Crow (Corvus cf. macrorhynchos, the Australasian Bushlark (Mirafra javanica, a friarbird (Philemon sp., and the Pechora Pipit (Anthus cf. gustavi. Discussion These remains constitute the first sample of fossil passerines described in Wallacea. Two of the taxa no longer occur on Flores today; a large sturnid (cf. Acridotheres and a grassbird (Megalurus sp.. Palaeoecologically, the songbird assemblage suggests open grassland and tall forests, which is consistent with conditions inferred from the non-passerine fauna at the site. Corvus cf. macrorhynchos, found in the Homo floresiensis-bearing layers, was likely part of a scavenging guild that fed on carcasses of Stegodon florensis insularis alongside vultures (Trigonoceps sp., giant storks (Leptoptilos robustus, komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis, and probably H. floresiensis as well.

  14. Late Pleistocene-Holocene cataclysmic eruptions at Nevado de Toluca and Jocotitlan volcanoes, central Mexico (United States)

    Macias, J.L.; Garcia, P.A.; Arce, J.L.; Siebe, C.; Espindola, J.M.; Komorowski, J.C.; Scott, K.


    This field guide describes a five day trip to examine deposits of Late Pleistocene-Holocene cataclysmic eruptions at Nevado de Toluca and Jocotitlan volcanoes in central Mexico. We will discuss the stratigraphy, petrology, and sedimentological characteristics of these deposits which provide insights into the eruptive history, type of volcanic activity, and transport and emplacement mechanisms of pyroclastic materials. These parameters will allow us to discuss the kinds of hazards and the risk that they pose to populations around these volcanoes. The area to be visited is tectonically complex thus we will also discuss the location of the volcanoes with respect to the tectonic environment. The first four days of the field trip will be dedicated to Nevado de Toluca Volcano (19 degrees 09'N; 99 degrees 45'W) located at 23 km. southwest of the City of Toluca, and is the fourth highest peak in the country, reaching an elevation of 4,680 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.). Nevado de Toluca is an andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano, composed of a central vent excavated upon the remains of older craters destroyed by former events. Bloomfield and Valastro, (1974, 1977) concluded that the last cycle of activity occurred nearly equal 11,600 yr. ago. For this reason Nevado de Toluca has been considered an extinct volcano. Our studies, however, indicate that Nevado de Toluca has had at least two episodes of cone destruction by sector collapse as well as several explosive episodes including plinian eruptions and dome-destruction events. These eruptions occurred during the Pleistocene but a very young eruption characterized by surge and ash flows occurred ca. 3,300 yr. BP. This new knowledge of the volcano's eruptive history makes the evaluation of its present state of activity and the geological hazards necessary. This is important because the area is densely populated and large cities such as Toluca and Mexico are located in its proximity.

  15. Late Pleistocene flank collapse of Zempoala volcano (Central Mexico) and the role of fault reactivation (United States)

    Arce, José Luis; Macías, Rodolfo; García Palomo, Armando; Capra, Lucia; Macías, José Luis; Layer, Paul; Rueda, Hernando


    Zempoala is an extinct Pleistocene (˜ 0.7-0.8 Ma) stratovolcano that together with La Corona volcano (˜ 0.9 Ma) forms the southern end of the Sierra de las Cruces volcanic range, Central Mexico. The volcano consists of andesitic and dacitic lava flows and domes, as well as pyroclastic and epiclastic sequences, and has had a complex history with several flank collapses. One of these collapses occurred during the late Pleistocene on the S-SE flank of the volcano and produced the Zempoala debris avalanche deposit. This collapse could have been triggered by the reactivation of two normal fault systems (E-W and NE-SW), although magmatic activity cannot be absolutely excluded. The debris avalanche traveled 60 km to the south, covers an area of 600 km 2 and has a total volume of 6 km 3, with a calculated Heim coefficient (H/L) of 0.03. Based on the textural characteristics of the deposit we recognized three zones: proximal, axial, and lateral distal zone. The proximal zone consists of debris avalanche blocks that develop a hummocky topography; the axial zone corresponds with the main debris avalanche deposit made of large clasts set in a sandy matrix, which transformed to a debris flow in the lateral distal portion. The deposit is heterolithologic in composition, with dacitic and andesitic fragments from the old edifice that decrease in volume as bulking of exotic clasts from the substratum increase. Several cities (Cuernavaca, Jojutla de Juárez, Alpuyeca) with associated industrial, agricultural, and tourism activities have been built on the deposit, which pose in evidence the possible impact in case of a new event with such characteristics, since the area is still tectonically active.

  16. Lineage-specific late pleistocene expansion of an endemic subtropical gossamer-wing damselfly, Euphaea formosa, in Taiwan

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    Huang Jen-Pan


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pleistocene glacial oscillations have significantly affected the historical population dynamics of temperate taxa. However, the general effects of recent climatic changes on the evolutionary history and genetic structure of extant subtropical species remain poorly understood. In the present study, phylogeographic and historical demographic analyses based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences were used. The aim was to investigate whether Pleistocene climatic cycles, paleo-drainages or mountain vicariance of Taiwan shaped the evolutionary diversification of a subtropical gossamer-wing damselfly, Euphaea formosa. Results E. formosa populations originated in the middle Pleistocene period (0.3 Mya and consisted of two evolutionarily independent lineages. It is likely that they derived from the Pleistocene paleo-drainages of northern and southern Minjiang, or alternatively by divergence within Taiwan. The ancestral North-central lineage colonized northwestern Taiwan first and maintained a slowly growing population throughout much of the early to middle Pleistocene period. The ancestral widespread lineage reached central-southern Taiwan and experienced a spatial and demographic expansion into eastern Taiwan. This expansion began approximately 30,000 years ago in the Holocene interglacial period. The ancestral southern expansion into eastern Taiwan indicates that the central mountain range (CMR formed a barrier to east-west expansion. However, E. formosa populations in the three major biogeographic regions (East, South, and North-Central exhibit no significant genetic partitions, suggesting that river drainages and mountains did not form strong geographical barriers against gene flow among extant populations. Conclusions The present study implies that the antiquity of E. formosa's colonization is associated with its high dispersal ability and larval tolerance to the late Pleistocene dry grasslands. The effect of late Pleistocene

  17. A New Tephrochronology for Early Diverse Stone Tool Technologies and Long-Distance Raw Material Transport in the Middle-Late Pleistocene Kapthurin Formation, East Africa. (United States)

    Blegen, N.; Jicha, B.


    The Middle to Late Pleistocene (780-10 ka) of East Africa records significant behavioral change, the earliest fossils of Homo sapiens and the dispersals of our species across and out of Africa. Studying human evolution in the Middle to Late Pleistocene thus requires an extensive and precise chronology relating the appearances of various behaviors preserved in archaeological sequences to aspects of hominin biology and evidence of past environments preserved in the fossils and geological sequences. Tephrochronology provides the chronostratigraphic resolution to achieve this through correlation and dating of volcanic ashes. The tephrochronology of the Kapthurin Formation presented here, based on tephra correlations and 40Ar/ 39Ar dates, provides new ages between 396.3 ± 3.4 ka and 465.3 ± 1.0 ka for nine sites showing some of the earliest evidence of diverse blade and Levallois methods of core reduction. These are >110 kyr older than previously known in East Africa. New 40Ar/ 39Ar dates provide a refined age of 222.5 ± 0.6 ka for early evidence of long-distance obsidian transport at the Sibilo School Road Site. Long-distance tephra correlation between the Baringo and Lake Victoria basins also provides a new date of 100 ka for the Middle Stone Age site of Keraswanin. By providing new or older dates for 11 sites containing several important aspects of hominin behavior and extending the chronology of the Kapthurin Formation forward by 130,000 years, the tephrochronology presented here contributes one of the longest and most refined chronostratigraphic frameworks relevant to modern human evolution. In conjunction with recent archaeological and paleoenvironmental data, this tephrochronology provides the foundation to understand the process of modern human behavioral evolution through the East African Middle and Late Pleistocene as it relates to biological and paleoenvironmental circumstances.

  18. The timing of Late Pleistocene glaciation at Mount Wilhelm, Papua New Guinea (United States)

    Mills, Stephanie; Barrows, Timothy; Hope, Geoff; Pillans, Brad; Fifield, Keith


    The highlands of New Guinea were the most extensively glaciated area in the Asian tropical region during the Late Pleistocene. Evidence for glaciation is widespread on most of the mountain peaks above ~3500 m. Glacial landforms include both valley and ice cap forms, but the timing of glaciation remains constrained to only a few local areas. This paper focuses on Mount Wilhelm, which is situated in the central southern region of Papua New Guinea at 5.78°S and is the highest peak (4510 m a.s.l.) We focus on a south easterly valley (Pindaunde Valley) emanating from the peak, where large moraines indicate the maximum ice extent of a valley glacier ~5 km long. Within this extensive moraine complex, recessional moraines document the retreat of the glacier towards the summit region. In order to determine the timing of deglaciation, we collected samples for surface exposure dating using 36Cl and 10Be from diorite boulders positioned on moraine crests. The ages indicate that maximum ice extent was attained during the last glacial maximum (LGM) and that ice remained near its maximum extent until after 15 ka but persisted at higher elevations almost until the Holocene. These results are similar to those described from Mt Giluwe to the northwest of Mount Wilhelm, where an ice cap reached its maximum extent at the LGM and remained there for around 3-4,000 years. This indicates that full glacial conditions were only brief in this region of the tropics.

  19. Late Pleistocene paleohydrology near the boundary of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, southeastern Arizona, USA (United States)

    Pigati, Jeffery S.; Bright, Jordon E.; Shanahan, Timothy M.; Mahan, Shannon


    Ground-water discharge (GWD) deposits form in arid environments as water tables rise and approach or breach the ground surface during periods of enhanced effective precipitation. Where preserved, these deposits contain information on the timing and elevation of past ground-water fluctuations. Here we report on the investigation of a series of GWD deposits that are exposed in discontinuous outcrops along a ???150-km stretch of the San Pedro Valley in southeastern Arizona, near the boundary of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts. Chronologic, isotopic, geochemical, faunal assemblage (ostracodes and gastropods), and sedimentological evidence collectively suggest that the elevation of the regional water table in the valley rose in response to a change in climate ???50 ka ago and remained relatively high for the next ???35 ka before falling during the B??lling-Aller??d warm period, rebounding briefly during the Younger Dryas cold event, and falling again at the onset of the Holocene. The timing of these hydrologic changes coincides closely with variations in ??18O values of calcite from a nearby speleothem to the west and changes in lake levels at pluvial Lake Cochise to the east. Thus, in southeastern Arizona, the assumption that changes in climate are reflected in all aspects of the hydrologic cycle of a region simultaneously is validated. The timing of these changes also broadly coincides with variations in the GISP2 ??18O record, which supports the hypothesis that atmospheric teleconnections existed between the North Atlantic and the deserts of the American Southwest during the late Pleistocene.

  20. Optically stimulated luminescence age controls on late Pleistocene and Holocene coastal lithosomes, North Carolina, USA (United States)

    Mallinson, D.; Burdette, K.; Mahan, S.; Brook, G.


    Luminescence ages from a variety of coastal features on the North Carolina Coastal Plain provide age control for shoreline formation and relative sea-level position during the late Pleistocene. A series of paleoshoreline ridges, dating to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5a and MIS 3 have been defined. The Kitty Hawk beach ridges, on the modern Outer Banks, yield ages of 3 to 2??ka. Oxygen-isotope data are used to place these deposits in the context of global climate and sea-level change. The occurrence of MIS 5a and MIS 3 shorelines suggests that glacio-isostatic adjustment (GIA) of the study area is large (ca. 22 to 26??m), as suggested and modeled by other workers, and/or MIS 3 sea level was briefly higher than suggested by some coral reef studies. Correcting the shoreline elevations for GIA brings their elevation in line with other sea-level indicators. The age of the Kitty Hawk beach ridges places the Holocene shoreline well west of its present location at ca. 3 to 2??ka. The age of shoreline progradation is consistent with the ages of other beach ridge complexes in the southeast USA, suggesting some regionally contemporaneous forcing mechanism. ?? 2007 University of Washington.

  1. Late to middle Pleistocene Arctic glacial history implied from a sedimentary record from the Northwind Ridge (United States)

    Liu, Y.; Dong, L.; Shi, X.; Zhu, A.


    Abstract: Sediment core ARC6-C21 collected from the Northwind Ridge, western Arctic Ocean, covers the late to middle Quaternary (Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 1-11), as estimated by correlation to earlier proposed Arctic Ocean stratigraphies and AMS14C dating of the youngest sediments. Detailed examination of the elemental composition of sediment along with grain size in core ARC6-C21 provides important new information about sedimentary environments and provenance. We use increased contents of coarse debris as an indicator of glacier collapse events at the margins of the western Arctic Ocean, and identify the provenance of these events from geochemical composition. Notably, peaks of MgO and CaO, including large dropstones, presumably track the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) discharge events to the Arctic Ocean. Major LIS inputs occurred during the stratigraphic intervals estimated as MIS 3, intra-MIS 5 and 7 events, MIS 8, and MIS 10. Inputs from the East Siberian Ice Sheet (ESIS) and/or Eurasia Ice Sheet (EIS)are inferred from peaks of SiO2, K2O and Na2O associated with coarse sediment. Major ESIS and/or EIS sedimentary events occurred in the intervals estimated as MIS 2, MIS 4, MIS 6, MIS 8 and MIS 10. Keywords: Sediment core, Pleistocene, western Arctic Ocean, geochemistry, grain size, sediment provenance, glaciations

  2. Paleoecological and climatic implications of stable isotope results from late Pleistocene bone collagen, Ziegeleigrube Coenen, Germany (United States)

    Wißing, Christoph; Matzerath, Simon; Turner, Elaine; Bocherens, Hervé


    Climatic and ecological conditions during Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 are complex and the impact of cold spells on the ecosystems in Central Europe still needs to be investigated thoroughly. Ziegeleigrube Coenen (ZC) is a late Pleistocene MIS 3 locality in the Lower Rhine Embayment of Germany, radiocarbon-dated to > 34 14C ka BP. The site yielded a broad spectrum of mammal species. We investigated the carbon (δ13C), nitrogen (δ15N) and sulfur (δ34S) isotope signatures of bone collagen, since these are valuable tools in characterizing ecological niches, environmental conditions and aspects of climate and mobility. By comparison with pre- and post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) sites in Central Europe we show that ZC belongs in a cold event of MIS 3 and was climatically more similar to post-LGM sites than to pre-LGM sites. However, the trophic structure resembled that of typical pre-LGM sites in Belgium. This cold event in MIS 3 changed the bottom of the foodweb, but do not seem to have had a direct impact on the occurrence of the mammalian species and their ecological distribution. Apparently the (mega-) faunal community could adapt also to harsher environmental conditions during MIS 3.

  3. Radiolarian Indices of Paleoproductivity Variation in the late Pleistocene Benguela Upwelling System, ODP Site 1084 (United States)

    Bittniok, B. B.; Lazarus, D. B.; Diester-Haass, L.; Billups, K.; Meyers, P.


    Changes in export productivity play a significant role in ocean carbon budgets and global climate change. Proxies for export productivity can be difficult to interpret: benthic foraminifera accumulation rates (BFAR) can be affected by carbonate dissolution in organic-carbon rich sediments; bulk opal can be affected by silica limitation of source waters. Recent work (Lazarus et al. 2006; Mar. Micropal.) has shown that a new index based on radiolarian faunal changes (WADE ratio) correlates well to total organic carbon (TOC) values from the same samples over the long term (latest Miocene-Recent) history of productivity in the Benguela Upwelling System (BUS). We present new data on variation in export productivity proxies (WADE, TOC, carbonate, radiolarian opal, BFAR) for the last glacial-interglacial cycle from ODP Site 1084, located just offshore from the main coastal upwelling cells of the BUS. Our age model, from mean Quaternary sedimentation rates (Leg 175 Scientific Results), is in accordance with cyclic variation in other climate sensitive parameters (carbonate and color reflectance). Although opal content and radiolarian preservation is only moderate in our samples, WADE values vary significantly and suggest higher productivity during the last glacial, in accordance with current interpretations of BUS history. Radiolarian opal accumulation is also higher during the last glacial, suggesting that silica limitation (opal paradox) conditions did not dominate over this time period. Similar results for bulk opal have been reported from late Quaternary piston cores from the more northerly Congo upwelling region (Schneider et al, 1997; Paleoc.). We conclude that WADE ratios are a useful proxy for late Pleistocene productivity in the BUS at glacial- interglacial time scales.

  4. Late Pleistocene deglaciation chronology in the NW of the Iberian Peninsula using cosmic-ray produced 21Ne in quartz

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez Mosquera, D.; Marti, K.; Romani, J.R. Vidal; Weigel, A.


    Late Pleistocene glaciations in the NW Iberian Peninsula over Serra de Queixa and Serra de Xures, all with granite substrata, were studied by mass spectrometry using cosmogenic 21 Ne. Rock cores were drilled in glacial polished surfaces and push-moraine boulders, and were analyzed to determine their integral exposure time to cosmic rays. First results, which are consistent with the relative geomorphologic model estimates, allow the identification of at least three different glacial stages, with the latest terminating about 15 ka BP

  5. A Parable of Small Animals and Megafauna Extinction: A Paleo-Economic Theory of Climate Change versus Human Overkill in the Pleistocene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bulte, E.H.; Horan, R.D.; Shogren, J.F.


    After centuries of debate, paleontologists are converging towards the conclusion that human overkill caused the massive extinction of large mammals in the late Pleistocene. This paper revisits the question of megafauna extinction by incorporating economic behavior into the debate. We allow for

  6. Tanque Loma, a new late-Pleistocene megafaunal tar seep locality from southwest Ecuador (United States)

    Lindsey, Emily L.; Lopez R., Eric X.


    Fossil deposits in the petroleum-rich sediments of the Santa Elena Peninsula in southwestern Ecuador contain some of the largest and best-preserved assemblages of Pleistocene megafaunal remains known from the neotropics, and thus represent an opportunity to greatly expand our knowledge of Pleistocene paleoecology and the extinction of Quaternary megafauna in this region. This paper reports data from excavations at Tanque Loma, a late-Pleistocene locality on the Santa Elena Peninsula that preserves a dense assemblage of megafaunal remains in hydrocarbon-saturated sediments along with microfaunal and paleobotanical material. The megafauna bones are concentrated in and just above a ˜0.5 m thick asphaltic layer, but occur sparsely and with poorer preservation up to 1 m above this deposit. Several meters of presumed-Holocene sediments overlying the megafauna-bearing strata are rich in bones of microvertebrates including birds, squamates, and rodents. These are interpreted as raptor assemblages. While over 1000 megafaunal bones have been identified from the Pleistocene strata at Tanque Loma, more than 85% of these remains pertain to a single species, the giant ground sloth Eremotherium laurillardi. Only five other megafauna taxa have been identified from this site, including Glossotherium cf. tropicorum, Holmesina occidentalis, cf. Notiomastodon platensis, Equus (Amerhippus) c.f. santaeelenae, and a cervid tentatively assigned to cf. Odocoileus salinae based on body size and geography. No carnivores have yet been identified from Tanque Loma, and microvertebrate remains are extremely rare in the Pleistocene deposits, although terrestrial snail shells and fragmented remains of marine invertebrates are occasionally encountered. Accelerator Mass Spectrometry radiocarbon dates on Eremotherium and cf. Notiomaston bones from within and just above the asphaltic layer yielded dates of ˜17,000 - 23,500 radiocarbon years BP. Taken together, the taxonomic composition, taphonomy

  7. A lacustrine record from Lop Nur, Xinjiang, China: Implications for paleoclimate change during Late Pleistocene (United States)

    Chao, L.; Zicheng, P.; Dong, Y.; Weiguo, L.; Zhaofeng, Z.; Jianfeng, H.; Chenlin, C.


    Climate variability during the Late Pleistocene is studied from the proxies in core CK-2 drilled from the Luobei Depression (91??03???E, 40??47???N), Lop Nur in the eastern Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, China. Geophysical and geochemical properties, including magnetic susceptibility, granularity, chroma, carbonate content, loss on ignition and trace elements, have been determined to reconstruct the environmental evolution of the area during 32-9 ka BP. The chronology is established by uranium-thorium disequilibrium dating techniques. Our data suggest four paleoclimate stages, indicating glacial variations between cold-humid and warm-arid environments. A period of extreme humidity occurred during 31,900-19,200 yr BP is attributed the last glacial maximum (LGM). The period was followed by a warm-arid episode during 19,200-13,500 yr BP. Then a cold-humid interval during 13,500-12,700 yr BP may correspond to another cooling phases at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The last stage from 12,700 to 9000 yr BP has a trend that the climate turned warm and arid. The Lop Nur region is characterized by particularly humid stadials and arid interstadials. The climate variability in Lop Nur was constrained by global climate change because it is correlated with Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events, which were observed at the northern high latitudes. The synchroneity of the palaeoclimatic events suggested that cold air activity at the northern high latitudes was the most important factor that influenced the climate evolution in the Lop Nur region. A probable mechanism that involves the migration of westerly winds is proposed to interpret this synchroneity. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  8. A Stratigraphic Pollen Record from a Late Pleistocene Cypress Forest, Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf (United States)

    Reese, A.; Harley, G. L.; DeLong, K. L.; Bentley, S. J.; Xu, K.; Gonzalez Rodriguez, S. M.; Truong, J. T.; Obelcz, J.; Caporaso, A.


    Stratigraphic pollen analysis was performed on a layer of preserved peat found near the bottom of a 4.75m vibracore taken in 18m of water off the coast of Orange Beach, Alabama. The core was taken from a site where the remains of a previously buried bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) forest was discovered after wave action, likely from Hurricane Ivan in 2004, scoured and removed the overlying Holocene/late Pleistocene sand sheet. Many of the cypress stumps found at the site are still in growth position, and rooted in the preserved terrestrial soils below. Radiocarbon dating of the peat recovered in core DF1 suggests that the sediment is likely Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3), or earlier. We hypothesize that the site was quickly buried and preserved by floodplain aggradation associated with sea-level rise that occurred near the end of MIS 3. This rare find provides an opportunity to study in situ fossil pollen from a glacial refugium in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Pollen results from the lowermost sections within the peat layer show an assemblage consistent with a bald cypress/tupelo gum (Nyssa aquatica) backwater. This is eventually replaced by a more open, possibly brackish, environment, dominated by grasses (Poaceae) and sedges (Cyperaceae). During this change however, there is a brief but very interesting period where the pollen assemblage is likely analogous to the modern day Atlantic Coastal Plain Blackwater Levee/Bar Forests of North and South Carolina. In this modern assemblage, as well as the core samples, birch (Betula), oak (Quercus) and bald cypress are the dominant taxa, along with a strong presence of alder (Alnus), grasses and sedges. We hypothesize that these bar forests formed on areas of higher ground, which resulted from floodplain aggradation that accompanied sea level rise at the end of MIS 3.

  9. Late Pleistocene to early Holocene environmental changes on Store Koldewey, coastal north-east Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Klug


    Full Text Available A lake sediment sequence from southern Store Koldewey, north-east Greenland, has been investigated using a multidisciplinary approach, including geophysical, geochemical, biogeochemical, biological and sedimentological methods. Chronological constraints are provided by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS 14C dating of bulk sediment and complemented with published water moss ages. The record consists of three major sediment units. Their individual structural, textural, geophysical and geochemical characteristics indicate variable input of sediment and meltwater due to variable proximity of the ice margin and therefore reflect the growth and decay of a local glacier during the late Weichselian. Radiocarbon dating of bulk sediment samples from the lowermost unit gave ages of 42 to 34 calibrated thousand years (cal Ky B.P. and indicates that this material is redeposited in the lake basin during or after the ice advance at the end of the Pleistocene. Increased meltwater and sediment input from a retreating ice margin following the Younger Dryas is indicated by the occurrence of a sandy to gravely section. Fine-grained and laminated sediments were deposited during the Pleistocene–Holocene transition and indicate calm sedimentation conditions with an ice margin outside of the lake catchment. The reoccurrence of coarse sediments during the early Holocene may indicate increased meltwater input in response to the cold spell at about 9.3 Kya with increased snow accumulation rather than fluctuations of local glaciers. The dating results furthermore show that AMS 14C dating of bulk sediment samples deposited during glacier decay in High Arctic environments can give problematic ages.

  10. Geochemical Characterization of Late Pleistocene and Holocene Tephra Layers from the Basin of Mexico, Central Mexico (United States)

    Ortega-Guerrero, Beatriz; Newton, Anthony J.


    In order to aid palaeoenvironmental research of Late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits of central Mexico, tephra layers collected from the sediments of the Texcoco and Chalco sub-basins, in the southern part of the Basin of Mexico, are geochemically characterized and used as stratigraphic markers. The tephra layers range in composition from basaltic andesites to rhyolites and are calc-alkaline. The tephras range in age from >34,000 to ca. 2600 14C yr B.P. New names are used informally to designate correlated tephras. The Tlahuac tephra is present in Chalco, at a depth of 18 m; in the southeastern part of Texcoco, at a depth of around 10 m; and at the Tlapacoya archaeological site, where it had been mistakenly described as basaltic. This basalt-andesite tephra is dated to at least 34,000 14C yr B.P. The Tlapacoya 1 tephra is dated to between 15,020 ± 450 and 14,430 ± 190 yr B.P. and is present in all Chalco sections. The Tlapacoya 2 tephra corresponds to the previously described "pomez gruesa con fragmentos de andesita" (ca. 14,400 yr B.P.) and is present in all Chalco and Texcoco sections. The likely source of these three tephras is the volcano Popocatepetl. Tephra II at Chalco dates to 12,520 ± 135 yr B.P. and correlates with the Upper Toluca Pumice from Nevado de Toluca volcano. These represent the first geochemical glass-shard analysis of tephras from the Basin of Mexico, and so further research is necessary before a reliable tephrochronology can be established.

  11. Lithic technological responses to Late Pleistocene glacial cycling at Pinnacle Point Site 5-6, South Africa (United States)

    Brown, Kyle S.; Oestmo, Simen; Pereira, Telmo; Ranhorn, Kathryn L.; Schoville, Benjamin J.; Marean, Curtis W.


    There are multiple hypotheses for human responses to glacial cycling in the Late Pleistocene, including changes in population size, interconnectedness, and mobility. Lithic technological analysis informs us of human responses to environmental change because lithic assemblage characteristics are a reflection of raw material transport, reduction, and discard behaviors that depend on hunter-gatherer social and economic decisions. Pinnacle Point Site 5–6 (PP5-6), Western Cape, South Africa is an ideal locality for examining the influence of glacial cycling on early modern human behaviors because it preserves a long sequence spanning marine isotope stages (MIS) 5, 4, and 3 and is associated with robust records of paleoenvironmental change. The analysis presented here addresses the question, what, if any, lithic assemblage traits at PP5-6 represent changing behavioral responses to the MIS 5-4-3 interglacial-glacial cycle? It statistically evaluates changes in 93 traits with no a priori assumptions about which traits may significantly associate with MIS. In contrast to other studies that claim that there is little relationship between broad-scale patterns of climate change and lithic technology, we identified the following characteristics that are associated with MIS 4: increased use of quartz, increased evidence for outcrop sources of quartzite and silcrete, increased evidence for earlier stages of reduction in silcrete, evidence for increased flaking efficiency in all raw material types, and changes in tool types and function for silcrete. Based on these results, we suggest that foragers responded to MIS 4 glacial environmental conditions at PP5-6 with increased population or group sizes, ‘place provisioning’, longer and/or more intense site occupations, and decreased residential mobility. Several other traits, including silcrete frequency, do not exhibit an association with MIS. Backed pieces, once they appear in the PP5-6 record during MIS 4, persist through MIS

  12. The first finding of Asian black bear (Carnivora, Ursidae, Ursus (Euarctos) thibetanus G. Cuvier, 1823) in the Late Pleistocene of northern Eurasia. (United States)

    Kosintsev, P A; Tiunov, M P; Gimranov, D O; Panov, V S


    An M1 tooth of Asian black bear (Ursus (Euarctos) thibetanus G. Cuvier, 1823) was found in deposits of the Tetyukhinskaya cave (Middle Sikhote-Alin, 44°35'N, 135°36'E). This finding is the first reliable evidence of Asian black bear's presence in Pleistocene of Primorye. Its morphological and morphometric descriptions are given. The period of inhabitation of U. (E.) thibetanus determined based on the radiocarbon date obtained during the study of the tooth, is 39 874 ± 133 BP (NSK-850, UGAMS-21786), which corresponds to the middle of Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3) of Late Pleistocene. The composition of ancient theriofauna indicates the existence of wide variety of landscapes in Primorye in the middle of Late Pleistocene. A refugium of forest fauna, in which species of taiga, nemoral, and Central Asian mountain-forest theriocomplexes were present, was located in southern Primorye in Late Pleistocene.

  13. Preliminary Facies Reconstruction of a Late Pleistocene Cypress Forest Discovered on the Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf (United States)

    Gonzalez Rodriguez, S. M.; Bentley, S. J.; DeLong, K. L.; Xu, K.; Caporaso, A.; Obelcz, J. B.; Harley, G. L.; Reese, C. A.; Truong, J. T.


    We are investigating the origin and preservation of an ancient bald cypress forest (Taxodium distichum) discovered on the continental shelf seafloor, offshore of Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA, in 20 m water depth. The forest was likely buried in the late Pleistocene, possibly exhumed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and is now exposed as stumps in life position with little evidence of decay before recent marine exposure. Radiocarbon analyses show that the forest age is near (and in some cases beyond) the limits of 14C dating, at least 41-45 ky BP. In August 2015 and July 2016, submersible vibracores (up to 5 m in length) were collected. Ongoing core analyses include: organic content (loss on ignition), granulometry, and core logging using a Geotek Multi Sensor Core Logger to generate imagery, bulk density, and x-ray fluorescence data. To bolster 14C analyses, cores collected in 2016 are presently being dated using optically stimulated luminescence. Local stratigraphy consists of a surface facies of Holocene transgressive sands, underlain by possible estuarine sediments of interbedded sand and mud (potentially Holocene or Pleistocene), overlying a swamp or delta plain facies (likely Pleistocene) containing woody debris and mud. Deeper woody facies are thought to include the soil horizons of the ancient cypress forest. Cores collected in 2016 revealed a Pleistocene paleosol beneath Holocene sands in a nearby trough. Elevation differences between swamp and paleosol horizons will be evaluated from bathymetric and subbottom data, to help characterize the preserved ancient landscape. Initial interpretation based on close proximity of Pleistocene swamp and oxidized paleosol sediments, and regional geomorphic gradients suggest that this relatively diverse assemblage of facies developed up to tens of km from the glacial-age coastline, and relatively rapid burial prevented erosion by coastal processes during the Holocene transgression thus preserving the tree stumps and wood debris.

  14. Human Remains from the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition of Southwest China Suggest a Complex Evolutionary History for East Asians (United States)

    Curnoe, Darren; Xueping, Ji; Herries, Andy I. R.; Kanning, Bai; Taçon, Paul S. C.; Zhende, Bao; Fink, David; Yunsheng, Zhu; Hellstrom, John; Yun, Luo; Cassis, Gerasimos; Bing, Su; Wroe, Stephen; Shi, Hong; Parr, William C. H.; Shengmin, Huang; Rogers, Natalie


    Background Later Pleistocene human evolution in East Asia remains poorly understood owing to a scarcity of well described, reliably classified and accurately dated fossils. Southwest China has been identified from genetic research as a hotspot of human diversity, containing ancient mtDNA and Y-DNA lineages, and has yielded a number of human remains thought to derive from Pleistocene deposits. We have prepared, reconstructed, described and dated a new partial skull from a consolidated sediment block collected in 1979 from the site of Longlin Cave (Guangxi Province). We also undertook new excavations at Maludong (Yunnan Province) to clarify the stratigraphy and dating of a large sample of mostly undescribed human remains from the site. Methodology/Principal Findings We undertook a detailed comparison of cranial, including a virtual endocast for the Maludong calotte, mandibular and dental remains from these two localities. Both samples probably derive from the same population, exhibiting an unusual mixture of modern human traits, characters probably plesiomorphic for later Homo, and some unusual features. We dated charcoal with AMS radiocarbon dating and speleothem with the Uranium-series technique and the results show both samples to be from the Pleistocene-Holocene transition: ∼14.3-11.5 ka. Conclusions/Significance Our analysis suggests two plausible explanations for the morphology sampled at Longlin Cave and Maludong. First, it may represent a late-surviving archaic population, perhaps paralleling the situation seen in North Africa as indicated by remains from Dar-es-Soltane and Temara, and maybe also in southern China at Zhirendong. Alternatively, East Asia may have been colonised during multiple waves during the Pleistocene, with the Longlin-Maludong morphology possibly reflecting deep population substructure in Africa prior to modern humans dispersing into Eurasia. PMID:22431968

  15. Sedimentary architecture and chronostratigraphy of a late Quaternary incised-valley fill: A case study of the late Middle and Late Pleistocene Rhine system in the Netherlands (United States)

    Peeters, J.; Busschers, F. S.; Stouthamer, E.; Bosch, J. H. A.; Van den Berg, M. W.; Wallinga, J.; Versendaal, A. J.; Bunnik, F. P. M.; Middelkoop, H.


    This paper describes the sedimentary architecture, chronostratigraphy and palaeogeography of the late Middle and Late Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stage/MIS 6-2) incised Rhine-valley fill in the central Netherlands based on six geological transects, luminescence dating, biostratigraphical data and a 3D geological model. The incised-valley fill consists of a ca. 50 m thick and 10-20 km wide sand-dominated succession and includes a well-developed sequence dating from the Last Interglacial: known as the Eemian in northwest Europe. The lower part of the valley fill contains coarse-grained fluvio-glacial and fluvial Rhine sediments that were deposited under Late Saalian (MIS 6) cold-climatic periglacial conditions and during the transition into the warm Eemian interglacial (MIS 5e-d). This unit is overlain by fine-grained fresh-water flood-basin deposits, which are transgressed by a fine-grained estuarine unit that formed during marine high-stand. This ca. 10 m thick sequence reflects gradual drowning of the Eemian interglacial fluvial Rhine system and transformation into an estuary due to relative sea-level rise. The chronological data suggests a delay in timing of regional Eemian interglacial transgression and sea-level high-stand of several thousand years, when compared to eustatic sea-level. As a result of this glacio-isostatic controlled delay, formation of the interglacial lower deltaic system took only place for a relative short period of time: progradation was therefore limited. During the cooler Weichselian Early Glacial period (MIS 5d-a) deposition of deltaic sediments continued and extensive westward progradation of the Rhine system occurred. Major parts of the Eemian and Weichselian Early Glacial deposits were eroded and buried as a result of sea-level lowering and climate cooling during the early Middle Weichselian (MIS 4-3). Near complete sedimentary preservation occurred along the margins of the incised valley allowing the detailed reconstruction presented

  16. Continuity or discontinuity in the European Early Pleistocene human settlement: the Atapuerca evidence (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carbonell, Eudald


    The nature, timing, pattern, favourable circumstances and impediments of the human occupation of the European continent during the Early Pleistocene are hot topics in Quaternary studies. In particular, the problem of the (dis) continuity of the settlement of Europe in this period is an important matter of discussion, which has been approached in the last decade from different points of view. The Gran Dolina (TD) and Sima del Elefante (TE) cave sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca, (Spain) include large and quasi-continuous stratigraphic sequences that stretch back from at least 1.2 million years ago (Ma) to the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary. The archaeological and paleontological record from these sites can help to test different hypotheses about the character of the human settlement in this region and period. Furthermore, the TD6 level has yielded a large collection of human fossil remains attributed to Homo antecessor. According to different geochronological methods, as well as to paleomagnetic and biostratigraphical analyses, these hominins belong to an age range of 0.96-0.80 Ma. Unfortunately, the finding in 2007 of some human fossil remains in the TE9 level, dated to about 1.22 Ma, was not enough to conclude whether H. antecessor had deep roots in the European Early Pleistocene. A set of derived features of H. antecessor shared with both the Neanderthal lineage and modern humans suggests that this species is related, and not far, from the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. If we assume that there was a lineal biological relationship between the TE9 and TD6 hominins, we should reconsider many of the conclusions achieved in previous paleontological and genetic studies. In addition, we would be obliged to build a highly complicated paleogeographical scenario for the origin of the MRCA. Although continuity in the settlement of Europe during the entire late Early Pleistocene is not discarded (e.g. in refuge areas), it seems that

  17. Temporal overlap of humans and giant lizards (Varanidae; Squamata) in Pleistocene Australia (United States)

    Price, Gilbert J.; Louys, Julien; Cramb, Jonathan; Feng, Yue-xing; Zhao, Jian-xin; Hocknull, Scott A.; Webb, Gregory E.; Nguyen, Ai Duc; Joannes-Boyau, Renaud


    An obvious but key prerequisite to testing hypotheses concerning the role of humans in the extinction of late Quaternary 'megafauna' is demonstrating that humans and the extinct taxa overlapped, both temporally and spatially. In many regions, a paucity of reliably dated fossil occurrences of megafauna makes it challenging, if not impossible, to test many of the leading extinction hypotheses. The giant monitor lizards of Australia are a case in point. Despite commonly being argued to have suffered extinction at the hands of the first human colonisers (who arrived by 50 ka), it has never been reliably demonstrated that giant monitors and humans temporally overlapped in Australia. Here we present the results of an integrated U-Th and 14C dating study of a late Pleistocene fossil deposit that has yielded the youngest dated remains of giant monitor lizards in Australia. The site, Colosseum Chamber, is a cave deposit in the Mt Etna region, central eastern Australia. Sixteen new dates were generated and demonstrate that the bulk of the material in the deposit accumulated since ca. 50 ka. The new monitor fossil is, minimally, 30 ky younger than the previous youngest reliably dated record for giant lizards in Australia and for the first time, demonstrates that on a continental scale, humans and giant lizards overlapped in time. The new record brings the existing geochronological dataset for Australian giant monitor lizards to seven dated occurrences. With such sparse data, we are hesitant to argue that our new date represents the time of their extinction from the continent. Rather, we suspect that future fossil collecting will yield new samples both older and younger than 50 ka. Nevertheless, we unequivocally demonstrate that humans and giant monitor lizards overlapped temporally in Australia, and thus, humans can only now be considered potential drivers for their extinction.

  18. Late Pleistocene and Holocene Hydroclimate Variability in the Tropical Andes from Alpine Lake Sediments, Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela (United States)

    Larsen, D. J.; Abbott, M. B.; Polissar, P. J.


    The tropics play a major role in the global hydrologic cycle and changes to tropical rainfall patterns have critical implications for water resources and ecosystem dynamics over large geographic scales. In tropical South America, late Pleistocene and Holocene precipitation variability has been documented in geologic records and associated with numerous external and internal variables, including changes in summer insolation, South American summer monsoon strength, Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures, continental moisture recycling, and other climate processes. However, there are few records from the northern hemisphere tropical Americas, a key region for understanding interhemispheric linkages and the drivers of tropical hydroclimate variability. Here, we present a ~13 ka record of coupled hydroclimate and environmental changes from Laguna Brava, a small (~0.07 km2), hydrologically closed lake basin situated at 2400 m asl in the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela. Sediment cores collected from varying water depths and proximity to shore are placed in a chronologic framework using radiocarbon ages from terrestrial macrofossils, and analyzed for a suite of physical, bulk geochemical, and stable isotopic parameters. Compound specific hydrogen isotope (D/H) measurements of terrestrial plant waxes (long-chain n-alkanes) show a sharp increase in the late Pleistocene, followed by a long-term trend toward more negative values that suggest a ~20‰ decrease in the D/H ratios of South American tropical precipitation during the Holocene. This pattern is consistent in sign and magnitude to other South American precipitation reconstructions from both hemispheres, indicating interhemispheric similarities in tropical hydroclimate variability. Superimposed on this continent-scale trend are changes in moisture balance and environmental conditions in the Venezuelan Andes. We reconstruct these parameters at Laguna Brava at multidecadal and centennial resolution and evaluate this

  19. Drainage system inversion in the Guadalentin Depression during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene (Murcia, Spain)

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    Calmel-Avila, M.; Silva, P. G.; Bardaji, T.; Goy, J. L.; Zazo, C.


    This article presents the results of studies conducted in the central sector of Guadalentin depression (Murcia) for the abnormal accumulation (more than 17 m) of Pleistocene and Holocene deposits upstream of Romeral tectonic threshold (Librilla). {sup 1}4C dating. ruins and archaeological sites, together with its stratigraphic analysis show that the three sequences that constitute the Holocene detrital filling of the Depression, prograded are superimposed on the upper Pleistocene travertine upstream from the confluence of the River Guadalentin the Rambla de Librilla. Between Librilla and threshold Romeral Holocene deposits only appear along the left bank (15-17m). By contrast the right side shows significant lifting of the Pleistocene travertine up area Romeral threshold, where the substrate allora Neogene. (Author) 11 refs.

  20. Probe into the origin, development and evolution model of shelf desertizational environment in the last stage of Late Pleistocene (United States)

    Yu, Hong-Jun; Liu, Jing-Pu; Shan, Qiu-Mei


    Based on study of China's shelf paleoenvironment, this paper summarises the definition of shelf desertization that occurred in the last stage of Late Pleistocene, and discusses the background of its formation and evolution process. Study of shallow layer profiler records and core data revealed that cold-dry aeolian erosion was the major exogenic force on the exposed shelf. Under the prevailing paleo-winter monsoon, part of the exposed marine stratum disintegrated into sand and then desertization occurred. The fine sediments were blown away and deposited on the leeward to form derivative loess deposits.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available The Authors have elaborated four range charts of mammalian (large and micro, molluscs and fresh-water and brackish ostracodes faunas, for the selected Plio-Pleistocene fossiliferous localities of the Italy. A new Mammal Age (Aurelian correlatable to late Middle and Late Pleistocene has been defined. Inside this age two Faunal Units (Torre in Pietra and Vitinia have been defined as characteristic for Early and Middle Aurelian, while no gisements have been chosen for the late Aurelian. Biochronological units are calibrated on magnetostratigraphic and isotopic scales and by radiometric datings.    

  2. Late Pleistocene and Holocene activity of the Atacazo-Ninahuilca Volcanic Complex (Ecuador)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hidalgo, Silvana; Monzier, Michel; Almeida, Eduardo; Chazot, Gilles; Eissen, Jean-Philippe; van der Plicht, Johannes; Hall, Minard L.


    The Atacazo-Ninahuilca Volcanic Complex (ANVC) is located in the Western Cordillera of Ecuador, 10 km southwest of Quito. At least six periods of Pleistocene to Holocene activity (N1 to N6) have been preserved in the geologic record as tephra fallouts and pyroclastic flow deposits. New field data,

  3. A remarkable collection of Late Pleistocene reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) remains from Woerden (The Netherlands)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Kolfschoten, Thijs; van der Jagt, Inge; Beeren, Zoe; Argiti, Vasiliki; van der Leije, Judith; van Essen, Hans; Busschers, Freek S.; Stoel, Pieter; van der Plicht, Hans


    Woerden, in the central part of The Netherlands, is a locality where the amateur-archaeologist Pieter Stoel collected several thousands of fossil mammalian remains of Pleistocene age. The stratigraphically-mixed assemblage includes a broad variety of taxa including species that are indicative of

  4. Humans rather than climate the primary cause of Pleistocene megafaunal extinction in Australia (United States)

    van der Kaars, Sander; Miller, Gifford H.; Turney, Chris S. M.; Cook, Ellyn J.; Nürnberg, Dirk; Schönfeld, Joachim; Kershaw, A. Peter; Lehman, Scott J.


    Environmental histories that span the last full glacial cycle and are representative of regional change in Australia are scarce, hampering assessment of environmental change preceding and concurrent with human dispersal on the continent ca. 47,000 years ago. Here we present a continuous 150,000-year record offshore south-western Australia and identify the timing of two critical late Pleistocene events: wide-scale ecosystem change and regional megafaunal population collapse. We establish that substantial changes in vegetation and fire regime occurred ∼70,000 years ago under a climate much drier than today. We record high levels of the dung fungus Sporormiella, a proxy for herbivore biomass, from 150,000 to 45,000 years ago, then a marked decline indicating megafaunal population collapse, from 45,000 to 43,100 years ago, placing the extinctions within 4,000 years of human dispersal across Australia. These findings rule out climate change, and implicate humans, as the primary extinction cause. PMID:28106043

  5. Paleolimnological reconstruction of environmental variability during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in the south-east Baltic region (United States)

    Kublitskiy, Iurii; Subetto, Dmitriy; Druzhinina, Olga; Kulkova, Marianna; Arslanov, Khikmatula


    The main goal of our research is the high-resolution reconstruction of environmental and climatic changes in SE Baltic region since the Last Glacial Maximum by palaeolimnological data. The 6 objects - lakes and peat-bogs, were studied since 2009 in the Kaliningrad region, Russian Federation. According to palaeolimnological studies of bottom sediments of the Kamyshovoe Lake (N 54°22,6`; E22°42,8`, 189 m a.s.l.), located in the Vishtynets Highland, the south-east part of Kaliningrad district, the environmental and climatic changes after the late glacial have been reconstructed. At that moment the radiocarbon and loss-on-ignition (LOI) data, geochemistry and diatom analysis for the whole sediment core, and pollen analyze for the bottom part of the core have been completed. According to the pollen data the Alleröd interstadial starts at 13 200 cal. yrs BP and is marked by the rising of birch and pine pollen. The transition to the Younger Dryas around 12 700 cal. yrs BP corresponds with the development of patches of shrublands in which light-demanding species, such as juniper, flourished and communities of steppe herbs. The late Preboreal is marked by the appearance of Populus and an increase of the role of grasses in the vegetation cover 11 300-11 100 cal. yrs BP (Druzinina et al., 2015). The Holocene climatic zones have been identified by LOI and geochemistry analyses. The Boreal period started about 10 200 cal. yrs BP, Atlantic around 9100 cal. yrs BP, Subboreal 5800 cal. yrs BP, and Subatlantic 3200 cal. yrs BP (Kublitskiy et al., 2015). During the conference the new palaeolimnological data of environmental variability during the late Pleistocene and Holocene in SE Baltic region will be presented. Acknowledgements The investigations have been granted by the Russian Fund for Basic Research (12-05-33013, 13-05-41457, 15-35-50721). References Druzhinina, O., Subetto, D., Stančikaitė, M., Vaikutienė, G., Kublitsky, J., Arslanov, Kh., 2015. Sediment record from the

  6. Climatic fluctuations as a significant contributing factor for volcanic collapses. Evidence from Mexico during the Late Pleistocene (United States)

    Capra, L.; Bernal-Uruchurtu, J. P.; Carrasco, G.


    Climate oscillations have significantly contributed to the planet's evolution, including volcanic activity. Major glaciations have been considered not only as a triggering mechanism for large magmatic eruptions but also inducing volcano instability. Generally, volcano instability can be inferred from detailed volcanological and structural studies of a volcano and its associated depositional sequence, but the triggering mechanism has been always difficult to infer. In this paper, we present evidence of how climatic variations during the Late Pleistocene could have forced sector collapses of the main Mexican stratovolcanoes and enhanced the mobility of associated massive flows inducing the transformation of debris avalanche into debris flows. In particular, the climatic record based on atmospheric moisture content from robustly dated lake record from Guatemala and a U/Th dated speleothem from New Mexico are used here as indicators of summer and winter precipitation. Depositional sequences associated with Late Pleistocene sector collapses of Volcan de Colima, Nevado de Toluca, Citlaltepetl (Pico de Orizaba) and Cofre de Perote volcanoes are here analyzed. Comparing the timing of the event with the climatic record, a combination of summer and/or winter pluvial conditions could have forced and triggered the failure of already unstable volcanoes, even during glacier advances (as for the Citlaltepetl event). Independently of the main cause of the volcano instability (magmatic or tectonic) it is important to highlight that the climatic factor played an important role in enhancing the volcano instability and promoted the lateral transformation of debris avalanches, which under dry conditions would have affected more limited areas.

  7. Sedimentologic and paleontologic study of the southeast coast of Buenos Aires province, Argentina: A late Pleistocene Holocene paleoenvironmental reconstruction (United States)

    Aramayo, S. A.; Téllez, B. Gutiérrez; Schillizzi, R. A.


    A paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the southeast coast of Buenos Aires province, Argentina, is made mainly on the basis of paleontological and paleoichnological studies, supported by sedimentological analyses and radiocarbon dating. Continental late Pleistocene and continental, transitional, and marine Holocene stratigraphic units are identified. The former comprises fossil mammals and ichnites of 16000-12,000 BP. The continental early Holocene time, ca. 8100 BP, is represented by an interdune paleoenvironment in which shallow brackish ponds were colonized by diatoms, fish, rodents, and birds. A transitional paleoenvironment in the middle Holocene—6930-6570 BP—is recorded by deposits formed by estuarine crabs. During the late Holocene, between 5000 and 4800 BP, a marine transgression was recorded by a rich mollusc fauna.

  8. The Watinglo mandible: a second terminal Pleistocene Homo sapiens fossil from tropical Sahul with a test on existing models for the human settlement of the region. (United States)

    Bulbeck, D; O'Connor, S


    This paper analyses a fossil human mandible, dated to circa 10ka, from Watinglo rockshelter on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. The fossil is metrically and morphologically similar to male mandibles of recent Melanesians and Australian Aborigines. It is distinguished from Kow Swamp and Coobool Creek male mandibles (Murray Valley, terminal Pleistocene) by being smaller and having different shape characteristics, as well as smaller teeth and a slower rate of tooth wear. It pairs with the Liang Lemdubu female (Late Glacial Maximum, Aru Islands) in suggesting that the morphology of the terminal Pleistocene inhabitants of tropical Sahul was gracile compared to their contemporaries within the southern Murray drainage. An explanatory scenario for this morphological contrast is developed in the context of the Homo sapiens early fossil record, Australasian mtDNA evidence, terminal Pleistocene climatic variation, and the possibility of multiple entry points into Sahul. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. The origin and disappearance of the late Pleistocene-early Holocene short-lived coastal wetlands along the Carmel coast, Israel (United States)

    Sivan, Dorit; Greenbaum, Noam; Cohen-Seffer, Ronit; Sisma-Ventura, Guy; Almogi-Labin, Ahuva

    The formation of short-lived backswamps along the Carmel coast of Israel coincides with the rapid global sea-level rise during the late Pleistocene-early Holocene transition. The current study shows that the wetland phenomena originated around 10,000 yr ago and dried up shortly before the local Pre-Pottery Neolithic humans settled on the wetland dark clay sediments 9430 cal yr BP. Palaeontological and stable-isotope data were used in this study to elucidate previously published sedimentological reconstruction obtained from a core drilled into the western trough of the Carmel coastal plain. The water body contained typical brackish calcareous fauna, with variable numerical abundance and low species richness of ostracods and foraminifera. The δ 18O and δ 13C of the ostracod Cyprideis torosa show close similarity to the present Pleistocene coastal aquifer isotopic values. This study therefore concludes that the wetlands were shallow-water bodies fed by groundwater, with no evidence of sea-water mixing. It seems that they developed as the result of high groundwater levels, transportation of sediments landward, and deposition of sand bars at the paleo-river mouths. It is still not fully understood why these wetlands deteriorated abruptly and disappeared within less than 1000 yr.

  10. Climate at the edge of human dispersal in the European Middle Pleistocene (United States)

    Horne, David


    Pleistocene palaeoclimatic reconstructions based on fossils from sites containing archaeological evidence of human occupation can answer key questions about the climatic context of early human dispersal in Europe. Biological proxies including foraminifera, ostracods, diatoms, chironomid larvae, molluscs and pollen are widely used to estimate palaeoclimatic parameters, typically palaeotemperatures, using indicator species, Mutual Climatic Range (MCR), Modern Analogue Technique (MAT) and transfer function approaches. Any single proxy method will yield plausible results, but there is a need for multi-proxy testing; matching or overlapping results inspire confidence, whereas if independent proxies yield results that do not match or even overlap, one or more must be wrong. The Multi-Proxy Consensus (MPC) approach not only compares two or more proxy results in order to check for agreement, but also offers potential for more refined results to be obtained from the range of mutual agreement between two or more overlapping palaeotemperature ranges. Studies of MIS9 (late Middle Pleistocene) deposits in the Thames-Medway river system in SE England (some of which contain stone implements representing human occupation) have yielded palaeotemperature estimates based on ostracods, beetles, fish, herpetiles, pollen and plant macrofossils. The MPC approach demonstrates the consistency of the results and defines a more continental climate than today (mean July air temperatures similar or 1 degree warmer, mean January air temperatures at least 2 degrees colder). Two River Thames MIS11 sites (Ebbsfleet and Swanscombe) have yielded MPC results indicating summers up to 1.5 degrees warmer and winters at least 5 degrees colder than today. British early Middle Pleistocene sites record the earliest human presence in Europe North of the Alps. At Boxgrove (MIS13), well-known for its rich record of human activity (stone tools and butchered bones), combined ostracod and herpetile MCR results

  11. A new tephrochronology for early diverse stone tool technologies and long-distance raw material transport in the Middle to Late Pleistocene Kapthurin Formation, East Africa. (United States)

    Blegen, Nick; Jicha, Brian R; McBrearty, Sally


    The Middle to Late Pleistocene (780-10 ka) of East Africa records evidence of significant behavioral change, early fossils of Homo sapiens, and the dispersals of our species across and out of Africa. Studying human evolution in this time period thus requires an extensive and precise chronology relating behavioral evidence from archaeological sequences to aspects of hominin biology and evidence of past environments from fossils and geological sequences. Tephrochronology provides the chronostratigraphic resolution to achieve this through correlation and dating of volcanic ashes. The tephrochronology of the Kapthurin Formation presented here, based on tephra correlations and 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dates, provides new ages between 395.6 ± 3.5 ka and 465.3 ± 1.0 ka for nine sites showing diverse blade and Levallois methods of core reduction. These are >110 kyr older than previously known in East Africa. New 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dates provide a refined age of 222.5 ± 0.6 ka for early evidence of long-distance (166 km) obsidian transport at the Sibilo School Road Site. A tephra correlation between the Baringo and Victoria basins also provides a new date of ∼100 ka for the Middle Stone Age site of Keraswanin. By providing new and older dates for 11 sites containing several important aspects of hominin behavior and extending the chronology of the Kapthurin Formation forward by ∼130,000 years, the tephrochronology presented here contributes one of the longest and most refined chronostratigraphic frameworks of Middle through Late Pleistocene East Africa. This tephrochronology thus provides the foundation to understand the process of modern human behavioral evolution as it relates to biological and paleoenvironmental circumstances. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Didelphidae marsupials (Mammalia, Didelphimorphia from the Late Pleistocene deposit of the Gruta dos Moura Cave, northern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Villa Nova


    Full Text Available The present study acknowledges the diversity of fossil marsupials from the Gruta dos Moura cave, as well as environmental and climatic aspects during the Quaternary. The results show that this is the largest diversity of Pleistocene marsupials recorded in a single cave: Didelphis albiventris, D. aurita, Gracilinanus agilis, G. microtarsus, Marmosa murina, Monodelphis brevicaudata, M. domesticaand Sairadelphys tocantinensis. Furthermore, the described specimens are also part of the only fossil assemblage unequivocally referable to the late Pleistocene. Paleontological studies suggest an intimate association with dry and open environments with high abundance of water sources. Since most of the identified taxa are characteristic of open forests and gallery forests, this could represent the actual environment around the Gruta dos Moura cave. Recent studies identified sympatric occurrences between species from open and dry environments and species from humid forests that were identified among our material and are characteristic of humid regions. Therefore, these species could inhabit gallery forests and capons, or even ecotones, inside a dry and open environment. Moreover, the extinction of Sairadelphyscould also indicate that the climatic and environmental conditions changed or that the past environment was more heterogeneous than the current environment of the region.

  13. Revising the archaeological record of the Upper Pleistocene Arctic Siberia: Human dispersal and adaptations in MIS 3 and 2 (United States)

    Pitulko, Vladimir; Pavlova, Elena; Nikolskiy, Pavel


    As the main external driver, environmental changes largely predetermine human population distribution, especially in the Arctic, where environmental conditions were often too extreme for human survival. Not that long ago the only evidence of human presence here was the Berelekh site in the lower reaches of the Indighirka River. This landmark dates to 13,000-12,000 years ago but it was widely accepted as documentation of the earliest stage of human dispersal in the Arctic. New research discussed here, shows that humans began colonizing the Siberian Arctic at least by the end of the early stage of MIS 3 at around 45,000 years ago. For now, this earliest known stage of human occupation in the arctic regions is documented by the evidence of human hunting. The archaeological record of continued human occupation is fragmentary; nevertheless, evidence exists for each significant phase including the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Siberian Arctic human populations were likely supported by the local mammoth population, which provided humans with food and raw material in the form of mammoth tusks. Processing of mammoth ivory is recognized widely as one of the most important peculiarities of the material culture of ancient humans. In fact, ivory tool manufacturing is one of the most important innovations of the Upper Palaeolithic in northern Eurasia. Technology that allowed manufacturing of long ivory shafts - long points and full-size spears - was critical in the tree-less open landscapes of Eurasian mammoth steppe belt. These technological skills reach their greatest extent and development shortly before the Last Glacial Maximum but are recognizable until the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary across Northern Eurasia in all areas populated by mammoths and humans. Loss of this stable source of raw material due to the late Pleistocene mammoth extinction may have provoked a shift in post-LGM Siberia to the Beringian microblade tradition. This paper reviews the most important

  14. First accelerator mass spectrometry {sup 14}C dates documenting contemporaneity of nonanalog species in late Pleistocene mammal communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stafford, T.W. Jr.; Semken, H.A. Jr.; Graham, R.W.; Klippel, W.F.; Markova, A.; Smirnov, N.G.; Southon, J.


    Worldwide late Pleistocene terrestrial mammal faunas are characterized by stratigraphic associations of species that now have exclusive geographic ranges. These have been interpreted as either taphonomically mixed or representative of communities that no longer exist. Accelerator mass spectrometry {sup 14}C dates (n = 60) on single bones of stratigraphically associated fossil micromammals from two American and two Russian sites document for the first time that currently allopatric mammals occurred together between 12,000 and 22,000 yr B.P. on two continents. The existence of mammal communities without modern analogs demonstrates that Northern Hemisphere biological communities are ephemeral and that many modern biomes are younger than 12 ka. Future climate change may result in new nonanalog communities.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available We present a study of Late Pleistocene fossil bird remains from Ingarano (Apulia, SE Italy, based on the revision of previously published material and the study of unpublished fossils bones. New field observations make it possible to simplify the stratigraphy of the deposit compared to previous work. The systematic study of the fossil bird bones revealed the presence of 15 taxa, including two hypothetical ones: Circus aeruginosus, Buteo rufinus, Aquila chrysaëtos, Falco columbarius, Falco cherrug, Alectoris graeca, Perdix perdix, Columba livia, Otus scops, Nyctea scandiaca, Nyctea scandiaca vel Bubo bubo, Athene noctua, Pyrrhocorax graculus, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, Corvus corone, Corvus corone vel Corvus frugilegus, Corvus corax. Our detailed study also helps improve the taphonomical interpretation of the deposit: the remains from the lower layers were accumulated after mammalian predator activity and were transported over short distances, while the ones from the upper layers show sings of intense transport, such as fractures and surface abrasion. Two different bird assemblages were recognized, respectively from the lowermost and the upper layers of the clastic succession exposed in the Ingarano deposit; this difference is also confirmed by the fossil mammal remains. The systematic study makes it possible to make palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions: both assemblages indicate open environments, and the taxa of the lower layers indicate the presence of woods and wetlands with colder characteristics, while birds of the upper layers indicate drier and warmer conditions. This analysis, and the dating established through geochemical analyses and study of lithic artefacts, lead us to date the formation of the Ingarano deposit to the Late Pleistocene, in particular to the MIS 3. The presence of a layer dated to the MIS 2 at the base of the succession indicated in previous works cannot be confirmed. 

  16. Late Pleistocene glacial stratigraphy of the Kumara-Moana region, West Coast of South Island, New Zealand (United States)

    Barrows, Timothy T.; Almond, Peter; Rose, Robert; Keith Fifield, L.; Mills, Stephanie C.; Tims, Stephen G.


    On the South Island of New Zealand, large piedmont glaciers descended from an ice cap on the Southern Alps onto the coastal plain of the West Coast during the late Pleistocene. The series of moraine belts and outwash plains left by the Taramakau glacier are used as a type section for interpreting the glacial geology and timing of major climatic events of New Zealand and also as a benchmark for comparison with the wider Southern Hemisphere. In this paper we review the chronology of advances by the Taramakau glacier during the last or Otira Glaciation using a combination of exposure dating using the cosmogenic nuclides 10Be and 36Cl, and tephrochronology. We document three distinct glacial maxima, represented by the Loopline, Larrikins and Moana Formations, separated by brief interstadials. We find that the Loopline Formation, originally attributed to Oxygen Isotope Chronozone 4, is much younger than previously thought, with an advance culminating around 24,900 ± 800 yr. The widespread late Pleistocene Kawakawa/Oruanui tephra stratigraphically lies immediately above it. This Formation has the same age previously attributed to the older part of the Larrikins Formation. Dating of the Larrikins Formation demonstrates there is no longer a basis for subdividing it into older and younger phases with an advance lasting about 1000 years between 20,800 ± 500 to 20,000 ± 400 yr. The Moana Formation represents the deposits of the last major advance of ice at 17,300 ± 500 yr and is younger than expected based on limited previous dating. The timing of major piedmont glaciation is restricted to between ˜25,000 and 17,000 yr and this interval corresponds to a time of regionally cold sea surface temperatures, expansion of grasslands at the expense of forest on South Island, and hemisphere wide glaciation.

  17. The three-quarter power scaling of extinction risk in Late Pleistocene mammals, and a new theory of the size selectivity of extinction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polishchuk, L.


    Questions: What is the pattern of body mass versus extinction risk in the Late Pleistocene extinctions of mammals, both qualitatively and quantitatively? Are there patterns that relate extinction risk to the well-known allometries of body mass with population density or population growth rate?

  18. Leafcutter bee nests and pupae from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits of southern California: Implications for understanding the paleoenvironment of the Late Pleistocene (United States)

    The Rancho La Brea Tar Pits is the world’s richest and most important Late Pleistocene fossil locality and best renowned for numerous fossil mammals and birds excavated over the past century. Less researched are insects, even though these specimens frequently serve as the most valuable paleoenvironm...

  19. Fossils in Late Cretaceous to early Palaeocene flint nodules embedded in pleistocene glaciofluvial sediments near Fukov (Děčín District, Northern Bohemia)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pokorný, R.; Kaše, J.; Kvaček, J.; Zágoršek, K.; Kočí, T.; Žítt, Jiří


    Roč. 68, 3/4 (2012), s. 119-131 ISSN 0036-5343 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Erratic boulders * Flint * Glaciofluvial sediments * Late Cretaceous * Northern Bohemia * Palaeocene * Pleistocene glaciation * Taphocoenosis Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  20. An Arctic perspective on dating Mid-Late Pleistocene environmental history

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexanderson, Helena; Backman, Jan; Cronin, Thomas M.


    we discuss, from an Arctic perspective, methods and correlation tools that are commonly used to date Arctic Pleistocene marine and terrestrial events. We review the state of the art of Arctic geochronology, with focus on factors that affect the possibility and quality of dating, and support...... this overview by examples of application of modern dating methods to Arctic terrestrial and marine sequences. Event stratigraphy and numerical ages are important tools used in the Arctic to correlate fragmented terrestrial records and to establish regional stratigraphic schemes. Age control is commonly provided...... of these proxies reveal cyclical patterns that provide a basis for astronomical tuning. Recent advances in dating technology, calibration and age modelling allow for measuring smaller quantities of material and to more precisely date previously undatable material (i.e. foraminifera for 14C, and single...

  1. Human calcanei from the Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). (United States)

    Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Sala, Nohemi; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis


    The existence of calcanei in the fossil record prior to modern humans and Neandertals is very scarce. This skeletal element is fundamental to understanding the evolution of the morphology of the foot in human evolution. Here we present and metrically and comparatively describe 29 calcaneus remains from the Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos (SH) (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). These calcanei belong to 15 individuals (nine adults, two adolescents and four immature individuals). The metric and morphological differences in the calcanei among Middle and Late Pleistocene hominins tend to be subtle. However, the calcanei from SH are broad and robust with large articular surfaces and most significantly, exhibit a very projected sustentaculum tali. A biomechanical and phylogenetic interpretation is proffered to explain the observed morphology of these calcanei. It has been possible to propose tentative sex assignments for the SH calcanei based on size, using methods similar to those used to establish sex from the talus bones from SH. The estimation of stature based on the calcaneus provides a mean of 175.3 cm for males and 160.6 for females, which is similar to that obtained using other skeletal parts from the site. In sum, the SH calcanei are robust with a proportionally long tubercle and a projected sustentaculum tali, which are traits shared by Neandertals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Compilation of information on the climate and evaluation of the hydrochemical and isotopic composition during Late Pleistocene and Holocene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersson, Cecilia


    This report summarises and evaluates some of the existing information on the Late Pleistocene and Holocene climates, i.e. the last 130 000 years. An estimation of the conditions at the Aespoe island (southeast Sweden) has also been made during this time span. The knowledge about Late Pleistocene (Eemian Interglacial and Weichselian glacial) is not yet fully understood. There are still a lot of assumptions concerning this period and more information is needed to be able to establish the climatic conditions. This is not the case for the Weichselian deglaciation and the present interglacial, Holocene, for which the environmental conditions are quite certain. It has been concluded, however, that the Eemian climatic development probably was similar to the Holocene but perhaps somewhat warmer and more humid. The Eemian Baltic Sea level was probably also higher than the present Baltic Sea level and there was a connection between it and the White Sea in the northeast. Aespoe was probably situated below sea level during the greater part of Eemian. Not much is known about the last glacial period, the Weichselian glaciation, until the final deglaciation. The ice sheet during Early Weichselian was probably mostly concentrated to the Scandinavian mountain area and in northern Scandinavia. At least two intervals with higher temperatures have been recorded, the Broerup and Odderade interstadials. The Middle Weichselian substage is characterised by fluctuations, melting and re-advances. Aespoe was probably not glaciated until the middle or latter part of Middle Weichselian. The maximum extension of the Weichselian ice sheet occurred in Late Weichselian, around 20 to 18 ka BP, which was succeeded by the final deglaciation. The retreat of the Weichselian ice sheet is described by for example end moraines and glacial varved clay. The Aespoe area was glaciated until 12 500 BP. Huge quantities of glacial meltwater was released into the Baltic basin as the ice receded. Due to different

  3. Compilation of information on the climate and evaluation of the hydrochemical and isotopic composition during Late Pleistocene and Holocene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersson, Cecilia [Intera KB (Sweden)


    This report summarises and evaluates some of the existing information on the Late Pleistocene and Holocene climates, i.e. the last 130 000 years. An estimation of the conditions at the Aespoe island (southeast Sweden) has also been made during this time span. The knowledge about Late Pleistocene (Eemian Interglacial and Weichselian glacial) is not yet fully understood. There are still a lot of assumptions concerning this period and more information is needed to be able to establish the climatic conditions. This is not the case for the Weichselian deglaciation and the present interglacial, Holocene, for which the environmental conditions are quite certain. It has been concluded, however, that the Eemian climatic development probably was similar to the Holocene but perhaps somewhat warmer and more humid. The Eemian Baltic Sea level was probably also higher than the present Baltic Sea level and there was a connection between it and the White Sea in the northeast. Aespoe was probably situated below sea level during the greater part of Eemian. Not much is known about the last glacial period, the Weichselian glaciation, until the final deglaciation. The ice sheet during Early Weichselian was probably mostly concentrated to the Scandinavian mountain area and in northern Scandinavia. At least two intervals with higher temperatures have been recorded, the Broerup and Odderade interstadials. The Middle Weichselian substage is characterised by fluctuations, melting and re-advances. Aespoe was probably not glaciated until the middle or latter part of Middle Weichselian. The maximum extension of the Weichselian ice sheet occurred in Late Weichselian, around 20 to 18 ka BP, which was succeeded by the final deglaciation. The retreat of the Weichselian ice sheet is described by for example end moraines and glacial varved clay. The Aespoe area was glaciated until 12 500 BP. Huge quantities of glacial meltwater was released into the Baltic basin as the ice receded. Due to different

  4. Giant seismites and megablock uplift in the East African Rift: evidence for Late Pleistocene large magnitude earthquakes. (United States)

    Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah Louise; Roberts, Eric M


    In lieu of comprehensive instrumental seismic monitoring, short historical records, and limited fault trench investigations for many seismically active areas, the sedimentary record provides important archives of seismicity in the form of preserved horizons of soft-sediment deformation features, termed seismites. Here we report on extensive seismites in the Late Quaternary-Recent (≤ ~ 28,000 years BP) alluvial and lacustrine strata of the Rukwa Rift Basin, a segment of the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. We document examples of the most highly deformed sediments in shallow, subsurface strata close to the regional capital of Mbeya, Tanzania. This includes a remarkable, clastic 'megablock complex' that preserves remobilized sediment below vertically displaced blocks of intact strata (megablocks), some in excess of 20 m-wide. Documentation of these seismites expands the database of seismogenic sedimentary structures, and attests to large magnitude, Late Pleistocene-Recent earthquakes along the Western Branch of the East African Rift System. Understanding how seismicity deforms near-surface sediments is critical for predicting and preparing for modern seismic hazards, especially along the East African Rift and other tectonically active, developing regions.

  5. Shoreline deposits and diagenesis resulting from two Late Pleistocene highstands near +5 and +6 metres, Durban, South Africa (United States)

    Cooper, J.A.G.; Flores, R.M.


    In exposures of Pleistocene rocks on the east coast of South Africa, eight sedimentary facies were distinguished on the basis of petrology, grain size, internal structures and field relationships. These are interpreted as deposits of surf zone, breaker zone, swash zone, backbeach, boulder beach and dune environments. Three phases of deposition and diagenesis are recognized. As a result of the stabilising effect of pre-existing coastal facies, the deposits from successive sea level stands are stacked vertically in a narrow coast-normal strip. Early cementation prevented erosion of the deposits during subsequent transgressions. Deposition of subsequent facies took place on an existing coastal dune (Facies 1). A terrace was cut into this dune at a sea level 4.5 to 5 m above present. At this sea level, clastic shoreline sediments were deposited which make up the main sedimentary sequence exposed (Facies 2-7). The steep swash zone, coarse grain size, and comparison with modern conditions in the study area indicate clastic deposition on a high-energy, wave-dominated, microtidal coastline. Vertical stacking of progressively shallower water facies indicates progradation associated with slightly regressive conditions, prior to stranding of the succession above sea level. During a subsequent transgression to 5.5 or 6 m above present sea level, a second terrace was cut across the existing facies, which by then were partly lithified. A boulder beach (Facies 8) deposited on this terrace is indicative of high wave energy and a rocky coastline, formed by existing cemented coastal facies. Comparison with dated deposits from other parts of the South African coast suggest a Late Pleistocene age for Facies 2-8. Deposition was terminated by subsequent regression and continuing low sea levels during the remainder of the Pleistocene. Cementation of the facies took place almost entirely by carbonate precipitation. The presence of isopachous fibrous cements suggests early cementation of

  6. A warm thermal enclave in the late Pleistocene of the south-eastern United States. (United States)

    Russell, Dale A; Rich, Fredrick J; Schneider, Vincent; Lynch-Stieglitz, Jean


    Physical and biological evidence supports the probable existence of an enclave of relatively warm climate located between the Southern Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean in the United States during the Last Glacial Maximum. The region supported a mosaic of forest and prairie habitats inhabited by a "Floridian" ice-age biota. Plant and vertebrate remains suggest an ecological gradient towards Cape Hatteras (35 degreesN) wherein forests tended to replace prairies, and browsing proboscideans tended to replace grazing proboscideans. Beyond 35 degreesN, warm waters of the Gulf Stream were deflected towards the central Atlantic, and a cold-facies biota replaced "Floridian" biota on the Atlantic coastal plain. Because of niche diversity and relatively benign climate, biodiversity may have been greater in the south-eastern thermal enclave than in other unglaciated areas of North America. However, the impact of terminal Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions may also have been shorter and more severe in the enclave than further north. A comparison with biotic changes that occurred in North America approximately 55 million years (ma) ago at the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum suggests that similar processes of change took place under both ice-house and greenhouse climates.

  7. The Late Pleistocene distribution of vicuñas (Vicugna vicugna) and the “extinction” of the gracile llama (“Lama gracilis”): New molecular data (United States)

    Weinstock, Jaco; Shapiro, Beth; Prieto, Alfredo; Marín, Juan Carlos; González, Benito A.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Willerslev, Eske


    We present the results of a palaeogenetic analysis of two Late Pleistocene camelids originating in southern Chile. Our analysis of two mitochondrial DNA fragments (control region and cytochrome b gene) reveals that these specimens do not belong to an extinct taxon, but rather to extant vicuña ( Vicugna vicugna), whose modern distribution is restricted to the extreme elevations of the Andes, more than 3500 km to the north of where these specimens originated. Our results also suggest fossil specimens from Patagonia that are currently assigned to the extinct taxon Lama gracilis, may actually belong to V. vicugna, implying a continuous distribution of the latter from the southern tip of South America to the Andes during the Final Pleistocene. The haplotypes of both specimens are not present in modern populations, suggesting a loss of genetic diversity concomitant with the contraction of the vicuña geographical distribution during the Final Pleistocene or early Holocene.

  8. Late Pleistocene Climate Events and The Origin of Agriculture In SW Asia (United States)

    Rossignol-Strick, M.

    In the Eastern Mediterranean sea, the climate succession of the last deglaciation is documented and dated in marine cores by the d18-O variation of foraminiferal cal- cite and pollen records. The Last Glacial Maximum is identified by a large abundance of grass pollen from a prairie-type vegetal cover with low annual precipitation in the mountainous north and east borderlands of the sea, where the pollen mainly origi- nates. During the first phase of the last deglaciation, the Bolling/Allerod chronozone, the moisture availability increases and makes possible the spread of a deciduous for- est, as shown by the increasing pollen abundance of the deciduous oak. The cold and arid Younger Dryas is identified by a reversal to semi-desert conditions, with the in- crease of sage-brush (Artemisia) and the saline-tolerant Chenopodiaceae. The climate of the earliest Holocene is Optimum for at least 3000 years (9000-6000yr BP), with the largest spread of the deciduous forest at low-middle elevations signalling wet sum- mers and of the Pistacia woodland at low elevations signalling mild, no-frost winters. This is the time when the most recent sapropel deposited in the eastern Mediterranean under anoxic bottom conditions generated by a surface lid of lower salinity due to the concomitant largest floods of the Nile River fed by the strongest African monsoon rains in the Ethiopian Highlands. In SW Asia, the pollen records of lakes and marshes have been correlated with those of the marine cores, thereby obtaining a robust time-frame. In that area, the archaeo- logical data of human settlements are independently dated by 14C. Thus the archaeo- logical succession can be securely set against the well-dated climatic succession. The Late Palaeolithic populations of SW Asia were wandering hunter-gatherers in the prairies of the Last Glacial Maximum, where they already collected wild wheat, barley and fruit. With the Bolling/Allerod wetter and warmer climate, they began to settle in

  9. Out of Africa: modern human origins special feature: middle and later Pleistocene hominins in Africa and Southwest Asia. (United States)

    Rightmire, G Philip


    Approximately 700,000 years ago, Homo erectus in Africa was giving way to populations with larger brains accompanied by structural adjustments to the vault, cranial base, and face. Such early Middle Pleistocene hominins were not anatomically modern. Their skulls display strong supraorbital tori above projecting faces, flattened frontals, and less parietal expansion than is the case for Homo sapiens. Postcranial remains seem also to have archaic features. Subsequently, some groups evolved advanced skeletal morphology, and by ca. 200,000 years ago, individuals more similar to recent humans are present in the African record. These fossils are associated with Middle Stone Age lithic assemblages and, in some cases, Acheulean tools. Crania from Herto in Ethiopia carry defleshing cutmarks and superficial scoring that may be indicative of mortuary practices. Despite these signs of behavioral innovation, neither the Herto hominins, nor others from Late Pleistocene sites such as Klasies River in southern Africa and Skhūl/Qafzeh in Israel, can be matched in living populations. Skulls are quite robust, and it is only after approximately 35,000 years ago that people with more gracile, fully modern morphology make their appearance. Not surprisingly, many questions concerning this evolutionary history have been raised. Attention has centered on systematics of the mid-Pleistocene hominins, their paleobiology, and the timing of dispersals that spread H. sapiens out of Africa and across the Old World. In this report, I discuss structural changes characterizing the skulls from different time periods, possible regional differences in morphology, and the bearing of this evidence on recognizing distinct species.

  10. Chronological overlap between humans and megafauna in Sahul (Pleistocene Australia New Guinea): A review of the evidence (United States)

    Field, Judith; Fillios, Melanie; Wroe, Stephen


    Over 60 faunal species disappeared from the Australian continent during the Middle-Late Pleistocene. Most of these animals were large to gigantic marsupials, birds and reptiles. A terminal extinction date of 46.4 kyr has been proposed for the megafauna, with all sites containing younger fossil megafauna dismissed by some researchers because of questions over stratigraphic integrity or chronologies. The timing of the extinctions is argued to be broadly coincident with estimates of first colonization of the continent by modern humans, and explanatory extinction models involving humans have subsequently gained currency. However there is considerable evidence to suggest that in some parts of the continent, people and some species of megafauna may have co-existed well beyond 46.4 kyr. In other places, such as Tasmania and the north of the continent, there is no known record of a human-megafauna temporal overlap. A review of the available evidence indicates that only 13 species of megafauna were extant on human arrival in Australia. The archaeology of this period indicates that rather than a focus on big game hunting or 'firestick farming', it was characterized by regional variability in subsistence strategies consistent with the range of environmental zones. At the present time there is no substantive argument for a terminal extinction date of 46.4 kyr, the current evidence indicating that there is no specific time period that correlates to any single mass extinction event. On the basis of available evidence arguments for either human or climatic causation are entirely circumstantial and implicitly require acceptance of many unproven assumptions. Claims to have eliminated climate as a primary driver are premature and the recent focus on delivering 'proof' of human causation in Pleistocene faunal extinctions diverts attention from achieving a better understanding of the differential impacts of climate change and short term climatic flux in a land of environmental

  11. Seasonality of the late Pleistocene Dawson tephra and exceptional preservation of a buried riparian surface in central Yukon Territory, Canada (United States)

    Froese, Duane G.; Zazula, Grant D.; Reyes, Alberto V.


    The late Pleistocene Dawson tephra was deposited by one of the largest Quaternary eruptions in northwestern North America. Its distribution is known sparsely from sites near the source area in southwestern Alaska and central Yukon Territory, where more than 20 occurrences are documented in the Klondike region. Dawson tephra erupted about 25,300C yr BP, near the onset of the last glaciation, and provides a stratigraphic marker across Eastern Beringia. We report radiocarbon ages, paleobotanical data, and cryostratigraphic observations from a new Dawson tephra locale at Goldbottom Creek, in the Klondike region of Yukon Territory, which collectively indicate that the eruption occurred in the late winter or early spring. Multiple, fining-upward tephra-rich ice beds are interpreted as remnants of surface icings, which presently are common in the region during spring. A buried in situ riparian meadow, preserved below the icing and tephra, consists of abundant tufted hair grass ( Deschampsia caespitosa), with interspersed horsetails ( Equisetum cf. palustre) and mosses. Detrital plant remains and preserved in situ grass inflorescences entombed in the icing had expelled their fruits, consistent with a late season surface when the icing was active. The extraordinary thickness of Dawson tephra in central Yukon likely reflects reworking of a winter-deposited tephra by snow melt in the spring following the eruption, indicating that the primary thickness may be overestimated at valley-bottom sites. Winter deposition of the tephra may have, in part, minimized the terrestrial ecological impacts of the eruption on zonal "steppe-tundra" vegetation through the retransportation of tephra from hillslopes to the riparian areas, where the tephra became incorporated into local fluvial systems.

  12. Craniosynostosis in the Middle Pleistocene human Cranium 14 from the Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca, Spain. (United States)

    Gracia, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Carretero, José Miguel; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald


    We report here a previously undescribed human Middle Pleistocene immature specimen, Cranium 14, recovered at the Sima de los Huesos (SH) site (Atapuerca, Spain), that constitutes the oldest evidence in human evolution of a very rare pathology in our own species, lambdoid single suture craniosynostosis (SSC). Both the ecto- and endo-cranial deformities observed in this specimen are severe. All of the evidence points out that this severity implies that the SSC occurred before birth, and that facial asymmetries, as well as motor/cognitive disorders, were likely to be associated with this condition. The analysis of the present etiological data of this specimen lead us to consider that Cranium 14 is a case of isolated SSC, probably of traumatic origin. The existence of this pathological individual among the SH sample represents also a fact to take into account when referring to sociobiological behavior in Middle Pleistocene humans.

  13. Late Pleistocene glaciation of the Mt Giluwe volcano, Papua New Guinea (United States)

    Barrows, T.T.; Hope, G.S.; Prentice, M.L.; Fifield, L.K.; Tims, S.G.


    The Mt Giluwe shield volcano was the largest area glaciated in Papua New Guinea during the Pleistocene. Despite minimal cooling of the sea surface during the last glacial maximum, glaciers reached elevations as low as 3200 m. To investigate changes in the extent of ice through time we have re-mapped evidence for glaciation on the southwest flank of Mt Giluwe. We find that an ice cap has formed on the flanks of the mountain on at least three, and probably four, separate occasions. To constrain the ages of these glaciations we present 39 new cosmogenic 36Cl exposure ages complemented by new radiocarbon dates. Direct dating of the moraines identifies that the maximum extent of glaciation on the mountain was not during the last glacial maximum as previously thought. In conjunction with existing potassium/argon and radiocarbon dating, we recognise four distinct glacial periods between 293-306 ka (Gogon Glaciation), 136-158 ka (Mengane Glaciation), centred at 62 ka (Komia Glaciation) and from >20.3-11.5 ka (Tongo Glaciation). The temperature difference relative to the present during the Tongo Glaciation is likely to be of the order of at least 5 ??C which is a minimum difference for the previous glaciations. During the Tongo Glaciation, ice was briefly at its maximum for less than 1000 years, but stayed near maximum levels for nearly 4000 years, until about 15.4 ka. Over the next 4000 years there was more rapid retreat with ice free conditions by the early Holocene. ?? 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Stratigraphic Reconstruction of a Late Pleistocene Cypress Forest Discovered on the Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf (United States)

    Gonzalez Rodriguez, S. M.; Bentley, S. J.; Obelcz, J.; Truong, J. T.; DeLong, K. L.; Xu, K.; Harley, G. L.; Reese, C. A.; Caporaso, A.; Shen, Z.


    A previously buried bald cypress forest (Taxodium distichum) was discovered on the continental shelf, offshore of Orange Beach, Alabama, USA, in 20 m water depth. The forest was possibly exhumed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and is now exposed as stumps in life position in a trough located in the northern Gulf of Mexico continental shelf seafloor. We are investigating the local stratigraphy, paleo-landscape, and mode of forest preservation of this unique site. In August 2015 and July 2016, submersible vibracores (18 in total) were collected. Core analysis included: bulk density and imaging via Geotek multi sensor core logger, sediment grain size, structure, and organic content via loss-on-ignition. Selected samples have been dated using 14C and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) methods. Multibeam and CHIRP subbottom bathymetry provide context for litho- and chrono-stratigraphy of the site. Integration of core lithostratigraphy and modern shelf bathymetry reveal Holocene transgressive sands blanketing diverse sedimentary facies that are truncated by the late Pleistocene-early Holocene ravinement. Deposits below the ravinement surface include interbedded sand and mud (exact age unknown, but possibly pertaining to a shallow marine environment), overlying a floodplain/swamp facies of woody debris, peat, and mud (provisionally dated by 14C to 41-45 ka). These units grade laterally into paleosols that appear to be 10-15 ka older, based on recently obtained preliminary OSL dates. Occurrence of paleosols and swamp deposits of broadly similar age and elevation suggests that the ancient landscape possessed topographic relief that allowed wetland and upland habitats to develop in close proximity. These new OSL dates enhance our initial hypothesis that floodplain aggradation in the area was a key factor that might have allowed forest preservation. The timing of temporary sea level rises (SLR) ca. 40 and 60 ka. with our 14C and preliminary OSL dates, suggests that floodplain

  15. Late Pleistocene Age Model for Site U1460, Perth Basin, SW Australian Shelf: Implications for Leeuwin Current History (United States)

    Christensen, B. A.; Takayanagi, H.; Petrick, B.; Ishiwa, T.; Henderiks, J.; Groeneveld, J.; Mamo, B. L.; De Vleeschouwer, D.; Auer, G.; Deik, H.; Fulthorpe, C.; Gallagher, S. J.; McHugh, C.; Reuning, L.; Yokoyama, Y.


    The Leeuwin Current (LC) exerts an important control on modern Australian climate, but its onset is not well defined. The LC is the only southward flowing eastern boundary current. Driven by a pressure gradient set up in the Indonesian Throughflow, its warm waters support reefs to 29°S. It is seasonally controlled south of the Western Cape. Determination of the onset of the LC was a major objective of IODP Expedition 356. Expedition 356 drilling on the western Australian margin provides an opportunity to explore depositional patterns and timing in the region influenced by the current. Site U1460 was drilled in 214.5 m w.d. (Gallagher et al., 2017). Integrated calcareous nannofossil and planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy places the upper 86.5 m firmly within the late Pleistocene. However, the glacial- interglacial stratigraphy is uncertain because of the complexity of this shelfal depositional environment. Here we present a likely late Pleistocene stratigraphy based on integrated geochemical and paleontological datasets. A benthic foraminifer (Uvigerina peregrina) stable isotope record provides the foundation for the age model and the data are supported by SST estimates based on Tex86 and alkenones. Our age model places MIS 16 between 104 and 99 m-CSF-A, followed by an expanded MIS 15 section (99 - 50 m-CSF-A). We correlate the interval from 50 - 5 m-CSF-A with MIS 14 to MIS 8, with the largest magnitude glacial events (MIS 12, MIS 6) either condensed or represented as depositional hiatuses. A Recent 14C date at 0.34 mbsf constrains the interval from 2 - 0.5 m-CSF-A to MIS 4-3, which is in good agreement with the base of common Emiliania huxleyi (0.09 Ma) at 2.13 m-CSF-A. Thus MIS 5 is equivalent to the interval from 5 to 2 m-CSF-A. The expanded MIS 15 section follows a geometric change from slope to prograding shelf. It is associated with a shift to infaunal benthic foraminiferal assemblages, abundant sponge spicules, and a reduction in CaCO3%, suggesting

  16. A Late Pleistocene linear dune dam record of aeolian-fluvial dynamics at the fringes of the northwestern Negev dunefield (United States)

    Roskin, Joel; Bookman, Revital; Friesem, David; Vardi, Jacob


    The paper presents a late Pleistocene aeolian-fluvial record within a linear dune-like structure that partway served as a dune dam. Situated along the southern fringe of the northwestern Negev desert dunefield (Israel) the structure's morphology, orientation, and some of its stratigraphic units partly resemble adjacent west-east extending vegetated linear dunes. Uneven levels of light-colored, fine-grained fluvial deposits (LFFDs) extend to the north and south from the flanks of the studied structure. Abundant Epipalaeolithic sites line the fringes of the LFFDs. The LFFD microstructures of fine graded bedding and clay blocky peds indicate sorting and shrinking of saturated clays in transitional environments between low energy flows to shallow standing water formed by dunes damming a mid-sized drainage system. The structure's architecture of interchanging units of sand with LFFDs indicates interchanging dominances between aeolian sand incursion and winter floods. Sand mobilization associated with powerful winds during the Heinrich 1 event led to dune damming downstream of the structure and within the structure to in-situ sand deposition, partial fluvial erosion, reworking of the sand, and LFFD deposition. Increased sand deposition led to structure growth and blockage of its drainage system that in turn accumulated LFFD units up stream of the structure. Extrapolation of current local fluvial sediment yields indicate that LFFD accretion up to the structure's brim occurred over a short period of several decades. Thin layers of Geometric Kebaran (c. 17.5-14.5 ka cal BP) to Harifian (12-11 ka BP) artifacts within the structure's surface indicates intermittent, repetitive, and short term camping utilizing adjacent water along a timespan of 4-6 kyr. The finds directly imply that the NW Negev LFFDs formed in dune-dammed water bodies which themselves were formed following events of vegetated linear dune elongation. LFFD accumulation persisted as a result of dune dam

  17. Depositional Architecture of Late Pleistocene-Holocene Coastal Alluvial-fan System in the Coastal Range, Taiwan (United States)

    Chen, S. T.; Chen, W. S.


    Since late Pleistocene, the Coastal Range (Philippine Sea plate) collided and overridden on the Central Range (Eurasian Plate) along the Longitudinal Valley Fault. Therefore, the Coastal Range is exposed widely the late Pleistocene-Holocene marine and fluvial terraces caused by the tectonic uplift. Based on the estimation of paleosea-level elevations (Δh), depositional paleodepth, altitude distribution of Holocene deposits (D), altitude of outcrops (H), and 14C dating of marine deposits (t), the uplift rate (=(Δh+H +d-D)/t) is about 5-10 mm/yr in the southern Coastal Range. In this study, we suggest through field logging that the deposits can be divided into alluvial, foreshore (intertidal), shoreface, and offshore environments. In Dulan area in the southern Coastal Range, the uplift rate was 6-7 mm/yr during 16,380-10,000 cal yr BP and 3-4 mm/yr after 7,000 cal yr BP. Results from the Dulan Coastal alluvial-fan system can be divided into five depositional stages: (1) 16,380-14,300 cal yr BP: The rate of global sea level rise (SLR) has averaged about 6-7 mm/yr, similar to the tectonic uplift rate. In this stage, the bedrock was eroded and formed a wide wave-cut platform. (2) 14,300-10,000 cal yr BP: SLR of about 14 mm/yr that was faster than tectonic uplift rate of 6-7 mm/yr. As a result of transgression, the beach-lagoon deposits about 5 m thick were unconformably overlain on the wave-cut platform. (3) 10,000-8,200 cal yr BP: The ongoing sea level rise (SLR: 11 mm/yr), the lagoon deposits were overlain by an offshore slump deposits representing a gradual deepening of the depositional environment. (4) 8,200-7,930 cal yr BP (SLR: 6-7 mm/yr): The tectonic uplift rate may occur at similar SLR. The alluvial-fan deposits have prograded over the shallow marine deposits. (5) After 7,000 cal yr BP (SLR: 1-0 mm/yr): SLR was much slower than tectonic uplift rate of 3-4 mm/yr. Thus, Holocene marine terraces are extensively developed in the coastal region, showing that the

  18. Distribution of late Pleistocene ice-rich syngenetic permafrost of the Yedoma Suite in east and central Siberia, Russia (United States)

    Grosse, Guido; Robinson, Joel E.; Bryant, Robin; Taylor, Maxwell D.; Harper, William; DeMasi, Amy; Kyker-Snowman, Emily; Veremeeva, Alexandra; Schirrmeister, Lutz; Harden, Jennifer


    This digital database is the product of collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey, the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; the Los Altos Hills Foothill College GeoSpatial Technology Certificate Program; the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany; and the Institute of Physical Chemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The primary goal for creating this digital database is to enhance current estimates of soil organic carbon stored in deep permafrost, in particular the late Pleistocene syngenetic ice-rich permafrost deposits of the Yedoma Suite. Previous studies estimated that Yedoma deposits cover about 1 million square kilometers of a large region in central and eastern Siberia, but these estimates generally are based on maps with scales smaller than 1:10,000,000. Taking into account this large area, it was estimated that Yedoma may store as much as 500 petagrams of soil organic carbon, a large part of which is vulnerable to thaw and mobilization from thermokarst and erosion. To refine assessments of the spatial distribution of Yedoma deposits, we digitized 11 Russian Quaternary geologic maps. Our study focused on extracting geologic units interpreted by us as late Pleistocene ice-rich syngenetic Yedoma deposits based on lithology, ground ice conditions, stratigraphy, and geomorphological and spatial association. These Yedoma units then were merged into a single data layer across map tiles. The spatial database provides a useful update of the spatial distribution of this deposit for an approximately 2.32 million square kilometers land area in Siberia that will (1) serve as a core database for future refinements of Yedoma distribution in additional regions, and (2) provide a starting point to revise the size of deep but thaw-vulnerable permafrost carbon pools in the Arctic based on surface geology and the distribution of cryolithofacies types at high spatial

  19. Upper Pleistocene Human Dispersals out of Africa: A Review of the Current State of the Debate (United States)

    Beyin, Amanuel


    Although there is a general consensus on African origin of early modern humans, there is disagreement about how and when they dispersed to Eurasia. This paper reviews genetic and Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic archaeological literature from northeast Africa, Arabia, and the Levant to assess the timing and geographic backgrounds of Upper Pleistocene human colonization of Eurasia. At the center of the discussion lies the question of whether eastern Africa alone was the source of Upper Pleistocene human dispersals into Eurasia or were there other loci of human expansions outside of Africa? The reviewed literature hints at two modes of early modern human colonization of Eurasia in the Upper Pleistocene: (i) from multiple Homo sapiens source populations that had entered Arabia, South Asia, and the Levant prior to and soon after the onset of the Last Interglacial (MIS-5), (ii) from a rapid dispersal out of East Africa via the Southern Route (across the Red Sea basin), dating to ~74–60 kya. PMID:21716744

  20. Palynological evidence for vegetation patterns in the Transvaal (South Africa during the late Pleistocene and Holocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Scott


    Full Text Available Palynological evidence relating to the nature of Late Quaternary vegetation types and plant migrations in the Transvaal is briefly summarized. It is suggested that, after an early temperate, relatively moist phase and a subsequent relatively dry phase lasting until about 25 000 yr B.P., a vegetation-type with ericaceous elements developed. It resembled belts presently occurring above the treeline and was possibly widespread over the plains of the Transvaal during the last glacial maximum period. In the central parts of the province, warm semi-arid savanna subsequently expanded during the early Holocene and was followed by a more broad-leafed type of woodland in the late Holocene. This change probably resulted from slightly wetter and, at times, also slightly warmer and cooler conditions.

  1. Reconstructing the migration patterns of late Pleistocene mammals from northern Florida, USA (United States)

    Hoppe, Kathryn A.; Koch, Paul L.


    We used analyses of the strontium isotope ( 87Sr/ 86Sr) ratios of tooth enamel to reconstruct the migration patterns of fossil mammals collected along the Aucilla River in northern Florida. Specimens date to the late-glacial period and before the last glacial maximum (pre-LGM). Deer and tapir displayed low 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios that were similar to the ratios of Florida environments, which suggest that these taxa did not migrate long distance outside of the Florida region. Mastodons, mammoths, and equids all displayed a wide range of 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios. Some individuals in each taxon displayed low 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios that suggest they ranged locally, while other animals had high 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios that suggest they migrated long distances (> 150 km) outside of the Florida region. Mastodons were the only taxa from this region that provided enough well-dated specimens to compare changes in migration patterns over time. Pre-LGM mastodons displayed significantly lower 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios than late-glacial mastodons, which suggests that late-glacial mastodons from Florida migrated longer distances than their earlier counterparts. This change in movement patterns reflects temporal changes in regional vegetation patterns.

  2. Using provenance of terrigenous sediment to reconstruct the Agulhas Leakage during the Early and Late Pleistocene (United States)

    Pearson, B.; Franzese, A. M.


    instance, for the Early Pleistocene ( 1.3 - 1.5 Ma), K-Ar model ages correlate with shipboard measurements of natural gamma radiation, which show approximate 41 kyr periodicity.

  3. Liquefaction along Late Pleistocene to early Holocene Faults as Revealed by Lidar in Northwest Tasmania, Australia (United States)

    Webb, J.; Gardner, T.


    In northwest Tasmania well-preserved mid-Holocene beach ridges with maximum radiocarbon ages of 5.25 ka occur along the coast; inland are a parallel set of lower relief beach ridges of probable MIS 5e age. The latter are cut by northeast-striking faults clearly visible on LIDAR images, with a maximum vertical displacement (evident as difference in topographic elevation) of 3 m. Also distinct on the LIDAR images are large sand boils along the fault lines; they are up to 5 m in diameter and 2-3 m high and mostly occur on the hanging wall close to the fault traces. Without LIDAR it would have been almost impossible to distinguish either the fault scarps or the sand boils. Excavations through the sand boils show that they are massive, with no internal structure, suggesting that they formed in a single event. They are composed of well-sorted, very fine white sand, identical to the sand in the underlying beach ridges. The sand boils overlie a peaty paleosol; this formed in the tea-tree swamp that formerly covered the area, and has been offset along the faults. Radiocarbon dating of the buried organic-rich paleosol gave ages of 14.8-7.2 ka, suggesting that the faulting is latest Pleistocene to early Holocene in age; it occurred prior to deposition of the mid-Holocene beach ridges, which are not offset. The beach ridge sediments are up to 7 m thick and contain an iron-cemented hard pan 1-3 m below the surface. The water table is very shallow and close to the ground surface, so the sands of the beach ridges are mostly saturated. During faulting these sands experienced extensive liquefaction. The resulting sand boils rose to a substantial height of 2-3 m, probably possibly reflecting the elevation of the potentiometric surface within the confined part of the beach ridge sediments below the iron-cemented hard pan. Motion on the faults was predominantly dip slip (shown by an absence of horizontal offset) and probably reverse, which is consistent with the present-day northwest

  4. Challenges to the occupation of North-West Europe during the late Middle Pleistocene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ashton, Nicholas Mark


    This thesis examines the challenges and human responses to changes in climate and environment in occupying north-west Europe from MIS 11 to MIS 5e (c. 420–125 ka). The first part studies human habitats and environments in Britain during MIS 11 and concludes that humans were attracted to the more

  5. A simple mixing explanation for late Pleistocene changes in the Pacific-South Atlantic benthic δ13C gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. E. Lisiecki


    Full Text Available The fact that the deep-ocean benthic δ13C minimum shifted from the North Pacific to the South Atlantic during the Last Glacial Maximum is often interpretted as evidence of a change in deep water circulation, such as the development of deep water ventilation in the North Pacific or a decrease in Southern Ocean overturning. This study re-evaluates the implications of changes in benthic δ13C gradients by comparing Pacific Deep Water (PDW δ13C measurements with the values expected for the null hypothesis that PDW ventilation sources remained unchanged throughout the Late Pleistocene. The δ13C compositions of PDW, Northern Component Water (NCW and Southern Component Water (SCW are estimated from regional benthic δ13C stacks of 3–6 sites. Changes in PDW δ13C and PDW-SCW δ13C gradients over the past 800 kyr are found to be well described by a constant mixture of 60% NCW and 40% SCW plus a constant Pacific remineralization offset of −0.5‰. Thus, a change in PDW ventilation cannot be inferred solely on the basis of changes in the Pacific-South Atlantic benthic δ13C gradient.

  6. Conceptual hydrochemical model of late Pleistocene aquifers at the Samario-Sitio Grande petroleum reservoir, Gulf of Mexico, Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birkle, Peter; Angulo, Maricela


    Carbon-14 concentrations between 0.83 and 11.79 pmC of formation water from the Activo Samaria-Sitio Grande petroleum reservoir in SE-Mexico, extracted from 3500 to 4500 m.b.s.l., indicate a common infiltration event of surface water during the late Pleistocene period. Mixing of two components - meteoric water and seawater, previously evaporated at the surface - explain the widespread mineralization (TDI = 15-257 g/L) of Na-Cl and Na-Ca-Cl type reservoir water. Statistical discrimination by clustering and a heterogeneous chemical-isotopic fluid composition indicate the existence of 4 different water types as part of local aquifer systems, which are separated by normal and thrust faults. Tectonic horst and graben structures show an ambiguous, individual hydraulic behaviour - as permeable conduits and/or as impermeable barriers, causing the local limitation of aquifer extent. The recent increase of water production in petroleum wells is not related to the injection of surface water, but the long-term extraction of oil reserves is modifying the original position and flow direction of the reservoir aquifers. The rise of the initial groundwater level reflects the final stage of an exhausted petroleum reservoir with coning effects of underlying aquifer systems. The flexible change towards superior production intervals could represent a feasible technique to avoid the abrupt closure of invaded production wells

  7. Dinoflagellate cysts and the paleoenvironment of Late-Pliocene early-pleistocene deposits of Brittany, Northwest France (United States)

    Morzadec-Kerfourn, Marie Thérèse

    The marine Pliocene facies of the Redon clay is widely distributed in the western part of Brittany. the decrease in the abundance of Tertiary pollen towards the top of the deposits, coupled with the increase of pollen of boreal forest taxa and the development of Ericaceae and Poaceae indicates a Late-Pliocene age. The occurrence of the transgression maximum is recorded in calcareous beds which contain the highest concentration of microforaminiferal linings and dinoflagellate cysts. Hystrichokolpoma rigaudae and Melitasphaeridium choanophorum, along with Achomosphaera andalousiensis and Operculodinium israelianum make up these aseemblages. The presence of dinoflagellate cyst assemblages with estuarine and neritic affinities but with an occasional oceanic form, indicates sedimentation in coastal waters with a neritic influence. The paleotopography exerts a control on the altitudinal distribution of the Redon clays in the western part of Brittany to the west of the Rennes Basin. The Pliocene-Pleistocene dinoflagelate cyst assemblages of southern England and northwestern france show a remarkable degree of homogeneity in their composition, chiefly expressed in the apparent contradictory association of A. andalousensis and O. israelianum that suggest sedimentation in an unusual type of environment which arose in the context of climatic change and sea-level variations at that time.

  8. Conceptual hydrochemical model of late Pleistocene aquifers at the Samario-Sitio Grande petroleum reservoir, Gulf of Mexico, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Birkle, Peter [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Gerencia de Geotermia, Av. Reforma 113, Col. Palmira, Cuernavaca, Mor., 62490 (Mexico)]. E-mail:; Angulo, Maricela [PEMEX - Exploracion y Produccion, Diseno de Explotacion Cactus-Nispero Sitio Grande, Zona Industrial S/N, Reforma, Chiapas (Mexico)


    Carbon-14 concentrations between 0.83 and 11.79 pmC of formation water from the Activo Samaria-Sitio Grande petroleum reservoir in SE-Mexico, extracted from 3500 to 4500 m.b.s.l., indicate a common infiltration event of surface water during the late Pleistocene period. Mixing of two components - meteoric water and seawater, previously evaporated at the surface - explain the widespread mineralization (TDI = 15-257 g/L) of Na-Cl and Na-Ca-Cl type reservoir water. Statistical discrimination by clustering and a heterogeneous chemical-isotopic fluid composition indicate the existence of 4 different water types as part of local aquifer systems, which are separated by normal and thrust faults. Tectonic horst and graben structures show an ambiguous, individual hydraulic behaviour - as permeable conduits and/or as impermeable barriers, causing the local limitation of aquifer extent. The recent increase of water production in petroleum wells is not related to the injection of surface water, but the long-term extraction of oil reserves is modifying the original position and flow direction of the reservoir aquifers. The rise of the initial groundwater level reflects the final stage of an exhausted petroleum reservoir with coning effects of underlying aquifer systems. The flexible change towards superior production intervals could represent a feasible technique to avoid the abrupt closure of invaded production wells.

  9. Across the Gap: Geochronological and Sedimentological Analyses from the Late Pleistocene-Holocene Sequence of Goda Buticha, Southeastern Ethiopia (United States)

    Asrat, Asfawossen; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Chapon, Cécile; Douville, Eric; Fragnol, Carole; Hernandez, Marion; Hovers, Erella; Leplongeon, Alice; Martin, Loïc; Pleurdeau, David; Pearson, Osbjorn; Puaud, Simon; Assefa, Zelalem


    Goda Buticha is a cave site near Dire Dawa in southeastern Ethiopia that contains an archaeological sequence sampling the late Pleistocene and Holocene of the region. The sedimentary sequence displays complex cultural, chronological and sedimentological histories that seem incongruent with one another. A first set of radiocarbon ages suggested a long sedimentological gap from the end of Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 3 to the mid-Holocene. Macroscopic observations suggest that the main sedimentological change does not coincide with the chronostratigraphic hiatus. The cultural sequence shows technological continuity with a late persistence of artifacts that are usually attributed to the Middle Stone Age into the younger parts of the stratigraphic sequence, yet become increasingly associated with lithic artifacts typically related to the Later Stone Age. While not a unique case, this combination of features is unusual in the Horn of Africa. In order to evaluate the possible implications of these observations, sedimentological analyses combined with optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) were conducted. The OSL data now extend the radiocarbon chronology up to 63 ± 7 ka; they also confirm the existence of the chronological gap between 24.8 ± 2.6 ka and 7.5 ± 0.3 ka. The sedimentological analyses suggest that the origin and mode of deposition were largely similar throughout the whole sequence, although the anthropic and faunal activities increased in the younger levels. Regional climatic records are used to support the sedimentological observations and interpretations. We discuss the implications of the sedimentological and dating analyses for understanding cultural processes in the region. PMID:28125597

  10. Late Pleistocene to Holocene environmental changes as recorded in the sulfur geochemistry of coastal plain sediments, southwestern Taiwan (United States)

    Chen, Y.-G.; Liu, J.C.-L.; Shieh, Y.-N.; Liu, T.-K.


    A core, drilled at San-liao-wan in the southwestern coastal plain of Taiwan, has been analyzed for total sulfur contents, isotopic values, as well as ratios of pyritic sulfur to organic carbon. Our results demonstrate a close relationship between late Pleistocene sea-level change and the proxies generated in this study. The inorganic sulfur contents indicate that at our study site, the Holocene transgression started at ???11 ka and remained under seawater for thousands of years until the late Holocene, corresponding to a depth of 20 m in the study core. The uppermost 20 m of core shows relatively high total organic carbon (TOC) and ??34S of inorganic sulfur, suggesting a transitional environment such as muddy lagoon or marsh, before the site turned into a modern coastal plain. In the lower part of the core, at depths of 110-145 m (corresponding ages of ???12-30 ka), low sulfur contents are recorded, probably indicating fluvial sediments deposited during the oceanic isotope stage (OIS) 2, a sea-level lowstand. The lower part of the core, roughly within OIS 3, records at least two transgressions, although the transgressional signals may be somewhat obscured by subsequent weathering. The reworked origin of organic matter reported in previous studies is confirmed by our organic sulfur data; however, the marine organic source was periodically dominant. The modern high sulfate concentrations in pore water have no correlation to the other sulfur species in the sediments, probably indicating that the sulfate migrated into the site subsequent to early diagenesis. ?? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Discontinuity of human presence at Atapuerca during the early Middle Pleistocene: a matter of ecological competition? (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gómez, Guillermo; Mateos, Ana; Martín-González, Jesús Angel; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Rodríguez, Jesús


    Increasing evidence suggests that the European human settlement is older than 1.2 Ma. However, there is a fierce debate about the continuity or discontinuity of the early human settlement of Europe. In particular, evidence of human presence in the interval 0.7-0.5 Ma is scarce in comparison with evidence for the previous and later periods. Here, we present a case study in which the environmental conditions at Sierra de Atapuerca in the early Middle Pleistocene, a period without evidence of human presence, are compared with the conditions in the previous period, for which a relatively intense human occupation is documented. With this objective in mind, the available resources for a human population and the intensity of competition between secondary consumers during the two periods are compared using a mathematical model. The Gran Dolina site TD8 level, dated to 0.7-0.6 Ma, is taken as representative of the period during which Atapuerca was apparently not occupied by humans. Conditions at TD8 are compared with those of the previous period, represented by the TD6-2 level, which has yielded abundant evidence of intense human occupation. The results show that survival opportunities for a hypothetical human population were lower at TD8 than they were at TD6-2. Increased resource competition between secondary consumers arises as a possible explanation for the absence of human occupation at Atapuerca in the early Middle Pleistocene.

  12. Pollen evidence for late pleistocene bering land bridge environments from Norton Sound, Northeastern Bering Sea, Alaska (United States)

    Ager, T.A.; Phillips, R.L.


    After more than half a century of paleoenvironmental investigations, disagreements persist as to the nature of vegetation type and climate of the Bering land bridge (BLB) during the late Wisconsin (Sartan) glacial interval. Few data exist from sites on the former land bridge, now submerged under the Bering and Chukchi Seas. Two hypotheses have emerged during the past decade. The first, based on pollen data from Bering Sea islands and adjacent mainlands of western Alaska and Northeast Siberia, represents the likely predominant vegetation on the Bering land bridge during full-glacial conditions: graminoid-herb-willow tundra vegetation associated with cold, dry winters and cool, dry summer climate. The second hypothesis suggests that dwarf birch-shrub-herb tundra formed a broad belt across the BLB, and that mesic vegetation was associated with cold, snowier winters and moist, cool summers. As a step towards resolving this controversy, a sediment core from Norton Sound, northeastern Bering Sea was radiocarbon dated and analyzed for pollen content. Two pollen zones were identified. The older, bracketed by radiocarbon ages of 29,500 and 11,515 14C yr BP, contains pollen assemblages composed of grass, sedge, wormwood, willow, and a variety of herb (forb) taxa. These assemblages are interpreted to represent graminoid-herb-willow tundra vegetation that developed under an arid, cool climate regime. The younger pollen zone sediments were deposited about 11,515 14C yr BP, when rising sea level had begun to flood the BLB. This younger pollen zone contains pollen of birch, willow, heaths, aquatic plants, and spores of sphagnum moss. This is interpreted to represent a Lateglacial dwarf birch-heath-willow-herb tundra vegetation, likely associated with a wetter climate with deeper winter snows, and moist, cool summers. This record supports the first hypothesis, that graminoid-herb-willow tundra vegetation extended into the lowlands of the BLB during full glacial conditions of the

  13. Late Pliocene - Early Pleistocene paleoenvironmental reconstruction based on stable isotope compositions of Stephanorhinus sp. and Mammut sp. teeth (United States)

    Szabó, Péter; Kovács, János; Kocsis, László; Gasparik, Mihály; Vennemann, Torsten; Demény, Attila; Virág, Attila


    Stable isotope measurements of skeletal apatite from herbivorous mammals are often used to provide information on the terrestrial paleoenvironment and paleoclimate. In this study fossil teeth of Stephanorhinus Kretzoi 1942 (rhinoceros) and Mammut Blumenbach 1799 (mastodon), amongst others, were investigated from the Carpathian Basin. According to the biostratigraphy, the age of the samples has a range from Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene. Reconstructing paleoclimate and paleoenvironment of this era is important as it can be an analogue for the future climate. Oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions were measured from the tooth enamel, because it is believed to be the most resistant to diagenetic alteration (e.g., Kohn & Cerling, 2002). The carbon isotopic composition in the carbonate fraction of apatite can be related to the diet of the animal (Kohn & Cerling, 2002). Hence, it can reflect the photosynthetic pathway (C3 or C4) of the plants consumed by these herbivores. The δ18O values were determined in the phosphate fraction of apatite. In the case of large mammals that are obligate drinkers, the δ18O values closely track those of the environmental water (Bryant & Froelich, 1995). Knowing the δ18O values of environmental water and relating it to local precipitation, the mean annual temperature (MAT) of the site can be calculated (Dansgaard, 1964). The δ13C values range from -10 to -15 o (VPDB). The result clearly shows that these animals consumed C3 plants. Most of the δ13C values indicate mixed grassland-open woodland rather than a closed canopy forest. Although there is variation in the δ18O values (mean 14.2 ± 1.0 o VSMOW, n=17), most of the samples would support a MAT range of 8-12 ° C. This is in good agreement with other proxies for the localities and time period (Kovács et al., 2013). Bryant, D.J. & Froelich, P.N. (1995) A model of oxygen-isotope fractionation in bodywater of large-mammals. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 59, 4523

  14. A new record of late Pliocene-early Pleistocene aeolian loess-red clay deposits from the western Chinese Loess Plateau and its palaeoenvironmental implications (United States)

    Zan, Jinbo; Fang, Xiaomin; Zhang, Weilin; Yan, Maodu; Zhang, Dawen


    The loess-red clay sequences in northern China provide high-resolution terrestrial records of Asian monsoon evolution and aridification of the Asian interior. To date, however, aeolian deposits of late Pliocene-early Pleistocene age (3.5-2.4 Ma) have only rarely been reported from the western Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), which significantly hinders our understanding of the distribution of aeolian deposits and the palaeoenvironmental evolution of the region. Here, we present magnetostratigraphic, lithologic and magnetic susceptibility results for two recently-drilled boreholes from the north bank of Baxie River, central Linxia Basin, which are highly correlative with those of the loess-red clay deposits spanning the interval from 3.6 to 2.4 Ma in the eastern CLP. Our results provide the first direct evidence for the occurrence of late Pliocene-early Pleistocene aeolian deposits in the western CLP and provide new insights into the distribution of aeolian deposits in northern China. The spatial coherence of the magnetic susceptibility fluctuations further indicates that magnetic susceptibility is a powerful tool for stratigraphic correlation of late Pliocene aeolian deposits in the western CLP. In addition, our results demonstrate that erosional events may have occurred in the early or middle Pleistocene, and they may provide new insights into the reasons for the absence of loess-red clay deposits from 3.5 to 2.4 Ma in most parts of the western CLP.

  15. The Geography of Trust and Betrayal: Moral disputes and Late Pleistocene dispersal


    Spikins, Penny


    The explanations for a rapid dispersal of modern humans after 100,000 BP remain enigmatic. Populations of modern humans took new routes – crossing significant topographic and environmental barriers, including making major sea crossings, and moving into and through risky and difficult environments. Neither population increase nor ecological changes provide an adequate explanation for a pattern of rapid movement, including leaping into new regions (saltation events). Here it is argued that the ...

  16. A draft de novo genome assembly for the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus reveals evidence for a rapid decline in effective population size beginning in the Late Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvette A Halley

    Full Text Available Wild populations of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite have declined across nearly all of their U.S. range, and despite their importance as an experimental wildlife model for ecotoxicology studies, no bobwhite draft genome assembly currently exists. Herein, we present a bobwhite draft de novo genome assembly with annotation, comparative analyses including genome-wide analyses of divergence with the chicken (Gallus gallus and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata genomes, and coalescent modeling to reconstruct the demographic history of the bobwhite for comparison to other birds currently in decline (i.e., scarlet macaw; Ara macao. More than 90% of the assembled bobwhite genome was captured within 14,000 unique genes and proteins. Bobwhite analyses of divergence with the chicken and zebra finch genomes revealed many extremely conserved gene sequences, and evidence for lineage-specific divergence of noncoding regions. Coalescent models for reconstructing the demographic history of the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw provided evidence for population bottlenecks which were temporally coincident with human colonization of the New World, the late Pleistocene collapse of the megafauna, and the last glacial maximum. Demographic trends predicted for the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw also were concordant with how opposing natural selection strategies (i.e., skewness in the r-/K-selection continuum would be expected to shape genome diversity and the effective population sizes in these species, which is directly relevant to future conservation efforts.

  17. Connection of the Late Paleolithic archaeological sites of the Chuya depression with geological evidence of existence of the Late Pleistocene ice-dammed lakes (United States)

    Agatova, A. R.; Nepop, R. K.


    The complexity of the age dating of the Pleistocene ice-dammed paleolakes in the Altai Mountains is a reason why geologists consider the Early Paleolithic archaeological sites as an independent age marker for dating geological objects. However, in order to use these sites for paleogeographic reconstructions, their locations, the character of stratification, and the age of stone artifacts need to be comprehensively studied. We investigate 20 Late Paleolithic archaeological sites discovered in the Chuya depression of the Russian Altai (Altai Mountains) with the aim of their possible use for reconstructions of the period of development of the Kurai-Chuya glacio-limnosystem in the Late Neopleistocene. The results of our investigation show that it is improper to use the Paleolithic archaeological sites for the dating of the existence period and the draining time of ice-dammed lakes of the Chuya Depression in the modern period of their study owing to a lack of quantitative age estimates, a wide age range of possible existence of these sites, possible redeposition of the majority of artifacts, and their surface occurrence. It is established that all stratified sites where cultural layers are expected to be dated in the future lie above the uppermost and well-expressed paleolake level (2100 m a.s.l.). Accordingly, there are no grounds to determine the existence time of shallower paleolakes. Since the whole stone material collected below the level of 2100 m a.s.l. is represented by surface finds, it is problematic to use these artifacts for absolute geochronology. The Late Paleolithic Bigdon and Chechketerek sites are of great interest for paleogeographic reconstructions of ice-dammed lakes. The use of iceberg rafting products as cores is evidence that these sites appeared after the draining of a paleolake (2000 m a.s.l.). At this time, the location of these archaeological sites on the slope of the Chuya Depression allows one to assume the existence of a large lake as deep

  18. Evidence for Late Pleistocene uplift at the Somma-Vesuvius apron near Pompeii (United States)

    Marturano, Aldo; Aiello, Giuseppe; Barra, Diana


    Detailed stratigraphic and micropalaeontological analyses of samples from boreholes at the Somma-Vesuvius apron, between Pompeii and the sea, allowed reconstruction of Late Quaternary palaeoenvironmental evolution of the Sarno coastal plain. In all, 116 samples were recovered from seven boreholes drilled from 2-10 m a.s.l. to 16.5-26 m b.s.l. Microfossil assemblages, with special regard to benthic foraminifers and ostracods, were used to reconstruct the depositional palaeoenvironment. Fossil remains show that all the pre-79 AD fossiliferous sediments from 2 to - 24 m a.s.l. were deposited in shallow marine waters for a long time despite an appreciable sea level rise. The data indicate alternation of both shallow marine and subaerial conditions during the last ~ 15 kyr, evidencing ground uplift of the area of about 75 m at a rate of ~ 5 mm/year. Marine sediment accumulation (~ 6 m/kyr) and tectonic uplift long offset the sea level rise, and as a consequence, submerged areas remained the same as well.

  19. Unravelling Late Pleistocene and Holocene landscape dynamics: The Upper Guadalentín Basin, SE Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baartman, J.E.M.; Veldkamp, A.; Schoorl, J.M.; Wallinga, J.; Cammeraat, L.H.


    Landscapes in SE Spain have developed in response to tectonics, climate fluctuations and, more recently, human activity. Fluvial and colluvial sediments such as river terraces and slope deposits found in the valleys reflect a complex interplay between landscape forming processes. Investigating these

  20. Quartz and K-feldspar luminescence dating of sedimentation in the North Bohai coastal area (NE China) since the late pleistocene (United States)

    Li, Yan; Shang, Zhiwen; Tsukamoto, Sumiko; Tamura, Toru; Yi, Liang; Wang, Hong; Frechen, Manfred; Li, Jianfen; Jiang, Xingyu


    In this study, luminescence dating of core sediments from the North Bohai Coast (China) was applied to provide a high-resolution chronological constraint, on a better understanding of the Holocene marine-terrestrial interaction. The studied sedimentary sequence contains a terrigenous deposit, a transgressive deposit and a prograding deltaic succession; all are believed to have formed during the late Pleistocene. To establish a reliable luminescence chronology, the luminescence signals of ten samples were investigated in order to quantify the degree of bleaching. This approach involved the use of quartz OSL, K-feldspar infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) and post-IR IRSL (pIRIR) ages. The resulting data were then compared with radiocarbon ages. The quartz OSL signals were well-bleached for all the samples, and the feldspar pIRIR150 and pIRIR225 signals yielded reliable ages for the pre-Holocene deposits but overestimated ages for late Holocene deposits (input. Rapid deltaic progradation with high sedimentation rates over the last millennia, was revealed by the quartz OSL age results. This was supported by historical records for this section of the coastline. Episodic deposition around 700 years ago most likely triggered by frequent flooding events, was highlighted by the clustered OSL ages. While the sediment increment was 2.7 × 104 m3 a-1 for the period of ∼6-1 ka, this increased considerably to 9.1 × 106 m3 a-1 during the rapid progradation of the last millennium. The increase appears related to winter monsoon enhancement and human activity during the last 1000 years.

  1. Glacial chronology and palaeoclimate in the Bystra catchment, Western Tatra Mountains (Poland) during the Late Pleistocene (United States)

    Makos, Michał; Rinterknecht, Vincent; Braucher, Régis; Żarnowski, Michał


    Deglaciation chronology of the Bystra catchment (Western Tatra Mountains) has been reconstructed based on 10Be exposure age dating. Fourteen rock samples were collected from boulders located on three moraines that limit the horizontal extent of the LGM maximum advance and the Lateglacial recessional stage. The oldest preserved, maximum moraine was dated at 15.5 ± 0.8 ka, an age that could be explained more likely by post-depositional erosion of the moraine. Such scenario is supported by geomorphologic and palaeoclimatological evidence. The younger cold stage is represented by well-preserved termino-lateral moraine systems in the Kondratowa and Sucha Kasprowa valleys. The distribution of the moraine ridges in both valleys suggest a complex history of deglaciation of the area. The first Late-glacial re-advance (LG1) was followed by a cold oscillation (LG2), that occurred at around 14.0 ± 0.7-13.7 ± 1.2 ka. Glaciers during both stages had nearly the same horizontal extent, however, their thickness and geometry changed significantly, mainly due to local climatic conditions triggered by topography, controlling the exposition to solar radiation. The LG1 stage occurred probably during the pre-Bølling cold stage (Greenland Stadial 2.1a), however, the LG2 stage can be correlated with the cooling at around 14 ka during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1d - Older Dryas). This is the first chronological evidence of the Older Dryas in the Tatra Mountains. The ELA of the maximum Bystra glacier was located at 1480 m a.s.l. in accordance with the ELA in the High Tatra Mountains during the LGM. During the LG1 and LG2 stages, the ELA in the catchment rose up to 1520-1530 m a.s.l. and was located approximately 100-150 m lower than in the eastern part of the massif. Climate modelling results show that the Bystra glacier (maximum advance) could have advanced in the catchment when mean annual temperature was lower than today by 11-12 °C and precipitation was reduced by 40-60%. This

  2. Sedimentary Evolution of Marginal Ganga Foreland Basin during the Late Pleistocene (United States)

    Ghosh, R.; Srivastava, P.; Shukla, U. K.


    Ganga foreland basin, an asymmetrical basin, was formed as result of plate-plate collision during middle Miocene. A major thrust event occurred during 500 ka when upper Siwalik sediments were uplifted and the modern Ganga foreland basin shifted towards craton, making a more wide and deep basin. The more distal part of this basin, south of axial river Yamuna, records fluvial sedimentary packages that helps to understand dynamics of peripheral bulge during the late Quaternary. Sedimentary architecture in conjunction with chemical index of alteration (CIA), paleocurrent direction and optically stimulated dating (OSL) from 19 stratigraphic sections helped reconstructing the variations in depositional environments vis-à-vis climate change and peripheral bulge tectonics. Three major units (i) paleosol; (ii) cratonic gravel; (iii) interfluve succession were identified. The lower unit-I showing CIA values close to 70-80 and micro-morphological features of moderately well-developed pedogenic unit that shows development of calcrete, rhizoliths, and mineralized organic matter in abundance. This is a regional paleosols unit and OSL age bracketed 200 ka. This is unconformably overlain by unit-II, a channelized gravel composed of sub-angular to sub-rounded clasts of granite, quartz, quartzite, limestone and calcrete. The gravel have low CIA value up to 55, rich in vertebrate fossil assemblages and mean paleocurrent vector direction is NE, which suggesting deposition by a fan of a river draining craton into foreland. This unit is dated between 100 ka and 54 ka. The top unit-III, interfluve succession of 10-15 m thick is composed of dark and light bands of sheet like deposit of silty clay to clayey silt comprises sand lenses of red to grey color and displaying top most OSL age is 12 ka. The basal mature paleosol signifies a humid climate developed under low subsidence rate at >100 ka. After a hiatus represented by pedogenic surface deposition of unit-II (gravel) suggests uplift

  3. Climate warming and humans played different roles in triggering Late Quaternary extinctions in east and west Eurasia. (United States)

    Wan, Xinru; Zhang, Zhibin


    Climate change and humans are proposed as the two key drivers of total extinction of many large mammals in the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene, but disentangling their relative roles remains challenging owing to a lack of quantitative evaluation of human impact and climate-driven distribution changes on the extinctions of these large mammals in a continuous temporal-spatial dimension. Here, our analyses showed that temperature change had significant effects on mammoth (genus Mammuthus ), rhinoceros (Rhinocerotidae), horse (Equidae) and deer (Cervidae). Rapid global warming was the predominant factor driving the total extinction of mammoths and rhinos in frigid zones from the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene. Humans showed significant, negative effects on extirpations of the four mammalian taxa, and were the predominant factor causing the extinction or major extirpations of rhinos and horses. Deer survived both rapid climate warming and extensive human impacts. Our study indicates that both the current rates of warming and range shifts of species are much faster than those from the Late Pleistocene to Holocene. Our results provide new insight into the extinction of Late Quaternary megafauna by demonstrating taxon-, period- and region-specific differences in extinction drivers of climate change and human disturbances, and some implications about the extinction risk of animals by recent and ongoing climate warming. © 2017 The Author(s).

  4. Late Pleistocene - Holocene development of the Tista megafan (West Bengal, India): 10Be cosmogenic and IRSL age constraints (United States)

    Abrahami, Rachel; Huyghe, Pascale; van der Beek, Peter; Lowick, Sally; Carcaillet, Julien; Chakraborty, Tapan


    The Himalayan proximal foreland is characterized by Quaternary megafans, of which the formational mechanisms remain debated. The Tista megafan spreads over more than 16,000 km2 from the mountain front, where it is strongly incised, to the confluence of the Tista River with the Jamuna/Brahmaputra River, and stores sediments produced in the Sikkim Himalaya. We propose a scenario for the late Pleistocene - Holocene development of the Tista megafan based on new 10Be cosmogenic and Infra-Red Stimulated Luminescence (IRSL) age constraints, and discuss the main potential controls on its evolution. We suggest that two distal lobes developed successively downstream from a common proximal lobe. Deposition in the proximal lobe took place since at least ∼135 ka and incision began at 3.7-0.7+1.0 ka. The western distal lobe of the megafan was deposited early in the history of the megafan, when the Sikkim Himalaya catchment was drained by a tributary of the Ganga River, and was abandoned in the early Holocene (10-11 ka). The eastern, recent (active. Approximately synchronous incision between terraces in the hinterland and megafan surfaces suggests that incision propagated rapidly through the system. Our data do not evidence a direct link between incicion and tectonic processes. Aggradation and incision episodes appear more compatible with a climatic control, through changes in monsoon intensity and associated sediment flux. Depositional episodes in the Tista megafan, as elsewhere in the Himalaya and its foreland, appear to correlate with periods of strong monsoon precipitation and associated high sediment flux toward the foreland. Abandonment and incision of megafan surfaces and hinterland terraces appear associated to both the onset and the ending of phases of strong monsoon precipitation, during which the balance between water and sediment discharge changes rapidly.

  5. Organic Matter Contents and Paleoproductivity Variation Within Late Pleistocene Japan Sea/East Sea Sediments: Results from IODP Expedition 346 (United States)

    Black, H. D.; Anderson, W. T., Jr.


    Inorganic and organic matter concentrations as well as the stable isotopes of nitrogen and organic carbon are presented for continuous sedimentary sequences collected during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 346 in the Japan Sea/East Sea in 2013. During major glacioeustatic sea level changes, the paleoceanographic conditions within the Japan Sea/East Sea widely vary due to the shallow, narrow straights connecting the sea to surrounding waters limiting an influx of oceanic currents. During glacial sea level low-stands the sea can be nearly isolated, creating a highly-stratified water column and hypoxic to anoxic bottom water conditions. Meanwhile during sea level high-stands, the Tsushima Warm Current (TWC) flows into the sea bringing warmer, nutrient-rich inputs, leading to vertical mixing and oxic conditions. This study aims to better understand the role of orbital cycling within the organic matter and stable isotope contents of these Late Pleistocene sediments. A total of 192 samples were analyzed each for %CaCO3, %TOC, δ13C, %N, and δ15N from two Expedition 346 sampling sites (U1426 and U1427) during the last 430,000 years and statistical analyses were completed using wavelet and time series analyses. Carbonate concentration ranges from 0-44.3%, total organic carbon 0.2 to 6.4%, δ13C -25.8 to -19.6‰, %N 0.04 to 0.4%, and δ15N 3.8 to 13.1‰. These results are well correlated with b* color values of the sediment and generally show increased productivity during interglacial periods, likely through increased vertical mixing and deepwater ventilation, when compared to glacial periods within the Japan Sea/East Sea when the sea may be partially isolated.

  6. Homo floresiensis and the late Pleistocene environments of eastern Indonesia: defining the nature of the relationship (United States)

    Westaway, K. E.; Morwood, M. J.; Sutikna, T.; Moore, M. W.; Rokus, A. D.; van den Bergh, G. D.; Roberts, R. G.; Saptomo, E. W.


    Evidence from Liang Bua, a limestone cave on the island of Flores in East Indonesia, provides a unique opportunity to explore the long term relationship between hominins and their environment. Occupation deposits at the site span ˜95 ka and contain abundant stone artefacts, well preserved faunal remains and evidence for an endemic species of hominin: Homo floresiensis. Work at the site included detailed geomorphological and environmental analysis, which has enabled comparisons to be drawn between changes in the occupational intensity in the cave, using stone tool and faunal counts, and changes in the environmental conditions, using the characteristics of the sedimentary layers in the cave and speleothem records. These comparisons demonstrate that H. floresiensis endured rapidly fluctuating environmental conditions over the last ˜100 ka, which influenced the geomorphological processes in the cave and their occupational conditions. The intensity of occupation in the cave changed significantly between 95 and 17 ka, with peaks in occupation occurring at 100-95, 74-61 and 18-17 ka. These correlate with episodes of channel formation and erosion in the cave, which in turn correspond with high rainfall, thick soils and high bio-productivity outside. In contrast, periods of low occupational intensity correlate with reduced channel activity and pooling associated with drier periods from 94 to 75 and 36 to 19 ka. This apparent link between intensity of hominin use of the cave and the general conditions outside relates to the expansion and contraction of the rainforest and the ability of H. floresiensis to adapt to habitat changes. This interpretation implies that these diminutive hominins were able to survive abrupt and prolonged environmental changes by changing their favoured occupation sites. These data provide the basis for a model of human-environment interactions on the island of Flores. With the addition of extra data from other sites on Flores, this model will

  7. A Late Pleistocene clockwise rotation phase of Zakynthos (Greece) and implications for the evolution of the western Aegean arc

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duermeijer, C.E.; Krijgsman, W.; Langereis, C.G.; Meulenkamp, J.E.; Triantaphyllou, M.V.; Zachariasse, W.J.


    Palaeomagnetic measurements have been carried out on Eocene to Pleistocene sediments on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, NW Greece. Magnetostratigraphic constraints, biostratigraphic analyses of planktonic foraminifera and calcareous nannofossils provide a reliable time frame for these deposits.

  8. Pleistocene mitochondrial genomes suggest a single major dispersal of non-Africans and a Late Glacial population turnover in Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Posth, C.; Renaud, G.; Mittnik, A.; Drucker, D. G.; Rougier, H.; Cupillard, Ch.; Valentin, F.; Thevenet, C.; Furtwängler, A.; Wissing, Ch.; Francken, M.; Malina, M.; Bolus, M.; Lari, M.; Gigli, E.; Capecchi, G.; Crevecoeur, I.; Beauval, C.; Flas, D.; Germonpré, M.; Plicht van der, J.; Cottiaux, R.; Gély, B.; Ronchitelli, A.; Wehrberger, K.; Grigorescu, D.; Svoboda, Jiří; Semal, P.; Caramelli, D.; Bocherens, H.; Harvati, K.; Conard, N. J.; Haak, W.; Powell, A.; Krause, J.


    Roč. 26, March 21 (2016), s. 827-833 ISSN 0960-9822 Institutional support: RVO:68081758 Keywords : mitochondrial genome * Pleistocene * Europe Subject RIV: AC - Archeology, Anthropology, Ethnology OBOR OECD: Archaeology Impact factor: 8.851, year: 2016

  9. Late Pleistocene - Holocene surface processes and landscape evolution in the central Swiss Alps (United States)

    Boxleitner, Max; Musso, Alessandra; Waroszewski, Jarosław; Malkiewicz, Małgorzata; Maisch, Max; Dahms, Dennis; Brandová, Dagmar; Christl, Marcus; de Castro Portes, Raquel; Egli, Markus


    The European Alps are a geomorphologically active region and experience a number of gravity-driven hillslope processes. Soil and landscape formation in the Alps has consequently undergone several minor and major traceable changes of developmental trajectories during the Holocene. Soil development is hypothesised to be often non-linear with time and characterised by stages of progressive and regressive evolution caused by upbuilding (formation, profile deepening) and erosion (profile shallowing). Several cold and warm climate phases are identified during the Holocene but it is largely unknown which effects these might have had on slope processes. By using datable moraines (10Be) and mires (14C), we have constructed a temporal framework for these processes. Using the geochemical imprint of mires in the Alpine setting of the Göschener-valley of the Central Swiss Alps, we reconstructed general (mostly erosional) landscape processes for the last ca. 10 ka. As this is the type locality for the Göschener cold phase, we assumed that this phase (Göschener cold phase I and II 1.5 and 2.5 ka BP) should have left easily recognizable traits. After deglaciation (11-12 ka BP), soil evolution was progressive. Beginning around 8 ka BP, we detect a distinct increase in erosion here, together with a vegetation change (towards tundra vegetation) and the highest measured rates of carbon sequestration. Other phases of high geomorphic activity were recognised ca. 5-6 ka BP, 4 ka BP and, to a lesser extent, 1-3 ka ago. The cold phase at 5-6 ka BP corresponds to a less distinct change in vegetation and lessened erosion. Human impact is increasingly obvious since about 2.4 ka BP which overlaps with the Göschener cold phase. Nonetheless, erosion processes were not extraordinarily high during this period and a climate effect cannot be distinguished. We detect evidence of increasing human disturbance (regressive soil evolution) for about the last 1 ka. We also detect an increase in dust

  10. Late-Pleistocene evolution of the continental shelf of central Israel, a case study from Hadera (United States)

    Shtienberg, Gilad; Dix, Justin; Waldmann, Nicolas; Makovsky, Yizhaq; Golan, Arik; Sivan, Dorit


    Sea-level fluctuations are a dominant mechanism that control coastal environmental changes through time. This is especially the case for the successive regressions and transgressions over the last interglacial cycle, which have shaped the deposition, preservation and erosion patterns of unconsolidated sediments currently submerged on continental shelves. The current study focuses on creating an integrated marine and terrestrial geophysical and litho-stratigraphic framework of the coastal zone of Hadera, north-central Israel. This research presents a case study, investigating the changing sedimentological units in the study area. Analysis suggest these represent various coastal environments and were deposited during times of lower than present sea level and during the later stages of the Holocene transgression. A multi-disciplinary approach was applied by compiling existing elevation raster grids, bathymetric charts, one hundred lithological borehole data-sets, and a 110 km-long sub-bottom geophysical survey. Based on seismic stratigraphic analysis, observed geometries, and reflective appearances, six bounding surfaces and seven seismic units were identified and characterized. These seismic units have been correlated with the available borehole data to produce a chronologically constrained lithostratigraphy for the area. This approach allowed us to propose a relationship between the lithological units and sea-level change and thus enable the reconstruction of Hadera coastal evolution over the last 100 ka. This reconstruction suggests that the stratigraphy is dominated by lowstand aeolian and fluvial terrestrial environments, subsequently transgressed during the Holocene. The results of this study provide a valuable framework for future national strategic shallow-water infrastructure construction and also for the possible locations of past human settlements in relation to coastal evolution through time.

  11. Late-Pleistocene evolution of the East Mediterranean shallow continental shelf of north-central Israel (United States)

    Shtienberg, Gilad; Dix, Justin; Waldmann, Nicolas; Makovsky, Yizhaq; Bookman, Revital; Roskin, Joel; Bialik, Or; Golan, Arik; Sivan, Dorit


    . This approach allowed us to investigate the relationship between the lithological units and sea-level change and thus enable the reconstruction of the coastal evolution over the last ˜130 ka. This reconstruction suggests that the stratigraphy is dominated by a sea level lowstand during which aeolian, fluvial and paleosol sediments were deposited in a terrestrial environment. The coastal-terrestrial landscape was flooded by the early to middle Holocene transgression. The results of this study provide a valuable framework for future national strategic shallow-water infrastructure construction and also for the possible locations of past human settlements in relation to coastal evolution through time.

  12. Paleohydrology of the southern Great Basin, with special reference to water table fluctuations beneath the Nevada Test Site during the late(?) Pleistocene (United States)

    Winograd, Isaac Judah; Doty, Gene C.


    Knowledge of the magnitude of water-table rise during Pleistocene pluvial climates, and of the resultant shortening of groundwater flow path and reduction in unsaturated zone thickness, is mandatory for a technical evaluation of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) or other arid zone sites as repositories for high-level or transuranic radioactive wastes. The distribution of calcitic veins filling fractures in alluvium, and of tufa deposits between the Ash Meadows spring discharge area and the Nevada Test Site indicates that discharge from the regional Paleozoic carbonate aquifer during the Late( ) Pleistocene pluvial periods may have occurred at an altitude about 50 meters higher than at present and 14 kilometers northeast of Ash Meadows. Use of the underflow equation (relating discharge to transmissivity, aquifer width, and hydraulic gradient), and various assumptions regarding pluvial recharge, transmissivity, and altitude of groundwater base level, suggest possible rises in potentiometric level in the carbonate aquifer of about -90 meters beneath central Frenchman Flat. During Wisconsin time the rise probably did not exceed 30 meters. Water-level rises beneath Frenchman Flat during future pluvials are unlikely to exceed 30 meters and might even be 10 meters lower than modern levels. Neither the cited rise in potentiometric level in the regional carbonate aquifer, nor the shortened flow path during the Late( ) Pleistocene preclude utilization of the NTS as a repository for high-level or transuranic-element radioactive wastes provided other requisite conditions are met as this site. Deep water tables, attendant thick (up to several hundred meter) unsaturated zones, and long groundwater flow paths characterized the region during the Wisconsin Stage and probably throughout the Pleistocene Epoch and are likely to so characterize it during future glacial periods. (USGS)

  13. Late Pleistocene-Holocene Activity of the Strike-slip Xianshuihe Fault Zone, Tibetan Plateau, Inferred from Tectonic Landforms (United States)

    Lin, A.; Yan, B.


    Knowledges on the activity of the strike-slip fault zones on the Tibetan Plateau have been promoted greatly by the interpretation of remote sensing images (Molnar and Tapponnier, 1975; Tapponnier and Molnar, 1977). The active strike-slip Xianshuihe-Xiaojiang Fault System (XXFS), with the geometry of an arc projecting northeastwards, plays an important role in the crustal deformation of the Tibetan Plateau caused by the continental collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates. The Xianshuihe Fault Zone (XFZ) is located in the central segment of the XXFS and extends for 370 km, with a maximum sinistral offset of 60 km since 13‒5 Ma. In this study, we investigated the tectonic landforms and slip rate along the central segment of the left-lateral strike-slip XFZ. Field investigations and analysis of ttectonic landforms show that horizontal offset has been accumulated on the topographical markers of different scales that developed since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The central segment of the XFZ is composed of three major faults: Yalahe, Selaha, and Zheduotang faults showing a right-stepping echelon pattern, that is characterized by systematical offset of drainages, alluvial fans and terrace risers with typical scissoring structures, indicating a structural feature of left-lateral strike-slip fault. Based on the offset glacial morphology and radiocarbon dating ages, we estimate the Late Pleistocene-Holocene slip rate to be 10 mm/yr for the central segment of the XFZ, which is consistent with that estimated from the GPS observations and geological evidence as reported previously. Across the central segment of the XFZ, the major Selaha and Zheduotang faults participate a slip rate of 5.8 mm/yr and 3.4 mm/yr, respectively. Detailed investigations of tectonic landforms are essential for the understanding the activity of active faults. Our findings suggest that the left-lateral slipping of the XFZ partitions the deformation of eastward extrusion and northeastward

  14. Discussion on the Regional Paleotemperature Evolution since the Late Pleistocene in the Loess Plateau with GDGT as an Index (United States)

    Yingchun, S.


    It is an effective way to understand the modern climate and predict the future climate trend by using the geological substitute indicators to reconstruct the past climate. In recent years, scientists have begun to apply Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) to reconstruct paleoclimate and many proxies about ancient air temperature based on GDGTs have been proposed, even the empirical formulas used for China have also been established. In this paper, five loess-paleosol sequences spanning the Late Pleistocene from the Loess Plateau have been used to examine the effectiveness of the formulas as well as to discuss the regional evolution of the ancient temperature of the plateau. The results are as follows: (1) The relative content of iGDGT is higher than that of bGDGT in all Loess sections, and that of each compound follows relatively fixed regularity. Seen from the geographical distribution, the relative content of GDGT in southernmost sections is the highest, which in the northernmost is the smallest. (2) In the last interglacial period, from the northern part to the southern part of the Loess Plateau, the mean annual air temperature (MAAT) of northern Jingbian was 14°, central Luochuan was up to 15°, and southern Weinan was nearly 18°. And at the end of the last glacial period the temperature, where LC and WN located, dropped to 13.5°. Along the east-west direction of the Plateau, in the last interglacial period, the MAAT of western Qin'an secion was 13°, and that of central Baoji and eastern Weinan was about 18°. To the end of the last glacial period, the MAAT decreased to the lowest, Weinan 13.5°, Baoji 14.5°, while Qin'an 10.8°. (3)In contrast to the magnetic susceptibility index, the curves of GDGT MAAT have great similarity with the magnetic susceptibility curve, but it is obvious that there are phase differences between them. That may be indicating that the temperature rise was before the onset of the East-Asian summer monsoon in the Plateau

  15. Late Pleistocene dust dynamics and pedogenesis in Southern Eurasia - Detailed insights from the loess profile Toshan (NE Iran) (United States)

    Vlaminck, Stefan; Kehl, Martin; Rolf, Christian; Franz, Sven Oliver; Lauer, Tobias; Lehndorff, Eva; Frechen, Manfred; Khormali, Farhad


    In southern Eurasia recurrent phases of aridization, dust source extension and enhanced Aeolian sedimentation alternated with moister intervals, promoting reduced deflation areas and dust accumulation in the context of late Pleistocene climate changes. Weathering and soil forming intensity in this greater region are, hence, mainly governed by fluctuations in the balance between dust supply and moisture availability. Among the hitherto known sections, the Toshan loess-soil sequence (LPS) represents a key site due to the quality of the record and the multitude of available data giving detailed insights into the timing and magnitude of dust accumulation and soil formation of the region. To elucidate these dynamics for much of the past 130.000 years bulk mineralogical and geochemical data are presented supplemented by a high resolution magnetic susceptibility record and by the results of a detailed micromorphological study of loess at Toshan. The last interglacial Luvisol/Phaeozem-like (∼MIS 5e) and the early glacial interstadial steppic palaeosols (∼MIS 5 c and a) are characterized by gradually increasing grain-size and decreasing degrees in decomposition of micaceous and mafic minerals. Pronounced feldspar weathering is detected in the last interglacial and modern soils only, which formed under reduced or absent dust deposition on penultimate and last glacial loess, respectively (postsedimentary). The overall pedosedimentary conditions correspond to large scale trends of increasing drought, dust accumulation and wind strength in southern Eurasia in relation to decreasing moisture availability towards the early Pleniglacial (∼MIS 4), causing soil formation under ongoing dust deposition (synsedimentary). Similar intervals of synsedimentary soil formation are recorded during the interglacial/interstadial-stadial transitions of the early glacial and during pleniglacial (∼MIS 4 to 2) interstadials. The latter are marked by gradual increases in magnetic

  16. Contribution of changes in opal productivity and nutrient distribution in the coastal upwelling systems to Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene climate cooling

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    J. Etourneau


    Full Text Available The global Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene cooling (~3.0–2.0 million years ago – Ma concurred with extremely high diatom and biogenic opal production in most of the major coastal upwelling regions. This phenomenon was particularly pronounced in the Benguela upwelling system (BUS, off Namibia, where it is known as the Matuyama Diatom Maximum (MDM. Our study focuses on a new diatom silicon isotope (δ30Si record covering the MDM in the BUS. Unexpectedly, the variations in δ30Si signal follow biogenic opal content, whereby the highest δ30Si values correspond to the highest biogenic opal content. We interpret the higher δ30Si values during the MDM as a result of a stronger degree of silicate utilisation in the surface waters caused by high productivity of mat-forming diatom species. This was most likely promoted by weak upwelling intensity dominating the BUS during the Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene cooling combined with a large silicate supply derived from a strong Southern Ocean nutrient leakage responding to the expansion of Antarctic ice cover and the resulting stratification of the polar ocean 3.0–2.7 Ma ago. A similar scenario is hypothesized for other major coastal upwelling systems (e.g. off California during this time interval, suggesting that the efficiency of the biological carbon pump was probably sufficiently enhanced in these regions during the MDM to have significantly increased the transport of atmospheric CO2 to the deep ocean. In addition, the coeval extension of the area of surface water stratification in both the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific, which decreased CO2 release to the atmosphere, led to further enhanced atmospheric CO2 drawn-down and thus contributed significantly to Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene cooling.

  17. The small mammals (Eulipotyphla, Chiroptera, Rodentia and Lagomorpha from the Late Pleistocene site of the cave of El Castillo (Cantabria, Spain

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    C. Sesé


    Full Text Available The micromammals remains from the Late Pleistocene site of the cave of El Castillo studied here in detail, came from the Aurignacian levels 18b and 18c (dated in 40.000-45.000 BP, level 19, and the Musterian levels 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e (dated in 41.000-49.000 BP, 21a and 21b. The micromammal association is the following: Erinaceus europaeus, Crocidura russula, Sorex coronatus, Sorex minutus, Neomys fodiens, Talpa europaea, Galemys pyrenaicus, cf. Miniopterus schreibersii, Chiroptera indet., Pliomys lenki, Microtus arvalis – Microtus agrestis, Microtus lusitanicus, Microtus oeconomus, Chionomys nivalis, Arvicola terrestris, Apodemus sylvaticus – Apodemus flavicollis and Lepus sp. Most of these species are in the present fauna of Cantabria, except Pliomys lenki that got extinct in the last third of the Upper Pleistocene, and Microtus oeconomus that disappeared from the Iberian Peninsula during the Holocene, in historical times, and is nowadays present in northern Euroasiatic regions. There is a great continuity of most of the taxa in all the levels. The faunal association seems to indicate a mainly open environment, in general with wet meadows (and few dry meadows, with good vegetation cover in the soil, with perhaps also some tree-covered areas, and some watercourses. The thermophiles indicators are very scarce, which could indicate that the climate could be a lesser temperate than other Upper Pleistocene periods and the present-day climate in the area.

  18. Abnormal carbonate diagenesis in Holocene-late Pleistocene sapropel-associated sediments from the Eastern Mediterranean; Evidence from Emiliania huxleyi coccolith morphology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crudeli, D.; Young, J.R.; Erba, E.


    In studying the Holocene-late Pleistocene record of the Eastern Mediterranean, considerable Emiliania huxleyi size/shape variation not clearly assignable to primary or secondary calcification was observed. Accordingly, different morphotypes were distinguished by light microscope (LM). A subsequent......, but also that they show effects of carbonate precipitation and dissolution much more clearly than other coccoliths. The relative abundances of the different LM-morphotypes were used to define an E. huxleyi overgrowth index (EXO) that qualitatively estimates carbonate precipitation/dissolution on coccoliths...

  19. Postcranial morphology of the middle Pleistocene humans from Sima de los Huesos, Spain. (United States)

    Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Carretero, José-Miguel; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Pablos, Adrián; Rodríguez, Laura; García-González, Rebeca; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Quam, Rolf M; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Aranburu, Arantza; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Poza-Rey, Eva; Sala, Nohemi; García, Nuria; Alcázar de Velasco, Almudena; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald


    Current knowledge of the evolution of the postcranial skeleton in the genus Homo is hampered by a geographically and chronologically scattered fossil record. Here we present a complete characterization of the postcranium of the middle Pleistocene paleodeme from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) and its paleobiological implications. The SH hominins show the following: (i) wide bodies, a plesiomorphic character in the genus Homo inherited from their early hominin ancestors; (ii) statures that can be found in modern human middle-latitude populations that first appeared 1.6-1.5 Mya; and (iii) large femoral heads in some individuals, a trait that first appeared during the middle Pleistocene in Africa and Europe. The intrapopulational size variation in SH shows that the level of dimorphism was similar to modern humans (MH), but the SH hominins were less encephalized than Neandertals. SH shares many postcranial anatomical features with Neandertals. Although most of these features appear to be either plesiomorphic retentions or are of uncertain phylogenetic polarity, a few represent Neandertal apomorphies. Nevertheless, the full suite of Neandertal-derived features is not yet present in the SH population. The postcranial evidence is consistent with the hypothesis based on the cranial morphology that the SH hominins are a sister group to the later Neandertals. Comparison of the SH postcranial skeleton to other hominins suggests that the evolution of the postcranium occurred in a mosaic mode, both at a general and at a detailed level.

  20. New Constraints on Late Pleistocene - Holocene Slip Rates and Seismic Behavior Along the Panamint Valley Fault Zone, Eastern California (United States)

    Hoffman, W.; Kirby, E.; McDonald, E.; Walker, J.; Gosse, J.


    buried by the debris-flow lobe, exhibit progressively larger displacement (up to 10-12 m). Well-preserved bar and swale morphology, incipient varnishing of surface boulders, and weak soil development all suggest that this surface is Late Holocene in age. We are working to confirm this inference, but if correct, it suggests that this fault system may have experienced ~3-4 events in the relatively recent past. Finally, preliminary surface ages from even older surfaces along this portion of the fault zone place limits on the slip rate over Late Pleistocene time. Cosmogenic 10Be surface clast dating of an alluvial surface with well-developed pavement and moderate soil development near Happy Canyon suggests a surface age of 30-35 kyr. We are working to refine this estimate with new dating and soil characterization, but our preliminary reconstructions of displacement of this surface across the two primary fault strands are consistent with slip rates that exceed ~3 mm/yr. Overall, these results are consistent with the inference that the Panamint Valley fault zone is the primary structure that accomplishes transfer of right-lateral shear across the Garlock Fault.

  1. Late Pleistocene and Holocene-Age Columbia River Sediments and Bedforms: Hanford Reach Area, Washington - Part 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K.R. Fecht, T.E. Marceau


    This report presents the results of a geologic study conducted on the lower slopes of the Columbia River Valley in south-central Washington. The study was designed to investigate glaciofluvial and fluvial sediments and bedforms that are present in the river valley and formed subsequent to Pleistocene large-scale cataclysmic flooding of the region.

  2. Genetic consequences of population expansions and contractions in the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) since the Late Pleistocene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stoffel, Céline; Dufresnes, Christophe; Okello, John B A


    Over the past two decades, an increasing amount of phylogeographic work has substantially improved our understanding of African biogeography, in particular the role played by Pleistocene pluvial-drought cycles on terrestrial vertebrates. However, still little is known on the evolutionary history...

  3. Subglacial bed conditions during Late Pleistocene glaciations and their impact on ice dynamics in the southern North Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Passchier, S.; Laban, C.; Mesdag, C.S.; Rijsdijk, K.F.


    Changes in subglacial bed conditions through multiple glaciations and their effect on ice dynamics are addressed through an analysis of glacigenic sequences in the Upper Pleistocene stratigraphy of the southern North Sea basin. During Elsterian (MIS 12) ice growth, till deposition was subdued when

  4. Late Miocene-Pleistocene evolution of a Rio Grande rift subbasin, Sunshine Valley-Costilla Plain, San Luis Basin, New Mexico and Colorado (United States)

    Ruleman, C.A.; Thompson, R.A.; Shroba, R.R.; Anderson, M.; Drenth, B.J.; Rotzien, J.; Lyon, J.


    The Sunshine Valley-Costilla Plain, a structural subbasin of the greater San Luis Basin of the northern Rio Grande rift, is bounded to the north and south by the San Luis Hills and the Red River fault zone, respectively. Surficial mapping, neotectonic investigations, geochronology, and geophysics demonstrate that the structural, volcanic, and geomorphic evolution of the basin involves the intermingling of climatic cycles and spatially and temporally varying tectonic activity of the Rio Grande rift system. Tectonic activity has transferred between range-bounding and intrabasin faults creating relict landforms of higher tectonic-activity rates along the mountain-piedmont junction. Pliocene–Pleistocene average long-term slip rates along the southern Sangre de Cristo fault zone range between 0.1 and 0.2 mm/year with late Pleistocene slip rates approximately half (0.06 mm/year) of the longer Quaternary slip rate. During the late Pleistocene, climatic influences have been dominant over tectonic influences on mountain-front geomorphic processes. Geomorphic evidence suggests that this once-closed subbasin was integrated into the Rio Grande prior to the integration of the once-closed northern San Luis Basin, north of the San Luis Hills, Colorado; however, deep canyon incision, north of the Red River and south of the San Luis Hills, initiated relatively coeval to the integration of the northern San Luis Basin.Long-term projections of slip rates applied to a 1.6 km basin depth defined from geophysical modeling suggests that rifting initiated within this subbasin between 20 and 10 Ma. Geologic mapping and geophysical interpretations reveal a complex network of northwest-, northeast-, and north-south–trending faults. Northwest- and northeast-trending faults show dual polarity and are crosscut by north-south– trending faults. This structural model possibly provides an analog for how some intracontinental rift structures evolve through time.

  5. Contemporaneous trace and body fossils from a late Pleistocene Lakebed in Victoria, Australia, allow assessment of bias in the fossil record. (United States)

    Camens, Aaron Bruce; Carey, Stephen Paul


    The co-occurrence of vertebrate trace and body fossils within a single geological formation is rare and the probability of these parallel records being contemporaneous (i.e. on or near the same bedding plane) is extremely low. We report here a late Pleistocene locality from the Victorian Volcanic Plains in south-eastern Australia in which demonstrably contemporaneous, but independently accumulated vertebrate trace and body fossils occur. Bite marks from a variety of taxa are also present on the bones. This site provides a unique opportunity to examine the biases of these divergent fossil records (skeletal, footprints and bite marks) that sampled a single fauna. The skeletal record produced the most complete fauna, with the footprint record indicating a markedly different faunal composition with less diversity and the feeding traces suggesting the presence, amongst others, of a predator not represented by either the skeletal or footprint records. We found that the large extinct marsupial predator Thylacoleo was the only taxon apparently represented by all three records, suggesting that the behavioral characteristics of large carnivores may increase the likelihood of their presence being detected within a fossil fauna. In contrast, Diprotodon (the largest-ever marsupial) was represented only by trace fossils at this site and was absent from the site's skeletal record, despite its being a common and easily detected presence in late Pleistocene skeletal fossil faunas elsewhere in Australia. Small mammals absent from the footprint record for the site were represented by skeletal fossils and bite marks on bones.

  6. Two Late Pleistocene climate-driven incision/aggradation rhythms in the middle Dnieper River basin, west-central Russian Plain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Panin, Andrei; Adamiec, Grzegorz; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter


    Pleistocene - Holocene climate cycle. The following events were detected. (1) Late MIS 5 - early MIS 4: aggradation of Terrace T1 following the deep incision at the end of MIS 6. (2) Late MIS 4 (40-30 ka): incision into Terrace T1 below the present-day river, formation of the main scarp in the bottom...... of the valley between Terrace T1 and Terrace T0/Floodplain levels. (3) MIS 2: aggradation of Terrace T0, lateral migrations of a shallow braided channel located few meters above the present-day river since ∼25 ka through the LGM. (4) 18-13 ka: incision into Terrace T0 below the modern river. Multiple...

  7. Sedimentation and erosion processes in Middle to Late Pleistocene sequences exposed in the brickyard of Langenlois/Lower Austria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thiel, Christine; Terhorst, Birgit; Jaburová, Iva


    The correlation of sedimentary and pedogenetic processes in Lower Austria is difficult due to significant discontinuities and local variability in soil formation. This hampers landscape reconstruction at a regional scale. However, at a local scale distinct landscape formation processes represented...... by a shift from fluvial to aeolian deposition can be observed in the brickyard of Langenlois, Lower Austria. Sedimentological and mineralogical analyses in combination with palaeontological finds suggest that the fluvial deposition took place during the Middle Pleistocene. This attribution is confirmed...... in Austria; it indicates a Middle Pleistocene interglacial period. The low degree of weathering as well as Cryosols found in the loess sequence point to loess accumulation during the Last Glacial; the dating results (35–55 ka) indicate prolonged loess deposition. No signs of pedogenesis could be found...

  8. Geologic Setting and Preservation of a Late Pleistocene Bald Cypress Forest Discovered on the Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf (United States)

    Gonzalez Rodriguez, S. M.; Bentley, S. J.; DeLong, K. L.; Xu, K.; Harley, G. L.; Reese, C. A.; Obelcz, J.


    Following landfall of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, a previously buried bald cypress forest (Taxodium distichum) was discovered on the continental shelf seafloor, offshore of Orange Beach, Alabama, USA, in 20 m of water. The forest is preserved as stumps in life position with little evidence of decay and large pieces of trunks, roots, and branches. Analysis shows the forest is older than can be dated with conventional C-14 methods. Comparison of Pleistocene sea level curves with the study area depth suggests that the forest developed and was likely buried during marine isotope stage 3 or 4, or perhaps older stages. Condition of sampled wood suggests that the forest was buried and preserved in anoxic sediments for millennia, prior to recent exhumation. To better understand the puzzling geological conditions that could allow forest preservation during sea level fall and shelf exposure spanning >30,000 years, submersible vibracores (to 6 m length) and geophysical data (swath bathymetry, sidescan, and chirp subbottom) were collected in August 2015. Cores are being analyzed using a Geotek Multi Sensor Core Logger, granulometric and sediment composition analyses, and a wide range of paleoenvironmental observations. This presentation focuses on the geological setting and mode of forest preservation. Preliminary analysis of sediment types and stratigraphy in cores shows that the local stratigraphy is broadly consistent with previous regional shelf-stratigraphic studies, consisting of (top to bottom) a surface layer of Holocene transgressive sands (to 3 m thick) unconformably overlying Pleistocene terrestrial and coastal deposits. However, the Pleistocene lithofacies (fluvial, backswamp, or possibly delta plain muds) differ considerably in both depositional environment and degree of environmental preservation compared to previous studies. Ongoing analysis will focus on elucidating the succession of events that allows preservation of this unique Pleistocene sedimentary archive.

  9. Auditory capacities in Middle Pleistocene humans from the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain. (United States)

    Martínez, I; Rosa, M; Arsuaga, J-L; Jarabo, P; Quam, R; Lorenzo, C; Gracia, A; Carretero, J-M; Bermúdez de Castro, J-M; Carbonell, E


    Human hearing differs from that of chimpanzees and most other anthropoids in maintaining a relatively high sensitivity from 2 kHz up to 4 kHz, a region that contains relevant acoustic information in spoken language. Knowledge of the auditory capacities in human fossil ancestors could greatly enhance the understanding of when this human pattern emerged during the course of our evolutionary history. Here we use a comprehensive physical model to analyze the influence of skeletal structures on the acoustic filtering of the outer and middle ears in five fossil human specimens from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca of Spain. Our results show that the skeletal anatomy in these hominids is compatible with a human-like pattern of sound power transmission through the outer and middle ear at frequencies up to 5 kHz, suggesting that they already had auditory capacities similar to those of living humans in this frequency range.

  10. Late Pleistocene sea-level changes recorded in tidal and fluvial deposits from Itaubal Formation, onshore portion of the Foz do Amazonas Basin, Brazil

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    Isaac Salém Alves Azevedo Bezerra

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTThe Pleistocene deposits exposed in the Amapá Coastal Plain (onshore portion of the Foz do Amazonas Basin, northeastern South America were previously interpreted as Miocene in age. In this work, they were named as "Itaubal Formation" and were included in the quaternary coastal history of Amazonia. The study, through facies and stratigraphic analyses in combination with optically stimulated luminescence (single and multiple aliquot regeneration, allowed interpreting this unit as Late Pleistocene tidal and fluvial deposits. The Itaubal Formation, which unconformably overlies strongly weathered basement rocks of the Guianas Shield, was subdivided into two progradational units, separated by an unconformity related to sea-level fall, here named as Lower and Upper Units. The Lower Unit yielded ages between 120,600 (± 12,000 and 70,850 (± 6,700 years BP and consists of subtidal flat, tide-influenced meandering stream and floodplain deposits, during highstand conditions. The Upper Unit spans between 69,150 (± 7,200 and 58,150 (± 6,800 years BP and is characterized by braided fluvial deposits incised in the Lower Unit, related to base-level fall; lowstand conditions remained until 23,500 (± 3,000 years BP. The studied region was likely exposed during the Last Glacial Maximum and then during Holocene, covered by tidal deposits influenced by the Amazon River.

  11. First record of Smilodon fatalis Leidy, 1868 (Felidae, Machairodontinae) in the extra-Andean region of South America (late Pleistocene, Sopas Formation), Uruguay: Taxonomic and paleobiogeographic implications (United States)

    Manzuetti, Aldo; Perea, Daniel; Ubilla, Martín; Rinderknecht, Andrés


    The Felidae are known in South America from the Ensenadan Stage/Age onwards. Among them, machairodonts of the genus Smilodon stand out. Three species are recognized, and all three are present on the continent: S. gracilis from the early-middle Pleistocene in north-east Venezuela; S. fatalis, found only in Lujanian sediments on the west side of the Andes (north-west of Peru and south-west of Ecuador); and S. populator, which inhabited the eastern part of the Andes during the Ensenadan and Lujanian. This distribution has led to the suggestion that the last two felids were allopatric during the Lujanian. Here, we report the first evidence of S. fatalis in the eastern part of the continent (Sopas Formation, late Pleistocene of Uruguay), based on an almost complete skull. This finding not only enlarges its distribution in South America but questions the idea of allopatric distribution. It also adds a new component to the mammalian predator trophic level of Uruguay, with the capacity to predate large South American herbivores and megaherbivores. A revision of materials previously assigned to S. populator in the extra-Andean zone of South America will be required.


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    Full Text Available New fossil vertebrates from the most representative Upper Pleistocene section (Tyrrhenian, MIS 5e of the outcrop of San Giovanni di Sinis (Oristano, Sardinia are here reported and described. The fossils, although scarce and fragmentary, document the occurrence of a terrapin (Mauremys sp. and the endemic Sardinian deer (Praemegaceros cazioti. Significant is the occurrence of the terrapin because it is the youngest representative of the genus in the central Mediterranean area where it is extinct at present. The Late Pleistocene extinction of Mauremys in Italy follows the same pattern of other Mediterranean reptiles, in being in some cases delayed on the islands. A comparison of the modern range of Mauremys and that of the pond turtle, Emys, as well as of their past ranges as evidenced by the fossil record, might suggest that some sort of thermophily (at least during pre-hatching stages characterized the former taxon and is responsible for its past and present distribution. SHORT NOTE

  13. Geomagnetic modulation of the late Pleistocene cosmic-ray flux as determined by 10Be from Blake Outer Ridge marine sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McHargue, L.R.; Donahue, D.; Damon, P.E.; Sonett, C.P.; Biddulph, D.; Burr, G.


    The cosmic-ray flux incident upon the Earth during the late Pleistocene, 20-60 kyr B.P., was studied by measuring the cosmogenic radionuclide 10 Be from a marine sediment core at site CH88-10P on the Blake Outer Ridge. The paleointensity of the geomagnetic field for this core was determined by various methods. The variance in the concentration of 10 Be in the authigenic fraction of the sediments from Blake Ridge closely correlates with the inverse of the variance in the paleointensity of the geomagnetic field. The 10 Be signal lags, up to 1000 years of sedimentation, the measured paleointensity of the sediments. In contrast, the data from several other elements, some climatically sensitive, and from beryllium show relationship neither to 10 Be nor to the paleomagnetic data. The relationship between 10 Be concentration and the dipole field intensity (M/M o ) as measured in the sediments is consistent with theoretical models

  14. The late Pleistocene horned crocodile Voay robustus (Grandidier & Vaillant, 1872 from Madagascar in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

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    C. Bickelmann


    Full Text Available Crocodylian material from late Pleistocene localities around Antsirabe, Madagascar, stored in the collection of the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, was surveyed. Several skeletal elements, including skull bones, vertebrae, ribs, osteoderms, and limb bones from at least three large individuals could be unambiguously assigned to the genus Voay Brochu, 2007. Furthermore, the simultaneous occurrence of Voay robustus Grandidier & Vaillant, 1872 and Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti, 1768 in Madagascar is discussed. Voay robustus and Crocodylus niloticus are systematically separate but similar in stature and size, which would make them direct rivals for ecological resources. Our hypothesis on the extinction of the species Voay, which was endemic to Madagascar, suggests that C. niloticus invaded Madagascar only after V. robustus became extinct. doi:10.1002/mmng.200800007

  15. Leafcutter bee nests and pupae from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits of Southern California: implications for understanding the paleoenvironment of the Late Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna R Holden

    Full Text Available The Rancho La Brea Tar Pits is the world's richest and most important Late Pleistocene fossil locality and best renowned for numerous fossil mammals and birds excavated over the past century. Less researched are insects, even though these specimens frequently serve as the most valuable paleoenvironemental indicators due to their narrow climate restrictions and life cycles. Our goal was to examine fossil material that included insect-plant associations, and thus an even higher potential for significant paleoenviromental data. Micro-CT scans of two exceptionally preserved leafcutter bee nest cells from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California reveal intact pupae dated between ∼23,000-40,000 radiocarbon years BP. Here identified as best matched to Megachile (Litomegachile gentilis Cresson (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae based on environmental niche models as well as morphometrics, the nest cells (LACMRLP 388E document rare preservation and life-stage. The result of complex plant-insect interactions, they offer new insights into the environment of the Late Pleistocene in southern California. The remarkable preservation of the nest cells suggests they were assembled and nested in the ground where they were excavated. The four different types of dicotyledonous leaves used to construct the cells were likely collected in close proximity to the nest and infer a wooded or riparian habitat with sufficient pollen sources for larval provisions. LACMRLP 388E is the first record of fossil Megachile Latreille cells with pupae. Consequently, it provides a pre-modern age location for a Nearctic group, whose phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history remain poorly understood. Megachile gentilis appears to respond to climate change as it has expanded its distribution across elevation gradients over time as estimated by habitat suitability comparisons between low and high elevations; it currently inhabits mesic habitats which occurred at a lower

  16. The Palos Verdes Fault offshore southern California: late Pleistocene to present tectonic geomorphology, seascape evolution and slip rate estimate based on AUV and ROV surveys (United States)

    Brothers, Daniel S.; Conrad, James E.; Maier, Katherine L.; Paull, Charles K.; McGann, Mary L.; Caress, David W.


    The Palos Verdes Fault (PVF) is one of few active faults in Southern California that crosses the shoreline and can be studied using both terrestrial and subaqueous methodologies. To characterize the near-seafloor fault morphology, tectonic influences on continental slope sedimentary processes and late Pleistocene to present slip rate, a grid of high-resolution multibeam bathymetric data, and chirp subbottom profiles were acquired with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) along the main trace of PVF in water depths between 250 and 600 m. Radiocarbon dates were obtained from vibracores collected using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and ship-based gravity cores. The PVF is expressed as a well-defined seafloor lineation marked by subtle along-strike bends. Right-stepping transtensional bends exert first-order control on sediment flow dynamics and the spatial distribution of Holocene depocenters; deformed strata within a small pull-apart basin record punctuated growth faulting associated with at least three Holocene surface ruptures. An upper (shallower) landslide scarp, a buried sedimentary mound, and a deeper scarp have been right-laterally offset across the PVF by 55 ± 5, 52 ± 4 , and 39 ± 8 m, respectively. The ages of the upper scarp and buried mound are approximately 31 ka; the age of the deeper scarp is bracketed to 17–24 ka. These three piercing points bracket the late Pleistocene to present slip rate to 1.3–2.8 mm/yr and provide a best estimate of 1.6–1.9 mm/yr. The deformation observed along the PVF is characteristic of strike-slip faulting and accounts for 20–30% of the total right-lateral slip budget accommodated offshore Southern California.

  17. Leafcutter bee nests and pupae from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits of Southern California: implications for understanding the paleoenvironment of the Late Pleistocene. (United States)

    Holden, Anna R; Koch, Jonathan B; Griswold, Terry; Erwin, Diane M; Hall, Justin


    The Rancho La Brea Tar Pits is the world's richest and most important Late Pleistocene fossil locality and best renowned for numerous fossil mammals and birds excavated over the past century. Less researched are insects, even though these specimens frequently serve as the most valuable paleoenvironemental indicators due to their narrow climate restrictions and life cycles. Our goal was to examine fossil material that included insect-plant associations, and thus an even higher potential for significant paleoenviromental data. Micro-CT scans of two exceptionally preserved leafcutter bee nest cells from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California reveal intact pupae dated between ∼23,000-40,000 radiocarbon years BP. Here identified as best matched to Megachile (Litomegachile) gentilis Cresson (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) based on environmental niche models as well as morphometrics, the nest cells (LACMRLP 388E) document rare preservation and life-stage. The result of complex plant-insect interactions, they offer new insights into the environment of the Late Pleistocene in southern California. The remarkable preservation of the nest cells suggests they were assembled and nested in the ground where they were excavated. The four different types of dicotyledonous leaves used to construct the cells were likely collected in close proximity to the nest and infer a wooded or riparian habitat with sufficient pollen sources for larval provisions. LACMRLP 388E is the first record of fossil Megachile Latreille cells with pupae. Consequently, it provides a pre-modern age location for a Nearctic group, whose phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history remain poorly understood. Megachile gentilis appears to respond to climate change as it has expanded its distribution across elevation gradients over time as estimated by habitat suitability comparisons between low and high elevations; it currently inhabits mesic habitats which occurred at a lower elevation during

  18. Tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the late Miocene-Pleistocene Dali Basin in the southeast margin of the Tibetan Plateau : Evidences from anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility and rock magnetic data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Shihu; Deng, Chenglong; Paterson, Greig A.; Yao, Haitao; Huang, Sheng; Liu, Chengying; He, Huaiyu; Pan, Yongxin; Zhu, Rixiang


    The Cenozoic Dali Basin, located at the northeast of Diancang Shan and south of the first bend of Yangtze River, is tectonically controlled by the Dali fault system in the southeast margin of the Tibetan Plateau. The basin is filled with late Miocene to Pleistocene fluviolacustrine sediments, which

  19. Sweet vernal grasses (Anthoxanthum) colonized African mountains along two fronts in the Late Pliocene, followed by secondary contact, polyploidization and local extinction in the Pleistocene. (United States)

    Tusiime, Felly Mugizi; Gizaw, Abel; Wondimu, Tigist; Masao, Catherine Aloyce; Abdi, Ahmed Abdikadir; Muwanika, Vincent; Trávníček, Pavel; Nemomissa, Sileshi; Popp, Magnus; Eilu, Gerald; Brochmann, Christian; Pimentel, Manuel


    High tropical mountains harbour remarkable and fragmented biodiversity thought to a large degree to have been shaped by multiple dispersals of cold-adapted lineages from remote areas. Few dated phylogenetic/phylogeographic analyses are however available. Here, we address the hypotheses that the sub-Saharan African sweet vernal grasses have a dual colonization history and that lineages of independent origins have established secondary contact. We carried out rangewide sampling across the eastern African high mountains, inferred dated phylogenies from nuclear ribosomal and plastid DNA using Bayesian methods, and performed flow cytometry and AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) analyses. We inferred a single Late Pliocene western Eurasian origin of the eastern African taxa, whose high-ploid populations in one mountain group formed a distinct phylogeographic group and carried plastids that diverged from those of the currently allopatric southern African lineage in the Mid- to Late Pleistocene. We show that Anthoxanthum has an intriguing history in sub-Saharan Africa, including Late Pliocene colonization from southeast and north, followed by secondary contact, hybridization, allopolyploidization and local extinction during one of the last glacial cycles. Our results add to a growing body of evidence showing that isolated tropical high mountain habitats have a dynamic recent history involving niche conservatism and recruitment from remote sources, repeated dispersals, diversification, hybridization and local extinction. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Three new human skulls from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain. (United States)

    Arsuaga, J L; Martínez, I; Gracia, A; Carretero, J M; Carbonell, E


    Three important fossil hominids were found in July 1992 in the Middle Pleistocene cave site called Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Northern Spain). One is a complete calvaria (cranium 4), the second a virtually complete cranium (cranium 5), the third represents a more fragmentary cranium of an immature individual (cranium 6). There is a large difference in size between the two adult specimens (for example endocranial volume 1,125 cm3 versus 1,390 cm3). The Atapuerca human remains are dated to > 300,000 years. The Atapuerca cranial sample fits within the 'archaic Homo sapiens' group, but is well differentiated from the Asian Homo erectus group. The extensive Atapuerca human collection is the most complete sample of Middle Pleistocene humans yet discovered from one site, and appears to document an early stage in Neanderthal evolution.

  1. Sequence stratigraphy and environmental background of the late Pleistocene and Holocene occupation in the Southeast Primor'ye (the Russian Far East) (United States)

    Chlachula, Jiri; Krupyanko, Alexander A.


    The paper presents the results of Quaternary palaeoecology and geoarchaeology studies in the Zerkal'naya Basin, with new insights about sequenced natural shifts during the prehistoric occupation of this marginally explored NE Asian maritime territory. The Basin is part of the continental drainage system and the main physiographic and biotic corridor for peopling of the transitive coastal interior SE Primor'ye Region. The Final Pleistocene and Holocene environmental (biotic and abiotic) proxy records from the Upper/Final Palaeolithic to early historical sites document a dynamic climate change with vegetation cover transformations within riverine and mountain valley ecosystems of the Russian Far East. Most of the archaeological sites located on the low terraces and bedrock promontories along the main river channel and its tributary streams suggest traditional hunter gathered lifestyles based on seasonal salmon-fishing supplemented by pastoral economy. Tundra-forests with larch trees, dwarf birch thickets and polypod ferns from the basal stratigraphic units of the late Last Glacial occupation sites associated with the Upper Palaeolithic micro-blade and bifacial stone tool traditions (14C-dated to 19,000-12,000 cal yrs BP) indicate rather pronounced conditions and much lower MAT comparing today. Following a final Pleistocene cooling event, a major climate warming marked the onset of Holocene accompanied by a regional humidity increase promoting the formation of a mixed broadleaved-coniferous oak-dominant taiga, and culminating in the mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum. The appearance of mosaic parklands ca. 5,000-4,000 cal yrs BP. may be partly attributed to the expansion of the Far Eastern Neolithic cultures practicing forest clearance for pastures and dwellings. A progressing landscape opening indicated by the spread of light-demanding thickets and birch-dominated riverine biotopes with Artemisia suggests a further vegetation cover transformation during the late Neolithic

  2. Steppe lion remains imported by Ice Age spotted hyenas into the Late Pleistocene Perick Caves hyena den in northern Germany (United States)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.


    Upper Pleistocene remains of the Ice Age steppe lion Panthera leo spelaea (Goldfuss, 1810) have been found in the Perick Caves, Sauerland Karst, NW Germany. Bones from many hyenas and their imported prey dating from the Lower to Middle Weichselian have also been recovered from the Perick Cave hyena den. These are commonly cracked or exhibit deep chew marks. The absence of lion cub bones, in contrast to hyena and cave bear cub remains in the Perick Caves, and other caves of northern Germany, excludes the possibility that P. leo spelaea used the cave for raising cubs. Only in the Wilhelms Cave was a single skeleton of a cub found in a hyena den. Evidence of the chewing, nibbling and cracking of lion bones and crania must have resulted from the importation and destruction of lion carcasses (4% of the prey fauna). Similar evidence was preserved at other hyena den caves and open air sites in Germany. The bone material from the Perick and other Central European caves points to antagonistic hyena and lion conflicts, similar to clashes of their modern African relatives.

  3. East-west genetic differentiation in Musk Ducks (Biziura lobata) of Australia suggests late Pleistocene divergence at the Nullarbor Plain (United States)

    Guay, P.-J.; Chesser, R.T.; Mulder, R.A.; Afton, A.D.; Paton, D.C.; McCracken, K.G.


    Musk Ducks (Biziura lobata) are endemic to Australia and occur as two geographically isolated populations separated by the Nullarbor Plain, a vast arid region in southern Australia. We studied genetic variation in Musk Duck populations at coarse (eastern versus western Australia) and fine scales (four sites within eastern Australia). We found significant genetic structure between eastern and western Australia in the mtDNA control region (??ST = 0. 747), one nuclear intron (??ST = 0.193) and eight microsatellite loci (FST = 0.035). In contrast, there was little genetic structure between Kangaroo Island and adjacent mainland regions within eastern Australia. One small population of Musk Ducks in Victoria (Lake Wendouree) differed from both Kangaroo Island and the remainder of mainland eastern Australia, possibly due to genetic drift exacerbated by inbreeding and small population size. The observed low pairwise distance between the eastern and western mtDNA lineages (0.36%) suggests that they diverged near the end of the Pleistocene, a period characterised by frequent shifts between wet and arid conditions in central Australia. Our genetic results corroborate the display call divergence and Mathews' (Austral Avian Record 2:83-107, 1914) subspecies classification, and confirm that eastern and western populations of Musk Duck are currently isolated from each other. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  4. 230Th/234U dates of late Pleistocene corals from Kita- and Minami-Diato Island, Okinawa, Japan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Omura, Akio; Iwata, Hideki; Ota, Yoko; Koba, Motoharu; Kawana, Toshio.


    Alpha spectrometric Th-230/U-234 dating was applied to 50 Pleistocene corals from Kita- and Minami-Daito Islands, both have been well known as the noteworthy representatives of raised atolls. The Th-230/U-234 dates ranged from 113±6 to 133±6 ka (123±1 ka on average) in the autochthonous corals from Kita-, and from 111±5 to 159±10 ka (123±1 ka on average) in those from Minami-Daito Island, intimating that the fringing reefs have been developed during the high sea level stand of the last interglacial maximum. These dates are correlative to the oxygen isotope stage 5e. The upper limit of occurrence of the dated autochthonous corals was 8.1 m in Kita- and 11 m in Minami-Daito Island. Besides, the somewhat younger dates corresponding to OIS-5a or 5c were obtained from some allochthonous corals in a detrital limestone unit in Kita-Daito Island. However, hermatypic corals were alive, forming small scale reefs in shallow sea around Kita-Daito Island. The former shoreline was proved by the presence of raised surf bench at some localities, where the dated autochthonous corals were collected. (K.I.)

  5. Equatorial Pacific peak in biological production regulated by nutrient and upwelling during the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene cooling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Etourneau


    Full Text Available The largest increase in export production in the eastern Pacific of the last 5.3 Myr (million years occurred between 2.2 and 1.6 Myr, a time of major climatic and oceanographic reorganization in the region. Here, we investigate the causes of this event using reconstructions of export production, nutrient supply and oceanic conditions across the Pliocene–Pleistocene in the eastern equatorial Pacific (EEP for the last 3.2 Myr. Our results indicate that the export production peak corresponds to a cold interval marked by high nutrient supply relative to consumption, as revealed by the low bulk sedimentary 15N/14N (δ15N and alkenone-derived sea surface temperature (SST values. This ∼0.6 million year long episode of enhanced delivery of nutrients to the surface of the EEP was predominantly initiated through the upwelling of nutrient-enriched water sourced in high latitudes. In addition, this phenomenon was likely promoted by the regional intensification of upwelling in response to the development of intense Walker and Hadley atmospheric circulations. Increased nutrient consumption in the polar oceans and enhanced denitrification in the equatorial regions restrained nutrient supply and availability and terminated the high export production event.

  6. Possible linkage between supernovae, increased terrestrial lightning, and wildfire activity in the Late Miocene and Early Pleistocene (United States)

    Thomas, B. C.; Feulner, G.; Melott, A. L.; Kirsten, T.; von Bloh, W.


    Radioisotopes from deep-sea deposits show that Earth was affected by nearby supernovae about 2.5 and 8 million years ago. Recent modelling work shows that high-energy particles from these events resulted in greatly enhanced ionization of the troposphere. This could have led to an increase in wildfires via more frequent lightning. Here we show that published data on global fire activity from charcoal records reveal a marked increase in wildfires around the times of the supernova explosions. We use a dynamic global vegetation model to assess the impact of increased lightning frequency on vegetation patterns, finding a patchy global decrease in tree cover. Regionally, vegetation changes are particularly pronounced in western North America, the Mediterranean, Central Asia, Northern Indochina, subtropical South America, Africa and Australia, and notably East Africa, in agreement with empirical evidence for a global shift towards savannas during the Pleistocene. Our results demonstrate that moderately nearby supernovae have the potential to affect life on Earth even if they are too distant to initiate a mass extinction. Finally, we note that the shift from forest to savannah biomes in the East African Rift Valley region has been tentatively linked to hominin evolution in this region.

  7. Two Late Pleistocene climate-driven incision/aggradation rhythms in the middle Dnieper River basin, west-central Russian Plain (United States)

    Panin, Andrei; Adamiec, Grzegorz; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Matlakhova, Ekaterina; Moska, Piotr; Novenko, Elena


    In valleys of the River Seim and its tributaries in the middle Dnieper basin (west-central Russian Plain), two low terraces (T1, 10-16 m, and T0, 5-7 m above the river) and a floodplain (2-4 m) with characteristic large and small palaeochannels exist. A range of field and laboratory techniques was applied and ∼30 new numerical ages (OSL and 14C dates) were obtained to establish a chronology of incision and aggradation events that resulted in the current valley morphology. Two full incision/aggradation rhythms and one additional aggradation phase from the previous rhythm were recognized in the Late Pleistocene - Holocene climate cycle. The following events were detected. (1) Late MIS 5 - early MIS 4: aggradation of Terrace T1 following the deep incision at the end of MIS 6. (2) Late MIS 4 (40-30 ka): incision into Terrace T1 below the present-day river, formation of the main scarp in the bottom of the valley between Terrace T1 and Terrace T0/Floodplain levels. (3) MIS 2: aggradation of Terrace T0, lateral migrations of a shallow braided channel located few meters above the present-day river since ∼25 ka through the LGM. (4) 18-13 ka: incision into Terrace T0 below the modern river. Multiple-thread channels concentrated in a single flow that at some places formed large meanders. In the period 15-13 ka, high floods that rose above the present-day floods left large levees and overbank loams on Terrace T0. (5) Younger Dryas - Holocene transition: aggradation up to the modern channel level, transformation of large Late Glacial to small Holocene meanders. The established incision/aggradation rhythms are believed to be manifested over the Central Russian Plain outside the influence of ice sheets in the north and base level changes in the south. The two-phase deepening of the valley occurred in the last quarter of the last glacial epoch but can not be attributed directly to the glacial-interglacial transition. Both the detected incision events correspond to relatively

  8. Late pliocene-pleistocene expansion of C4 vegetation in semiarid East Asia linked to increased burning : Geology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhou, B.; Shen, C.; Sun, W.; Bird, M.; Ma, W.; Taylor, D.; Liu, W.; Peterse, F.; Yi, W.; Zheng, H.


    Plants using the C4 photosynthetic pathway, commonly tropical and subtropical grasses, increased in abundance in East Asia during the late Cenozoic. Determining the exact timing and likely factors leading to this major vegetation change requires region-specific studies. Here variations in pyrogenic

  9. Preliminary Micropaleontological Investigation of a Preserved, Late Pleistocene Cypress Forest on the Northern Gulf of Mexico Inner Shelf (United States)

    Truong, J. T.; DeLong, K. L.; Bentley, S. J.; Xu, K.; Harley, G. L.; Reese, A.; Gonzalez, S.; Obelcz, J.; Caporaso, A.


    Exposed at the bottom of a trough 13 km offshore Orange Beach, AL on the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) shelf in 18 m water depth are exceptionally preserved in situ bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) stumps. Preserved seeds (T. distichum, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Hibiscus lasiocarpos, Liquidambar styraciflua) discovered in core catcher samples illustrate the exceptional preservation of the site. Woody debris samples have come back radiocarbon dead with an exception to samples located in the upper peat layer with 14C ages from 37,350-41,830 years BP. Optically stimulated luminescence and 14C dates, in combination with GOM eustatic sea level curves, suggest the forest was located 30 m above the paleoshoreline. How the forest remained preserved during subaerial exposure of the continental shelf through the Last Glacial Maximum lowstand until ensuing Holocene sea level transgression remains unknown. The R/V Coastal Profiler collected 7 vibracores from the study site in 2015 and an additional 11 in 2016. A single core (DF1) contains facies identified as the Holocene Mississippi-Alabama-Florida sand sheet, a transitional facies of interbedded sand and mud, and a basal floodplain facies in which the stumps reside. This study seeks to identify the location of the Pleistocene-Holocene unconformity and to assist in stratigraphy of the area. Foraminiferal assemblages found within the transitional facies are of a shallow marine environment that suggests Holocene in age. It is hypothesized that a pulse of sea level rise during Marine Isotope Stages 3-4 caused subsequent rapid aggradation of the paleovalley system allowing for preservation through >30 kyrs of subaerial exposure. One of the ultimate goals of this study is to serve as a guide for identification of other possible sites along the gulf coast.

  10. Taphonomy and palaeoecology of the late Pleistocene to middle Holocene small mammal succession of El Harhoura 2 cave (Rabat-Témara, Morocco). (United States)

    Stoetzel, Emmanuelle; Marion, Lucile; Nespoulet, Roland; El Hajraoui, Mohammed Abdeljalil; Denys, Christiane


    The relationship between local and global climatic variations and the origin and dispersal of Homo sapiens in Africa is complex, and North Africa may have played a major role in these events. In Morocco, very few studies are specifically dedicated to small fossil vertebrates, and neither taphonomic nor palaeoecological studies have been undertaken on these taxa, particularly in archaeological contexts. The late Pleistocene to middle Holocene succession of El Harhoura 2 cave, situated in the region of Témara, yields an exceptionally rich small vertebrate assemblage. We present the results of a first systematic, taphonomic, and palaeoecological study of the small mammals from Levels 1 to 8 of El Harhoura 2. The absence of bone sorting and polishing, as well as the presence of significant traces of digestion indicate that the small mammal bones were accumulated in the cave by predators and that no water transport occurred. Other traces observed on the surface of bones consist mainly of root marks and black traces (micro-organisms or more probably manganese) which affected the majority of the material. The percentage of fragmentation is very high in all stratigraphic levels, and the post-depositional breakage (geologic and anthropogenic phenomena) obscure the original breakage patterns of bones by predators. According to the ecology of the different species present in the levels of El Harhoura 2, and by taking into account possible biases highlighted by the taphonomic analysis, we reconstruct the palaeoenvironmental evolution in the region. For quantitative reconstructions we used two indices: the Taxonomic Habitat Index (THI) and the Gerbillinae/Murinae ratio. Late Pleistocene accumulations were characterised by a succession of humid (Levels 3, 4a, 6, and 8) and arid (Levels 2?, 5, and 7) periods, with more or less open landscapes, ending in an ultimate humid and wooded period during the middle Holocene (Level 1). We discuss particular limits of our results and

  11. Late Pleistocene dune-sourced alluvial fans in coastal settings: Sedimentary facies and related processes (Mallorca, Western Mediterranean) (United States)

    Pomar, F.; del Valle, L.; Fornós, J. J.; Gómez-Pujol, L.


    Aeolian-alluvial sedimentary interaction results in the formation of deposits characterized by typical alluvial sedimentary structures, but is composed of conspicuous amounts of aeolian sediments. The literature on this topic is limited and most works relate more with continental aeolian dunes or fluvial dune interference with fan bodies. Furthermore, there is a lack of examples of aeolian-alluvial sedimentary interference in coastal settings. In the western Mediterranean, there are many Pleistocene alluvial fan deposits built up partly by sediment originating from coastal dunes dismantled by alluvial streams. Very often, these deposits show a continuous sedimentary sequence through which we can derive the contribution and predominance of coastal, alluvial-colluvial and aeolian processes and their controls on landscape formation. This is an outstanding feature within coastal systems since it shows marine sediments reworked and integrated within coastal dune fields by aeolian transport, and the latter built up into alluvial fan bodies. In this sense, aeolian-alluvial interaction is the geomorphic-sedimentary expression of the coexistence and overlapping of alluvial and aeolian environments resulting in deposits sharing sedimentary features from both environments. The aim of this paper is to unravel the contribution of coastal dunes in the construction of alluvial fans bodies and identify the main sedimentary facies that constitute these deposits, as well as their climatic controls. For this reason, Es Caló fan (northern Mallorca) has been selected due to its well-exposed deposits exhibiting the alternation of aeolian, alluvial and colluvial deposits. Sedimentological and stratigraphic analyses based on 33 logs and complementary analyses demonstrate that most of the facies constituting the fan body are made up completely of marine bioclastic sands. These deposits record an alluvial fan sedimentary environment characterized by sediments inputs that do not proceed

  12. Late Pleistocene leopards across Europe - northernmost European German population, highest elevated records in the Swiss Alps, complete skeletons in the Bosnia Herzegowina Dinarids and comparison to the Ice Age cave art (United States)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.


    European leopard sites in Europe demonstrate Early/Middle Pleistocene out of Africa lowland, and Late Pleistocene Asian alpine migrations being driven by climatic changes. Four different European Pleistocene subspecies are known. The final European Late Pleistocene “Ice Age leopard” Panthera pardus spelaea (Bächler, 1936) is validated taxonomically. The skull shows heavy signs of sexual dimorphism with closest cranial characters to the Caucasian Panthera pardus ciscaucasica (Persian leopard). Late Pleistocene leopards were distributed northernmost, up to S-England with the youngest stratigraphic records by skeletons and cave art in the MIS 2/3 (about 32,000-26,000 BP). The oldest leopard painting left by Late Palaeolithics (Aurignacians/Gravettians) in the Chauvet Cave (S-France) allows the reconstruction of the Ice Age leopard fur spot pattern being close to the snow or Caucasian leopards. The last Ice Age glacial leopard habitat was the mountain/alpine boreal forest (not mammoth steppe lowland), where those hunted even larger prey such as alpine game (Ibex, Chamois). Into some lairs, those imported their prey by short-term cave dwelling (e.g. Baumann's Cave, Harz Mountains, Germany). Only Eurasian Ice Age leopards specialized, similar as other Late Pleistocene large felids (steppe lions), on cave bear predation/scavenging partly very deep in caves. In Vjetrenica Cave (Dinarid Mountains, Bosnia Herzegovina), four adult leopards (two males/two females) of the MIS 3 were found about two km deep from the entrance in a cave bear den, near to one cave bear skeleton, that remained articulated in its nest. Leopards died there, partly being trapped by raising water levels of an active ponor stream, but seem to have been killed possibly either, similar as for lions known, in battles with cave bears in several cave bear den sites of Europe (e.g. Baumann's Cave, Wildkirchli Cave, Vjetrenica Cave). At other large cave sites, with overlap of hyena, wolf and dhole dens at

  13. Limestone percussion tools from the late Early Pleistocene sites of Barranco León and Fuente Nueva 3 (Orce, Spain). (United States)

    Barsky, Deborah; Vergès, Josep-María; Sala, Robert; Menéndez, Leticia; Toro-Moyano, Isidro


    In recent years, there is growing interest in the study of percussion scars and breakage patterns on hammerstones, cores and tools from Oldowan African and Eurasian lithic assemblages. Oldowan stone toolkits generally contain abundant small-sized flakes and their corresponding cores, and are characterized by their structural dichotomy of heavy- and light-duty tools. This paper explores the significance of the lesser known heavy-duty tool component, providing data from the late Lower Pleistocene sites of Barranco León and Fuente Nueva 3 (Orce, Spain), dated 1.4-1.2 Myr. Using quantitative and qualitative data from the large-sized limestone industries from these two major sites, we present a new methodology highlighting their morpho-technological features. In the light of the results, we discuss the shortfalls of extant classificatory methods for interpreting the role of percussive technology in early toolkits. This work is rooted in an experimental program designed to reproduce the wide range of percussion marks observed on the limestone artefacts from these two sites. A visual and descriptive reference is provided as an interpretative aid for future comparative research. Further experiments using a variety of materials and gestures are still needed before the elusive traces yield the secrets of the kinds of percussive activities carried out by hominins at these, and other, Oldowan sites. © 2015 The Author(s).

  14. Response of alluvial systems to Late Pleistocene climate changes recorded by environmental magnetism in the Añavieja Basin (Iberian Range, NE Spain)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliva-Urcia, B.; Muñoz, A.; Larrasoaña, J.C.; Luzon, A.; Perez, A.; Gonzalez, A.; Jiang, Z.; Liu, Q.; Roman-Berdi, T.


    Environmental magnetic proxies were analyzed in a relatively monotonous, ~25.3m thick alluvial sedimentary sequence drilled in the Añavieja Basin (NE Spain). Results from the core AÑ2 suggest that the concentrationdependent magnetic parameters mainly reflect variations in the content of detrital magnetite, sourced in the catchment rocks and soils of the basin, via changes in the dynamics of alluvial fans due to temperature changes in the northern hemisphere during the Late Pleistocene. The correspondence between the magnetic proxies and the temperature variations in the North Atlantic region (NGRIP curve) indicates that higher (lower) concentrations and finer (coarser) magnetite grains coincide with warm (cold) periods. We propose that during cold periods, a sparser vegetation cover favored the incoming of higher energy runoff bearing coarser sediments to the basin that are relatively impoverished in magnetite. In contrast, during warm periods, the wider distribution of the vegetation cover associated with the lower runoff energy lead to finer, magnetite-richer sediment input to the basin. Maghemite, presumably of pedogenic origin, appears to be present also in the studied alluvial sediments. Further studies are necessary to unravel its palaeoclimatic significance. (Author)

  15. Millennial-scale climate variations in western Mediterranean during late Pleistocene-early Holocene: multi-proxy analyses from Padul peatbog (southern Iberian Peninsula) (United States)

    Camuera, Jon; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; José Ramos-Román, María; García-Alix, Antonio; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco; Toney, Jaime L.; Anderson, R. Scott; Kaufman, Darrell; Bright, Jordon; Sachse, Dirk


    Padul peatbog, located in southern Iberian Peninsula (western Mediterranean region) is a unique area for palaeoenvironmental studies due to its location, between arid and temperate climates. Previous studies showed that the Padul peatbog contains a continuous record of the last ca. 0.8-1 Ma, so it is an extraordinary site to identify glacial-interglacial phases as well as Heinrich and D-O events, linked to orbital- and suborbital-scale variations. In 2015, a new 42 m long core was taken from this area, providing an excellent sediment record probably for the last ca. 300,000 years. This study is focused on the paleoenvironmental and climatic reconstruction of the late Pleistocene and the early Holocene (ca. from 50,000 to 9,500 cal. yrs BP), using AMS 14C and AAR dating, high-resolution pollen analysis, lithology, continuous XRF-scanning, X-ray diffraction, magnetic susceptibility and organic geochemistry. These different proxies provide information not only about the regional environment change but also about local changes in the conditions of the Padul lake/peatbog due to variations in water temperature, pH or nutrients.

  16. A rhinocerotid-dominated megafauna at the MIS6-5 transition: The late Middle Pleistocene Coc Muoi assemblage, Lang Son province, Vietnam (United States)

    Bacon, Anne-Marie; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; Huong, Nguyen Thi Mai; Westaway, Kira; Tuan, Nguyen Anh; Duringer, Philippe; Zhao, Jian-xin; Ponche, Jean-Luc; Dung, Sam Canh; Nghia, Truong Huu; Minh, Tran Thi; Son, Pham Thanh; Boyon, Marc; Thuy, Nguyen Thi Kim; Blin, Amandine; Demeter, Fabrice


    Little is known about the ecosystems in the north of the Indochinese peninsula at the Middle-Late Pleistocene transition. In this paper, we analyzed the new fauna from Coc Muoi cave, Lang Son province, northeast Vietnam. In comparison with other well-documented faunas from the region, that of Coc Muoi is distinguished by the predominance of rhinoceroses among diverse large-bodied herbivores. The results of the OSL and pIR-IRSL dating of the cave sediments and U-series dating of flowstones indicate a potential age range of 148-117 ka for the fauna (MIS6-5). The analysis of age-at-death distributions of rhinoceroses, wild cattle, sambar deer, and wild pig, does not show any apparent selectivity of age classes. We also focused our study on rhinoceroses, tapirs, and wild cattle by analyzing the prevalence of hypoplastic defects on deciduous and permanent teeth, in an attempt to assess the health status of the taxa during their first years of growth. The health status of large-bodied herbivores (kouprey and rhinoceros) reveals the importance of stressors (biotic and abiotic) in the rainforest environment during a period of marked climatic transition (MIS6-5) in comparison with other MIS5-4 well-documented faunas from the region.

  17. Determining Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene deglaciation of the Baltic Ice Lake through sedimentological core sample analysis of IODP Site M0064 (United States)

    Kelly, A. L.; Passchier, S.


    This study investigates the deglaciation history of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS) within the Baltic Sea's Hanö Bay from the Late Pleistocene to the Holocene using samples from International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Site M0064. The research aims to understand how the speed of deglaciation influences Baltic Ice Lake (BIL) drainage patterns and relative sea level changes on a high-resolution timescale. Glacial history of the SIS has been studied through glacial till analysis, surface exposure dating, and modeling, encompassing its most recent deglaciation 20-14ka BP, and suggests ice retreated from the project site 16.7ka BP. Between 17 and 14ka BP global sea level rose 4 meters per century, accompanied by a dramatic increase in atmospheric carbon. This period of rapid sea level rise and global warming is a valuable analog for understanding the Earth's current and projected climate. This project uses particle size analysis to better understand the late-glacial depositional environment in Hanö Bay, and ICP-OES geochemical analysis for evidence pertaining to changing sediment provenance and bottom water oxygenation in the BIL. Diamicton is present between 47 and 9 mbsf in Hole M0064D. At 8 mbsf, the sediment exhibits a prominent upward transition from well-laminated cm-scale grey to more thinly laminated reddish brown rhythmites. With calculated Al/Ti ratios, we find that there is not much provenance change in the sequence, however we see fluctuations in Mn/Al ratios, implying shifts in sediment color may be chemical, possibly indicating redox changes in the water column during sediment deposition. Although we find that particle size in the varve sequence does not change, this factor may be driving chemical fluctuations in the diamicton. These results increase the understanding of ice retreat, paleocirculation and relative sea level changes in the Baltic Sea at the onset of the last deglaciation.

  18. Are osseous artefacts a window to perishable material culture? Implications of an unusually complex bone tool from the Late Pleistocene of East Timor. (United States)

    O'Connor, S; Robertson, G; Aplin, K P


    We report the discovery of an unusually complex and regionally unique bone artefact in a Late Pleistocene archaeological assemblage (c. 35 ka [thousands of years ago]) from the site of Matja Kuru 2 on the island of Timor, in Wallacea. The artefact is interpreted as the broken butt of a formerly hafted projectile point, and it preserves evidence of a complex hafting mechanism including insertion into a shaped or split shaft, a complex pattern of binding including lateral stabilization of the cordage within a bilateral series of notches, and the application of mastic at several stages in the hafting process. The artefact provides the earliest direct evidence for the use of this combination of hafting technologies in the wider region of Southeast Asia, Wallacea, Melanesia and Australasia, and is morphologically unparallelled in deposits of any age. By contrast, it bears a close morphological resemblance to certain bone artefacts from the Middle Stone Age of Africa and South Asia. Examination of ethnographic projectile technology from the region of Melanesia and Australasia shows that all of the technological elements observed in the Matja Kuru 2 artefact were in use historically in the region, including the unusual feature of bilateral notching to stabilize a hafted point. This artefact challenges the notion that complex bone-working and hafting technologies were a relatively late innovation in this part of the world. Moreover, its regional uniqueness encourages us to abandon the perception of bone artefacts as a discrete class of material culture, and to adopt a new interpretative framework in which they are treated as manifestations of a more general class of artefacts that more typically were produced on perishable raw materials including wood. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Pleistocene Mitochondrial Genomes Suggest a Single Major Dispersal of Non-Africans and a Late Glacial Population Turnover in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Posth, Cosimo; Renaud, Gabriel; Mittnik, Alissa; Drucker, Dorothée G; Rougier, Hélène; Cupillard, Christophe; Valentin, Frédérique; Thevenet, Corinne; Furtwängler, Anja; Wißing, Christoph; Francken, Michael; Malina, Maria; Bolus, Michael; Lari, Martina; Gigli, Elena; Capecchi, Giulia; Crevecoeur, Isabelle; Beauval, Cédric; Flas, Damien; Germonpré, Mietje; van der Plicht, Johannes; Cottiaux, Richard; Gély, Bernard; Ronchitelli, Annamaria; Wehrberger, Kurt; Grigourescu, Dan; Svoboda, Jiří; Semal, Patrick; Caramelli, David; Bocherens, Hervé; Harvati, Katerina; Conard, Nicholas J; Haak, Wolfgang; Powell, Adam; Krause, Johannes


    How modern humans dispersed into Eurasia and Australasia, including the number of separate expansions and their timings, is highly debated [1, 2]. Two categories of models are proposed for the dispersal of non-Africans: (1) single dispersal, i.e., a single major diffusion of modern humans across

  20. Comparison of Geochemical, Grain-Size, and Magnetic Proxies for Rock Flour and Ice- Rafted Debris in the Late Pleistocene Mono Basin, CA (United States)

    Zimmerman, S. H.; Hemming, S. R.; Kent, D. V.


    Advance and retreat of mountain glaciers are important indicators of climate variability, but the most direct proxy record, mapping and dating of moraines, is by nature discontinous. The Sierra Nevada form the western boundary of the Mono Lake basin, and the proximity of the large Pleistocene lake to the glacial canyons of the Sierra presents a rare opportunity to examine glacial variability in a continuous, well-dated lacustrine sequence. We have applied a geochemical proxy for rock flour to the glacial silts of the late Pleistocene Wilson Creek Formation, but because it is time- and sample-intensive, another method is required for a high-resolution record. Previous microscopic examination, thermomagnetic measurements, XRD analysis, and new isothermal remnant magnetization (IRM) acquisition curves show that the magnetic mineralogy is dominated by fine-grained, unaltered magnetite. Bulk measurements show strong susceptibility (mean ~ 16 x 10- 6 m3/kg) and remanent magnetization (mean IRM ~ 10-2 Am2/kg) compared to diluting components (carbonate, smectite, rhyolitic ash). The Wilson Creek type section sediments also contain a coarse lithic fraction, quantified by counting the >2cm clasts in outcrop and the >425 μm fraction in the bulk sediment. Susceptibility, IRM, and ARM (anhysteretic remnant magnetization) are quite similar throughout the type section, with the abundance of coarse lithic fraction correlative to the ratio k/IRM. Because the magnetic fraction of the rock flour is fine-grained magnetite, IRM should capture the changes in concentration of flour through time, and the major features of the (low-resolution) geochemical flour proxy record are identifiable in the IRM record. Flux-correction of the IRM results in a rock flour proxy record with major peaks between 36 and 48 ka, similar to a rock flour record from neighboring Owens Lake. This regional glacial signal contrasts with peaks in coarse lithics between 58 and 68 ka in the Wilson Creek record

  1. Geothermal properties and groundwater flow estimated with a three-dimensional geological model in a late Pleistocene terrace area, central Japan (United States)

    Funabiki, A.; Takemura, T.; Hamamoto, S.; Komatsu, T.


    1. Introduction The ground source heat pump (GSHP) is a highly efficient and renewable energy technology for space heating and cooling, with benefits that include energy conservation and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. One result of the huge Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear disasters is that GSHPs are receiving more attention from the media and they are being introduced by some local governments. Heat generated by underground GSHP installation, however, can pollute the geothermal environment or change groundwater flow patterns . In this study, we estimated possible effects from the use of GSHPs in the Tokyo area with a three-dimensional (3D) geological model. 2. Geological model The Tokyo Metropolitan Area is surrounded by the Late Pleistocene terraces called the Musashino uplands. The terrace surfaces are densely populated residential areas. One of these surfaces, the Shimosueyohi surface, formed along the Tama River during the last deglacial period. The CRE-NUCHS-1 core (Funabiki et al., 2011) was obtained from this surface, and the lithology, heat transfer coefficients, and chemical characteristics of the sediments were analyzed. In this study, we used borehole log data from a 5 km2 area surrounding the CRE-NUCHS-1 core site to create a 3D geological model. In this area, the Pleistocene Kazusa Group is overlain by terrace gravels and a volcanic ash layer called the Kanto Loam. The terrace gravels occur mainly beneath the Kanda, Kitazawa, and Karasuyama rivers , which flow parallel to the Tama River, whereas away from the rivers , the Kanto Loam directly overlies the Kazusa Group sediments. 3. Geothermal disturbance and groundwater flow Using the geological model, we calculated the heat transfer coefficients and groundwater flow velocities in the sediments. Within the thick terrace gravels, which are at relatively shallow depth (8-20 m), heat transfer coefficients were high and groundwater flow was relatively fast. The amount

  2. Late Quaternary environmental and human events at En Gedi, reflected by the geology and archaeology of the Moringa Cave (Dead Sea area, Israel) (United States)

    Lisker, Sorin; Porat, Roi; Davidovich, Uri; Eshel, Hanan; Lauritzen, Stein-Erik; Frumkin, Amos


    The Moringa Cave within Pleistocene sediments in the En Gedi area of the Dead Sea Fault Escarpment contains a sequence of various Pleistocene lacustrine deposits associated with higher-than-today lake levels at the Dead Sea basin. In addition it contains Chalcolithic remains and 5th century BC burials attributed to the Persian period, cemented and covered by Late Holocene travertine flowstone. These deposits represent a chain of Late Pleistocene and Holocene interconnected environmental and human events, echoing broader scale regional and global climate events. A major shift between depositional environments is associated with the rapid fall of Lake Lisan level during the latest Pleistocene. This exposed the sediments, providing for cave formation processes sometime between the latest Pleistocene (ca. 15 ka) and the Middle Holocene (ca. 4500 BC), eventually leading to human use of the cave. The Chalcolithic use of the cave can be related to a relatively moist desert environment, probably related to a shift in the location of the northern boundary of the Saharo-Arabian desert belt. The travertine layer was U-Th dated 2.46 ± 0.10 to 2.10 ± 0.04 ka, in agreement with the archaeological finds from the Persian period. Together with the inner consistency of the dating results, this strongly supports the reliability of the radiometric ages. The 2.46-2.10 ka travertine deposition within the presently dry cave suggests a higher recharge of the Judean Desert aquifer, correlative to a rising Dead Sea towards the end of the 1st millennium BC. This suggests a relatively moist local and regional climate facilitating human habitation of the desert.

  3. Unravelling Late Pleistocene and Holocene landscape dynamics: The Upper Guadalentín Basin, SE Spain 9

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baartman, J.E.M.; Veldkamp, A.; Schoorl, J.M.; Wallinga, J.; Cammeraat, L.H.


    Landscapes in SE Spain have developed in response to tectonics, climate fluctuations and, more recently, human activity. Fluvial and colluvial sediments such as river terraces and slope deposits found in the valleys reflect a complex interplay between landscape forming processes. Investigating these

  4. ­Orbital-scale variations in Indo-Pacific hydroclimate during the mid- to late Pleistocene from Lake Towuti, Indonesia (United States)

    Russell, J. M.; Vogel, H.; Bijaksana, S.; Melles, M.


    The Indo-Pacific region plays a critical role in the Earth's climate system. Changes in local insolation, greenhouse gas concentrations, ice volume, and local sea level are all hypothesized to exert a dominant control on Indo-Pacific hydroclimate, yet existing records from the region are generally short and exhibit fundamental differences in orbital-scale patterns that limit our understanding of the regional climate responses to orbital-scale forcings. In 2015 we conducted an ICDP drilling program on Lake Towuti, located near the equator in central Indonesia, one of the only terrestrial sedimentary archives in the region that continuously spans multiple glacial-interglacial cycles. We recovered over 1,000 meters of core including cores though the entire sediment sequence to bedrock. Previously published organic geochemical reconstructions of vegetation from relatively short, 60 kyr long piston from Lake Towuti exhibit strong drying during the Last Glacial Maximum, indicating that central Indonesian hydroclimate is sensitive to forcing from high-latitude ice-sheets. New, inorganic geochemical and mineralogical reconstructions of lake level also indicate a strong half-precessional climate signal during the last 60 kyr in which lake level highstands occur during austral and boreal summer insolation maxima, suggesting that equatorial rainfall varies in response to remote (likely subtropical) insolation forcing of the Asian monsoons. However, the short length of these records limits our understanding of the regional hydroclimatic response to the full range of global climate boundary conditions experienced during the late Quaternary. This presentation will discuss results from the last 60 kyr and present new geochemical reconstructions from the upper 100 m of core from Lake Towuti, dated using magnetic paleointensity, tephrachronology, and optically-stimulated luminescence to span the last 500 kyr BP.

  5. Spain as an emergency air traffic hub during volcanic air fall events? Evidence of past volcanic ash air fall over Europe during the late Pleistocene (United States)

    Hardiman, Mark; Lane, Christine; Blockley, Simon P. E.; Moreno, Ana; Valero-Garcés, Blas; Ortiz, José E.; Torres, Trino; Lowe, John J.; Menzies, Martin A.


    Past volcanic eruptions often leave visible ash layers in the geological record, for example in marine or lake sedimentary sequences. Recent developments, however, have shown that non-visible volcanic ash layers are also commonly preserved in sedimentary deposits. These augment the record of past volcanic events by demonstrating that past ash dispersals have been more numerous and widely disseminated in Europe than previously appreciated. The dispersal ‘footprints' of some large late Pleistocene European eruptions are examined here in the light of the recent Eyjafjallajökull eruption. For example, the Vedde Ash which was erupted from Iceland around 12 thousand years ago, delivered distal (and non-visible) glass deposits as far south as Switzerland and as far east as the Ural Mountains in Russia, with an overall European distribution remarkably similar to the dominant tracks of the recent Eyjafjallajökull plumes. The Eyjafjallajökull eruption has demonstrated that relatively small amounts of distal volcanic ash in the atmosphere can seriously disrupt aviation activity, with attendant economic and other consequences. It has raised fundamental questions about the likelihood of larger or more prolonged volcanic activity in the near future, and the possibility of even more serious consequences than those experienced recently. Given that there are several other volcanic centres that could cause such disruption in Europe (e.g. Campania and other volcanic centres in Italy; Aegean volcanoes), a key question is whether there are parts of Europe less prone to ash plumes and which could therefore operate as emergency air traffic hubs during times of ash dispersal. Although not generated to answer this question, the recent geological record might provide a basis for seeking the answer. For example, four palaeo-records covering the time frame of 8 - 40 Ka BP that are geographically distributed across Spain have been examined for non-visible distal ash content. All four have

  6. Recurrence of water bodies in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert - New insights into the Late Pleistocene paleoclimate history of Northern Chile (United States)

    Diederich, J. L.; Wennrich, V.; Fernández Galego, E.; Ritter, B.; Brill, D.; Niemann, K.; Rolf, C.; Melles, M.


    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is regarded as the driest desert on Earth. Although still controversially discussed, overall arid to hyperarid conditions in the Atacama are thought to have persisted at least since the early Miocene, but were frequently punctuated by pluvial phases. The knowledge of past changes in humidity is strongly hampered by the fact that sediment records from the central Atacama Desert, which enable longer-scale precipitation reconstructions, are rare and mostly restricted to the Miocene/Pliocene or the late Pleistocene <50 kyrs. In this study, we focus on a sediment record from the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, derived from a tectonically blocked clay pan in the Coastal Cordillera (20°04'33.64"S, 69°55'01.75"W). This clay pan `Huara' has been initially investigated by a geophysical survey in spring 2015, followed by drilling of a short core (HU-III) covering the uppermost 4 m of sediment. Initial results of the ground penetrating radar (GPR) and horizontal to vertical (H/V) spectral ratio measurements indicate well-stratified sediment bodies in the basin with a maximum sediment infill of 30 ± 4 m. The chronology of core HU-III was established by a combination of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and paleomagnetic dating. The sedimentological and geochemical data of core HU-III as well as it's sediment geophysical properties indicate the primary accumulation of fine-grained sediments over the past ca. 50 kyrs, interpreted to be deposited under arid conditions with only sporadic precipitation. Intercalated coarser horizons indicate several periods of semiarid climate conditions, causing multiple phases of local alluvial deposition from the interior catchment area into the clay pan. The results are in agreement with a cosmogenic nuclide study from an adjacent meander system, indicating that the whole sediment sequence of the Huara clay pan covers the regional climate history of the past 500 - 700 kyrs.

  7. The genetic structure of the mountain forest butterfly Erebia euryale unravels the late Pleistocene and postglacial history of the mountain coniferous forest biome in Europe. (United States)

    Schmitt, Thomas; Haubrich, Karola


    The distribution of the mountain coniferous forest biome in Europe throughout time is not sufficiently understood. One character species of this habitat type is the large ringlet, Erebia euryale well reflecting the extension of this biome today, and the genetic differentiation of this species among and within mountain systems may unravel the late Pleistocene history of this habitat type. We therefore analysed the allozyme pattern of 381 E. euryale individuals from 11 populations in four different European mountain systems (Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians, Rila). All loci analysed were polymorphic. The mean F(ST) over all samples was high (20%). Furthermore, the mean genetic distance among samples was quite high (0.049). We found four different groups well supported by cluster analyses, bootstraps and hierarchical variance analyses: Pyrenees, western Alps, eastern Alps and southeastern Europe (Carpathians and Rila). The genetic diversity of the populations was highest in the southeastern European group and stepwise decreased westwards. Interestingly, the populations from Bulgaria and Romania were almost identical; therefore, we assume that they were not separated by the Danube Valley, at least during the last ice age. On the contrary, the differentiation among the three western Alps populations was considerable. For all these reasons, we assume that (i) the most important refugial area for the coniferous mountain forest biome in Europe has been located in southeastern Europe including at least parts of the Carpathians and the Bulgarian mountains; (ii) important refugial areas for this biome existed at the southeastern edge of the Alps; (iii) fragments of this habitat types survived along the southwestern Alps, but in a more scattered distribution; and (iv) relatively small relicts have persisted somewhere at the foothills of the Pyrenees.

  8. Record of late Pleistocene glaciation and deglaciation in the southern Cascade Range. I. Petrological evidence from lacustrine sediment in Upper Klamath Lake, southern Oregon (United States)

    Reynolds, R.L.; Rosenbaum, J.G.; Rapp, J.; Kerwin, M.W.; Bradbury, J.P.; Colman, S.; Adam, D.


    Petrological and textural properties of lacustrine sediments from Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, reflect changing input volumes of glacial flour and thus reveal a detailed glacial history for the southern Cascade Range between about 37 and 15 ka. Magnetic properties vary as a result of mixing different amounts of the highly magnetic, glacially generated detritus with less magnetic, more weathered detritus derived from unglaciated parts of the large catchment. Evidence that the magnetic properties record glacial flour input is based mainly on the strong correlation between bulk sediment particle size and parameters that measure the magnetite content and magnetic mineral freshness. High magnetization corresponds to relatively fine particle size and lower magnetization to coarser particle size. This relation is not found in the Buck Lake core in a nearby, unglaciated catchment. Angular silt-sized volcanic rock fragments containing unaltered magnetite dominate the magnetic fraction in the late Pleistocene sediments but are absent in younger, low magnetization sediments. The finer grained, highly magnetic sediments contain high proportions of planktic diatoms indicative of cold, oligotrophic limnic conditions. Sediment with lower magnetite content contains populations of diatoms indicative of warmer, eutrophic limnic conditions. During the latter part of oxygen isotope stage 3 (about 37-25 ka), the magnetic properties record millennial-scale variations in glacial-flour content. The input of glacial flour was uniformly high during the Last Glacial Maximum, between about 21 and 16 ka. At about 16 ka, magnetite input, both absolute and relative to hematite, decreased abruptly, reflecting a rapid decline in glacially derived detritus. The decrease in magnetite transport into the lake preceded declines in pollen from both grass and sagebrush. A more gradual decrease in heavy mineral content over this interval records sediment starvation with the growth of marshes at the margins

  9. Vegetation dynamics during the late Pleistocene in the Barreirinhas region, Maranhão State, northeastern Brazil, based on carbon isotopes in soil organic matter (United States)

    Pessenda, Luiz Carlos Ruiz; Ribeiro, Adauto de Souza; Gouveia, Susy Eli Marques; Aravena, Ramon; Boulet, Rene; Bendassolli, José Albertino


    The study place is in the Barreirinhas region, Maranhão State, northeastern Brazil. A vegetation transect of 78 km was studied among four vegetation types: Restinga (coastal vegetation), Cerrado (woody savanna), Cerradão (dense woody savanna), and Forest, as well as three forested sites around Lagoa do Caçó, located approximately 10 km of the transect. Soil profiles in this transect were sampled for δ13C analysis, as well as buried charcoal fragments were used for 14C dating. The data interpretation indicated that approximately between 15,000 and ˜9000 14C yr B.P., arboreal vegetation prevailed in the whole transect, probably due to the presence of a humid climate. Approximately between ˜9000 and 4000-3000 14C yr B.P., there was the expansion of the savanna, probably related to the presence of drier climate. From ˜4000-3000 14C yr B.P. to the present, the results indicated an increase in the arboreal density in the area, due to the return to a more humid and probably similar climate to the present. The presence of buried charcoal fragments in several soil depths suggested the occurrence of palaeofires during the Holocene. The vegetation dynamic inferred in this study for northeastern Brazil is in agreement with the results obtained in areas of Amazon region, based on pollen analysis of lake sediments and carbon isotope analysis of soil organic matter (SOM), implying than similar climatic conditions have affected these areas during the late Pleistocene until the present.

  10. Early Pleistocene human hand phalanx from the Sima del Elefante (TE) cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain). (United States)

    Lorenzo, Carlos; Pablos, Adrián; Carretero, José Miguel; Huguet, Rosa; Valverdú, Josep; Martinón-Torres, María; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Carbonell, Eudald; Bermúdez de Castro, José María


    In this study, a new Early Pleistocene proximal hand phalanx (ATE9-2) from the Sima del Elefante cave site (TE - Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain), ascribed to Homo sp., is presented and comparatively described in the context of the evolution of the genus Homo. The ATE9-2 specimen is especially important because of the paucity of hand bones in the human fossil record during the Early Pleistocene. The morphological and metrical analyses of the phalanx ATE9-2 indicate that there are no essential differences between it and comparator fossil specimens for the genus Homo after 1.3 Ma (millions of years ago). Similar to Sima de los Huesos and Neandertal specimens, ATE9-2 is a robust proximal hand phalanx, probably reflecting greater overall body robusticity in these populations or a higher gracility in modern humans. The age of level TE9 from Sima del Elefante and morphological and metrical studies of ATE9-2 suggest that the morphology of the proximal hand phalanges and, thus, the morphology of the hand could have remained stable over the last 1.2-1.3 Ma. Taking into account the evidence recently provided by a metacarpal from Kaitio (Kenya) from around 1.42 Ma, we argue that modern hand morphology is present in the genus Homo subsequent to Homo habilis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Early Pleistocene archaeological occurrences at the Feiliang site, and the archaeology of human origins in the Nihewan Basin, North China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuwen Pei

    Full Text Available The Early Pleistocene archaeological evidence from the fluvio-lacustrine sequence of the Nihewan Basin (North China offers an excellent opportunity to explore early human evolution and behavior in a temperate setting in East Asia, following the earliest 'Out of Africa'. Here we present the first comprehensive study of the Feiliang (FL site, with emphasis on the archaeological sequence, site integrity, and stone artifact assemblages. Magnetostratigraphic dating results show that early humans occupied the site ca. 1.2 Ma. Archaeological deposits were buried rapidly in primary context within shallow lake margin deposits, with only minor post-depositional disturbance from relatively low energy hydraulic forces. The FL lithic assemblage is characterized by a core and flake, Oldowan-like or Mode 1 technology, with a low degree of standardization, expedient knapping techniques, and casually retouched flakes. The bone assemblage suggests that hominin occupation of the FL site was in an open habitat of temperate grassland with areas of steppe and water. The main features of the FL assemblage are discussed in the context of the early Pleistocene archaeology of Nihewan, for which an assessment of current and future research is also presented.

  12. Human hyoid bones from the middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). (United States)

    Martínez, I; Arsuaga, J L; Quam, R; Carretero, J M; Gracia, A; Rodríguez, L


    This study describes and compares two hyoid bones from the middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain). The Atapuerca SH hyoids are humanlike in both their morphology and dimensions, and they clearly differ from the hyoid bones of chimpanzees and Australopithecus afarensis. Their comparison with the Neandertal specimens Kebara 2 and SDR-034 makes it possible to begin to approach the question of temporal variation and sexual dimorphism in this bone in fossil humans. The results presented here show that the degree of metric and anatomical variation in the fossil sample was similar in magnitude and kind to living humans. Modern hyoid morphology was present by at least 530 kya and appears to represent a shared derived feature of the modern human and Neandertal evolutionary lineages inherited from their last common ancestor.

  13. Fault Slip Partitioning in the Eastern California Shear Zone-Walker Lane Belt: Pliocene to Late Pleistocene Contraction Across the Mina Deflection (United States)

    Lee, J.; Stockli, D.; Gosse, J.


    Two different mechanisms have been proposed for fault slip transfer between the subparallel NW-striking dextral- slip faults that dominant the Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ)-Walker Lane Belt (WLB). In the northern WLB, domains of sinistral-slip along NE-striking faults and clockwise block rotation within a zone of distributed deformation accommodated NW-dextral shear. A somewhat modified version of this mechanism was also proposed for the Mina deflection, southern WLB, whereby NE-striking sinistral faults formed as conjugate faults to the primary zone of NW-dextral shear; clockwise rotation of the blocks bounding the sinistral faults accommodated dextral slip. In contrast, in the northern ECSZ and Mina deflection, domains of NE-striking pure dip-slip normal faults, bounded by NW-striking dextral-slip faults, exhibited no rotation; the proposed mechanism of slip transfer was one of right-stepping, high angle normal faults in which the magnitude of extension was proportional to the amount of strike-slip motion transferred. New geologic mapping, tectonic geomorphologic, and geochronologic data from the Queen Valley area, southern Mina deflection constrain Pliocene to late Quaternary fault geometries, slip orientations, slip magnitudes, and slip rates that bear on the mechanism of fault slip transfer from the relatively narrow northern ECSZ to the broad deformation zone that defines the Mina deflection. Four different fault types and orientations cut across the Queen Valley area: (1) The NE-striking normal-slip Queen Valley fault; (2) NE-striking sinistral faults; (3) the NW-striking dextral Coyote Springs fault, which merges into (4) a set of EW-striking thrust faults. (U-Th)/He apatite and cosmogenic radionuclide data, combined with magnitude of fault offset measurements, indicate a Pliocene to late Pleistocene horizontal extension rate of 0.2-0.3 mm/yr across the Queen Valley fault. Our results, combined with published slip rates for the dextral White Mountain

  14. Transitional changes in microfossil assemblages in the Japan Sea from the Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene related to global climatic and local tectonic events (United States)

    Itaki, Takuya


    Many micropaleontological studies based on data from on-land sections, oil wells, and deep-sea drilling cores have provided important information about environmental changes in the Japan Sea that are related to the global climate and the local tectonics of the Japanese Islands. Here, major changes in the microfossil assemblages during the Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene are reviewed. Late Pliocene (3.5-2.7 Ma) surface-water assemblages were characterized mainly by cold-temperate planktonic flora and fauna (nannofossils, diatoms, radiolarians, and planktonic foraminifera), suggesting that nutrient-rich North Pacific surface waters entered the Japan Sea via northern straits. The common occurrence of Pacific-type deep-water radiolarians during this period also suggests that deep water from the North Pacific entered the Japan Sea via the northern straits, indicating a sill depth >500 m. A weak warm-water influence is recognized along the Japanese coast, suggesting a small inflow of warm water via a southern strait. Nannofossil and sublittoral ostracod assemblages record an abrupt cooling event at 2.75 Ma that correlates with the onset of the Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Subsequently, cold intermediate- and deep-water assemblages of ostracods and radiolarians increased in abundance, suggesting active ventilation and the formation of the Japan Sea Proper Water, associated with a strengthened winter monsoon. Pacific-type deep-water radiolarians also disappeared around 2.75 Ma, which is attributed to the intermittent occurrence of deep anoxic environments and limited migration from the North Pacific, resulting from the near-closure or shallowing of the northern strait by a eustatic fall in sea level and tectonic uplift of northeastern Japan. A notable reduction in primary productivity from 2.3 to 1.3 Ma also suggests that the nutrient supply from the North Pacific was restricted by the near-closure of the northern strait. An increase in the abundance of subtropical

  15. Palaeovegetation dynamics of an ecotone forest-savanna in southern Brazilian Amazon during the late Pleistocene and Holocene based on carbon isotopes of soil organic matter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pessenda, L.C.R.; Gouveia, S.E.M.; Freitas, H.A. de; Bendassoli, J.A.; Gomes, B.M.; Aravena, R.; Ribeiro, A.S.; Boulet, R.


    This study was carried out in the Brazilian southern Amazon region (Rondonia state and Humaita, southern Amazon state). Carbon isotope data on soil organic matter have been collected along an ecosystem transect of about 750 km that includes a savanna, a wooded savanna (cerrado), a tropical semideciduous forest (cerradao), a forest transition type and a tropical forest. The main objective is to evaluate the expansion-regression dynamics of these vegetation units in relation to climate changes during the Late Pleistocene (Late Glacial) and Holocene. Large ranges in δ 13 values were observed in soil organic matter collected from profiles in the savanna (-27 to -14 per mille and forest regions (-26 to -19 per mille) reflecting changing distribution of 13 C-depleted C 3 forest and 13 C enriched C 4 savanna vegetation in response to climate change. 14 C data of humin fraction and buried charcoal indicate that the organic matter in these soils is at least 17,000 years BP at 300-cm depth. In this period, the entire ecosystem transect are characterized by δ 13 C soil depth profiles, generated typically by C 3 plants (forest), inferring a humid climate in the southern Amazon region after the end of last glaciation. 13 C data also indicate that C 4 plants (grasses) have influenced significantly the vegetation at the transitional forest and the cerrado sites of southern Rondonia state and two distinct points in the forest ecosystem in the southern Amazon state. These typical C 4 type isotopic signatures probably reflect a drier climate during about 9000-8000 yr BP to 3000 yr BP and the savanna and wooded savanna expansion in distinct points of the transect. The 13 C records representing the 3000 yr show an expansion of the forest, due to a climatic improvement, in areas previously occupied by savanna vegetation. This study adds to the mounting evidence that extensive forested areas existed in the Amazon during the last glacial and that savanna vegetation expanded in response

  16. An Enduring Shell Artefact Tradition from Timor-Leste: Oliva Bead Production from the Pleistocene to Late Holocene at Jerimalai, Lene Hara, and Matja Kuru 1 and 2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle C Langley

    Full Text Available In this paper, we describe 485 Oliva spp. shell beads recovered from four archaeological cave sites Jerimalai, Lene Hara, Matja Kuru 1, and Matja Kuru 2, located in Timor-Leste, Island Southeast Asia. While Pleistocene-aged examples of modified marine shells used for personal ornamentation are common in African and Eurasian assemblages, they are exceedingly rare in Southeast Asia, leading some researchers to suggest that these Modern Human societies were less complex than those found further west. In Timor-Leste, the lowest Oliva bead to be recovered was directly dated to ca. 37,000 cal. BP, making it the oldest piece of personal ornamentation in Southeast Asia. Morphometric, taphonomic, use wear, and residue analyses of these beads alongside modern reference specimens, and experimentally made examples indicate that the Oliva shells were modified to be strung consecutively (as in a necklace, and while their mode of production changed remarkably little over the thousands of years they were utilised, an increase in their deposition around 6,000 cal. BP suggests that there was a change in their use coinciding with sea-level stabilisation. These tiny beads demonstrate that early Island Southeast Asian societies produced the same kinds of symbolic material culture we have come to expect from the more intensively studied African/Eurasian region, and that limited sampling and poor recovery methods have biased our perspectives of this region.

  17. Reconstruction of Equilibrium Line Altitudes of Nevado Coropuna Glaciers (Southern Peru) from the Late Pleistocene to the present (United States)

    Úbeda, J.; Palacios, D.; Vázquez, L.


    The Nevado Coropuna (15°31'S-72°39'W) is a volcanic complex located 200 km NE of the city of Arequipa, in the Southern Peruvian Andes. The summit area in the complex is covered with a glacier system formed by dozens of branches descending in all directions totaling many km2 in surface area. The study of the volcanic complex and its glaciers is of great interest because it is the main water reserve for tens of thousands of people, because of the risk scenario created by the presence of ice masses on a volcano with relatively recent activity, and because it constitutes an excellent geoindicator of the effects of climate change on ice masses in the western mountain chain of the Central Andes. This research aims to analyze glacier evolution using as geoindicators variations in glacier surface and equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs), defining deglaciation rates based on those variations and preparing forecasts with them on when the ice masses might disappear if the same rates were to occur in the future. In addition, a first estimation is attempted of the chronologies of the last phase of volcanic activity and the last phase of maximum glacier advance that can be attributed to the Late Glacial or Last Glacial Maximum periods. To achieve these aims, digital topography with 50m contour interval, two orthophotos of the central section of the Coropuna complex (15-6-1955 and 21-10-1986), an ASTER satellite image (12-11-2007) and geomorphological mapping of the volcanic complex created in a previous phase of the research (Ubeda, 2007) were integrated into a Geographical Information System (GIS). The GIS was used to determine the global extent of the glacier system, and in more detail, that of two groups (NE and SE) in 1955, 1986 and 2007. Using the geomorphological cartography as a basis, the extent of the glaciers during their last advance in the Little Ice Age (LIA) and their last maximum advance were calculated. Next, surface areas for all phases were calculated using

  18. Intrapopulational body size variation and cranial capacity variation in Middle Pleistocene humans: the Sima de los Huesos sample (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). (United States)

    Lorenzo, C; Carretero, J M; Arsuaga, J L; Gracia, A; Martínez, I


    A sexual dimorphism more marked than in living humans has been claimed for European Middle Pleistocene humans, Neandertals and prehistoric modern humans. In this paper, body size and cranial capacity variation are studied in the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene sample. This is the largest sample of non-modern humans found to date from one single site, and with all skeletal elements represented. Since the techniques available to estimate the degree of sexual dimorphism in small palaeontological samples are all unsatisfactory, we have used the bootstraping method to asses the magnitude of the variation in the Sima de los Huesos sample compared to modern human intrapopulational variation. We analyze size variation without attempting to sex the specimens a priori. Anatomical regions investigated are scapular glenoid fossa; acetabulum; humeral proximal and distal epiphyses; ulnar proximal epiphysis; radial neck; proximal femur; humeral, femoral, ulnar and tibial shaft; lumbosacral joint; patella; calcaneum; and talar trochlea. In the Sima de los Huesos sample only the humeral midshaft perimeter shows an unusual high variation (only when it is expressed by the maximum ratio, not by the coefficient of variation). In spite of that the cranial capacity range at Sima de los Huesos almost spans the rest of the European and African Middle Pleistocene range. The maximum ratio is in the central part of the distribution of modern human samples. Thus, the hypothesis of a greater sexual dimorphism in Middle Pleistocene populations than in modern populations is not supported by either cranial or postcranial evidence from Sima de los Huesos.

  19. Disappearance of the last lions and hyenas of Europe in the Late Quaternary - a chain reaction of large mammal prey migration, extinction and human antagonism (United States)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.


    In the Eemian to Early/Middle Weichselian (Late Pleistocene), when the Scandinavian and Alpine Glaciers were still small, and northern Germany under mammoth steppe to taiga palaoenvironment conditions, Late Quaternary steppe lions were well distributed in northern to central Germany, whereas generally all over Central Europe bones and rarely articulated skeletons were found less at open air but mainly at cave sites (Diedrich 2007a, 2008a-b, 2009a-b, 2010a-c, k, in review a-b; Diedrich and Rathgeber in review). A similar distribution, but more dense, is reported for the Late Quaternary Ice Age spotted hyenas (Diedrich 2005, 2006, 2007b-c, 2008a, c, 2010f-j, in review c-d, Diedrich and Žák 2006). The last lions of northern Europe were thought to have reached into the final Magdalénan (cf. Musil 1980). This can be not concluded with a restudy of the bone material from the Late Magdalenian (V-VI) Teufelsbrücke stone arch site near Saalfeld (Thuringia, Central Germany) and many other Magdalenian stations (open air and caves) in northern to central Germany (Münsterland Bay, Sauerland Karst, Harz Mountain Karst, Thuringian Karst). None of those sites yield remains of final Upper Pleistocene spotted hyenas or steppe lion bones anymore, nor in the few preserved Late Magdalenian mobile art can those be recognized in those regions. The last lion remains seem to reach into the Aurignacian or possibly into the Early Gravettian (early Late Weichselian) documented especially at the cave bear den, hyena den and overlapping Neandertalian to Modern human camp site Balve Cave (Sauerland Karst, cf. archaeology in Günther 1964) where still a mammoth fauna is documented for that time (Diedrich 2010a). The last and by archaeological layers dated hyena remains were also found in the Balve Cave and are from the Late Middle Palaeolithic cave site reaching a maximum Aurignacian age documenting an overlapping of hyena den and human camp site use (Diedrich 2010a, b). In northern Germany

  20. Middle Pleistocene lower back and pelvis from an aged human individual from the Sima de los Huesos site, Spain. (United States)

    Bonmatí, Alejandro; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Carretero, José Miguel; Gracia, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Bérmudez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald


    We report a nearly complete lumbar spine from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) that is assigned to the previously published SH male Pelvis 1 [Arsuaga JL, et al. (1999). Nature 399: 255-258]. The "SH Pelvis 1 individual" is a unique nearly complete lumbo-pelvic complex from the human Middle Pleistocene fossil record, and offers a rare glimpse into the anatomy and past lifeways of Homo heidelbergensis. A revised reconstruction of Pelvis 1, together with the current fossil evidence, confirms our previous hypothesis that the morphology of this pelvis represents the primitive pattern within the genus Homo. Here we argue that this primitive pattern is also characterized by sexual dimorphism in the pelvic canal shape, implying complicated deliveries. In addition, this individual shows signs of lumbar kyphotic deformity, spondylolisthesis, and Baastrup disease. This suite of lesions would have postural consequences and was most likely painful. As a result, the individual's daily physical activities would have been restricted to some extent. Reexamination of the age-at-death agrees with this individual being over 45 y old, relying on the modern human pattern of changes of the articular surfaces of the os coxae. The presence of degenerative pathological lesions and the advanced age-at-death of this individual make it the most ancient postcranial evidence of an aged individual in the human fossil record. Additional nonpathological SH lumbo-pelvic remains are consistent with previous hypotheses, suggesting a less-pronounced sagittal spinal curvature in Neandertals compared with Homo sapiens.

  1. The association between mid-facial morphology and climate in northeast Europe differs from that in north Asia: Implications for understanding the morphology of Late Pleistocene Homo sapiens. (United States)

    Evteev, Andrej A; Movsesian, Alla A; Grosheva, Alexandra N


    The climate of northeastern Europe is likely to resemble in many ways Late Pleistocene periglacial conditions in Europe, but there have been relatively few studies exploring the association between climate and morphology in the mid-face of modern northeastern European populations. To fill this gap, we sampled 540 male skulls from 22 European and Near Eastern groups, including 314 skulls from 11 populations from northeastern Europe, to test for possible climate-morphology association at the continental scale. Our results found a moderate and highly significant association (R = 0.48, p = 0.0013, Mantel test) between sets of 23 mid-facial measurements and eight climatic variables. A partial least squares analysis revealed this association to be mostly driven by differences between groups from northeastern Europe and populations from the Mediterranean and the Caucasus. Matrices of between-group genetic distances based on Y-chromosome and mtDNA markers, as well as cranial non-metric and geographic distance matrices, were used to control for the possible influence of shared population history. Irrespective of which measure of neutral between-population distances is taken into account, the association between cranial variables and climate remains significant. The pattern of association between climate and morphology of the mid-face in western Eurasia was then compared to that in east and north Asia. Although differences between the two were found, there were also similarities that support existing functional interpretations of morphology for the bony parts of the upper airways. Last, in a preliminary analysis using a reduced set of measurements, mid-facial morphology of several Upper Paleolithic European Homo sapiens specimens was found to be more similar to groups from northern and northeastern Europe than to southern European populations. Thus, the population of northeastern Europe rather than east and north Asian groups should be used as a model when studying

  2. Rapid anthropogenic response to short-term aeolian-fluvial palaeoenvironmental changes during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the northern Negev Desert, Israel (United States)

    Roskin, Joel; Katra, Itzhak; Agha, Nuha; Goring-Morris, A. Nigel; Porat, Naomi; Barzilai, Omry


    transient ‘window' of improved local aeolian-fluvial palaeoenvironmental conditions during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition, but don't necessarily point to a wetter or drier palaeoclimate.

  3. The temporal bones from Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). A phylogenetic approach. (United States)

    Martínez, I; Arsuaga, J L


    Three well-preserved crania and 22 temporal bones were recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site up to and including the 1994 field season. This is the largest sample of hominid temporal bones known from a single Middle Pleistocene site and it offers the chance to characterize the temporal bone morphology of an European Middle Pleistocene population and to study the phylogenetic relationships of the SH sample with other Upper and Middle Pleistocene hominids. We have carried out a cladistic analysis based on nine traits commonly used in phylogenetic analysis of Middle and Late Pleistocene hominids: shape of the temporal squama superior border, articular eminence morphology, contribution of the sphenoid bone to the median glenoid wall, postglenoid process projection, tympanic plate orientation, presence of the styloid process, mastoid process projection, digastric groove morphology and anterior mastoid tubercle. We have found two autapomorphies on the Home erectus temporal bone: strong reduction of the postglenoid process and absence of the styloid process. Modern humans, Neandertals and the Middle Pleistocene fossils from Europe and Africa constitute a clade characterized by a convex superior border of the temporal squama. The European Middle Pleistocene fossils from Sima de los Huesos, Petralona, Steinheim, Bilzingsleben and Castel di Guido share a Neandertal apomorphy: a relatively flat articular eminence. The fossils from Ehringsdorf, La Chaise Suardi and Biache-Saint-Vaast also display another Neandertal derived trait: an anteriorly obliterated digastric groove. Modern humans and the African Middle Pleistocene fossils share a synapomorphy: a sagittally orientated tympanic plate.

  4. Discussion of "Fluvial system response to late Pleistocene-Holocene sea-level change on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California" (Schumann et al., 2016. Geomorphology, 268: 322-340) (United States)

    Pinter, Nicholas; Hardiman, Mark; Scott, Andrew C.; Anderson, R. Scott


    Schumann et al. (2016) presented a field assessment of late Pleistocene to Holocene fluvial sediments preserved in the valleys of Santa Rosa Island, California. This is a rigorous study, based on stratigraphic descriptions of 54 sections and numerous radiocarbon ages. The paper makes important contributions that we would like to highlight, but other parts of the paper rely upon overly simplistic interpretations that lead to misleading conclusions. In one case, a conclusion of the Schumann et al. paper has important management implications for Santa Rosa Island and similar locations, compelling us to discuss and qualify this conclusion.

  5. Recycling of Badger/Fox Burrows in Late Pleistocene Loess by Hyenas at the Den Site Bad Wildungen-Biedensteg (NW, Germany): Woolly Rhinoceros Killers and Scavengers in a Mammoth Steppe Environment of Europe


    Diedrich, Cajus


    The Late Pleistocene (MIS 5c-d) Ice Age spotted hyena open air den and bone accumulation site Bad Wildungen-Biedensteg (Hesse, NW, Germany) represents the first open air loess fox/badger den site in Europe, which must have been recycled by Crocuta crocuta spelaea (Goldfuss, 1823) as a birthing den. Badger and fox remains, plus remains of their prey (mainly hare), have been found within the loess. Hyena remains from that site include parts of cub skeletons which represent 10% of the megafauna ...

  6. The Late Pleistocene-Holocene community development in Central and SE-Europe in direct fossil record: scope of the approach, common patterns and inter-regional differences. (United States)

    Horacek, Ivan; Lozek, Vojen


    The information provided by modern instrumental approaches (molecular phylogeography, ancient DNA analyses, large scale radiocarbon datings etc.) refined the knowledge on Late Quaternary faunal development and range history of particular taxa in essential way. Nevertheless, the direct fossil record remains still an essential substrate in study of that topics, and to reveal all the information, that it may provide, and integrate it with the outputs of the other approaches presents one of the essential aim of the present meeting. Unfortunately, the immediate use of fossil record for the paleoecologic and paleobiogeographic inferences is often limited by its fragmentarity (both in temporal and spatial respects), taphonomic influences and/or locally specific post-sedimentary effects which all may bias it in a considerable degree. Hence, each particular record is to be carefully reexamined in respect to all factor which may bias it - unfortunately, often it is not too easy to respond that task, particularly when the record is retrived from secondary sources. It should also be remembered that the records representing narrow time slices without a robust lithostratigraphic context do not provide any information on the historical and contextual setting of the respective faunal situation. Such information that is essential for reconstructions of paleobiogeography of community development and similar locally-sensitive phenomena can only be retrived from the continuous sedimentary series which establish the sequence of particular faunal events by direct superposition. A sufficiently dense network of such series provides than a possibility of direct inter-regional comparisons and a high resolution information on the paleobiogeography of the Late Pleistocene-Holocene rearrangements of mammalian communities, local variation in history of particular species and its community context. We illustrate productivity of such approach on with aid of the fossil record obtained from

  7. The presence of Ursus ex gr. minimus-thibetanus in the late villányian and its position among the Pliocene and Pleistocene black bears in Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wagner, Jan; Čermák, Stanislav; Horáček, I.

    -, č. 4 (2011), s. 39-58 ISSN 1771-1150 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/0184 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Black bear * MN17 * Ursus aff. thibetanus * Villány 3 * Central Europe - Hungary * Ursus * Pleistocene * Pliocene Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  8. Geochemical characterization of the middle and late Pleistocene alluvial fan-dominated infill of the northern part of the Weihe Basin, Central China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rits, Daniël S.; Beets, Christiaan J.; Prins, Maarten A.; van Balen, Ronald T.; Troelstra, Simon R.; Luo, Chao; Wang, B.; Li, Xiaoqiang; Zhou, Jie; Zheng, Hongbo


    Major reorganizations in climate and tectonic regime occurred in East Asia during the Pleistocene, resulting in large-scale environmental changes. In this paper a detailed geochemical and mineralogical record of these changes is presented from a distal alluvial fan sedimentary sequence in the

  9. Pleistocene Homo sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia. (United States)

    White, Tim D; Asfaw, Berhane; DeGusta, David; Gilbert, Henry; Richards, Gary D; Suwa, Gen; Howell, F Clark


    The origin of anatomically modern Homo sapiens and the fate of Neanderthals have been fundamental questions in human evolutionary studies for over a century. A key barrier to the resolution of these questions has been the lack of substantial and accurately dated African hominid fossils from between 100,000 and 300,000 years ago. Here we describe fossilized hominid crania from Herto, Middle Awash, Ethiopia, that fill this gap and provide crucial evidence on the location, timing and contextual circumstances of the emergence of Homo sapiens. Radioisotopically dated to between 160,000 and 154,000 years ago, these new fossils predate classic Neanderthals and lack their derived features. The Herto hominids are morphologically and chronologically intermediate between archaic African fossils and later anatomically modern Late Pleistocene humans. They therefore represent the probable immediate ancestors of anatomically modern humans. Their anatomy and antiquity constitute strong evidence of modern-human emergence in Africa.

  10. Middle pleistocene human remains from Tourville-la-Rivière (Normandy, France and their archaeological context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Philippe Faivre

    Full Text Available Despite numerous sites of great antiquity having been excavated since the end of the 19th century, Middle Pleistocene human fossils are still extremely rare in northwestern Europe. Apart from the two partial crania from Biache-Saint-Vaast in northern France, all known human fossils from this period have been found from ten sites in either Germany or England. Here we report the discovery of three long bones from the same left upper limb discovered at the open-air site of Tourville-la-Rivière in the Seine Valley of northern France. New U-series and combined US-ESR dating on animal teeth produced an age range for the site of 183 to 236 ka. In combination with paleoecological indicators, they indicate an age toward the end of MIS 7. The human remains from Tourville-la-Rivière are attributable to the Neandertal lineage based on morphological and metric analyses. An abnormal crest on the left humerus represents a deltoid muscle enthesis. Micro- and or macro-traumas connected to repetitive movements similar to those documented for professional throwing athletes could be origin of abnormality.

  11. Bottom water production variability in the Ross Sea slope during the Late-Pleistocene-Holocene as revealed by benthic foraminifera and sediment geochemistry (United States)

    Asioli, A.; Langone, L.; Tateo, F.; Giannossi, M. L.; Giglio, F.; Summa, V.; Piva, A.; Ridente, D.; Trincardi, F.


    The Antarctic area produces bottom waters that ventilate the vast majority of the deep basins in the rest of the world ocean. The rate of formation in the source area and the strength of these cold bottom waters affect their flow toward the equator and are key factors affecting the Global Thermohaline Circulation during modern and past climate conditions. We present the results of a multidisciplinary study carried out on a core collected in 2377m of water depth on the slope off the Drygalski Basin (Ross Sea), along the modern path of the bottom waters. The goal of this research is to detect a qualitative signal of possible changes in the rate of bottom water production during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene by integrating micropaleontological and geochemical proxies. The micropaleontological signal is represented by the quantitative and qualitative variations of the agglutinated benthic foraminifera assemblages, while the amount of TOC, nitrogen, δ13C, δ15N, biogenic silica, CaCO3 in the sediment, along with the bulk rock mineralogy, provide information on the paleoproductivity and allow reconstruction of changes in the paleocirculation. The chronology is supported by 14C AMS datings on organic matter. Although this study is still in progress, the results obtained allow the following observations: 1) the Holocene sequence includes a major turnover around 8-8.5 calib kyr BP, leading to reduced nutrient utilization, probably reflecting an increased nutrient supply induced by an enhanced Upper Circumpolar Deep Water upwelling; 2) within this general context, the total concentration of benthic foraminifera preserved in the fossil component records millennial scale cycles of variable amplitude after 8.5 calib kyr BP and to present time. This oscillatory trend is paralleled by other parameters, such as the magnetic susceptibility, the dry density, the sheet silicates and the δ15N; 3) minima in foraminifera concentration reflect relatively increased dissolution, weaker

  12. Vegetal paleoenvironment in the human settlements found in Payre Cave at the end of the Middle Pleistocene and the beginning of the Upper Pleistocene (Ardeche, Francia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalai, Chafika


    Full Text Available The Middle Paleolithic site named Payre is located in the south-east of France, in the Middle Rhone Valley, in the Mediterranean world. Since 1990, the excavations have yielded a sequence dated from the isotopic stages 7 to 5. The palynological study based on settlement levels from the isotopic stages 6 and 5 has provided us with information about the vegetal environment of the end of the Middle Pleistocene and the beginning of the Upper Pleistocene. When men came, the landscape was semi-forest and the climate was temperate with Mediterranean influences.

    [es] El emplazamiento arqueológico del Paleolítico Medio de Payre se sitúa al sureste de Francia, en el valle del Ródano, en el contexto mediterráneo actual. Las excavaciones que vienen llevándose a cabo desde 1990 presentan una secuencia fechada en los estadios isotópicos 7 al 5. El estudio palinológico de los niveles de ocupación de los estadios isotópicos 6 y 5 nos informan sobre el contexto vegetal del final del Pleistoceno Medio y de principios del Pleistoceno Superior. Los diferentes periodos climáticos se caracterizan por la predominancia de los taxones arbóreos como Quercus t. ilex y Buxus. El paisaje es a lo largo del diagrama, globalmente semi-abierto y el clima de tipo templado presenta influencias mediterráneas. [fr] Le gisement paléolithique moyen de Payre est situé dans le sud-est de la France, dans la moyenne vallée du Rhône en contexte méditerranéen. Les fouilles, qui s'y déroulent depuis 1990, livrent une séquence datée des stades isotopiques 7 à 5. L'étude palynologique des niveaux d'occupation des stades isotopiques 6 et 5 nous informe sur le contexte végétal de la fin du Pléistocène moyen et du début du Pléistocène supérieur. Le paysage est, lors des diverses occupations humaines, globalement semi-ouvert et le climat de type tempéré sous influence méditerranéenne.

  13. A probabilistic approach to the assessment of some life history pattern parameters in a Middle Pleistocene human population. (United States)

    Durand, A I; Ipina, S L; Bermúdez de Castro, J M


    Parameters of a Middle Pleistocene human population such as the expected length of the female reproductive period (E(Y)), the expected interbirth interval (E(X)), the survival rate (tau) for females after the expected reproductive period, the rate (phi(2)) of women who, given that they reach first birth, do not survive to the end of the expected reproductive period, and the female infant plus juvenile mortality rate (phi(1)) have been assessed from a probabilistic standpoint provided that such a population were stationary. The hominid sample studied, the Sima de los Huesos (SH) cave site, Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain), is the most exhaustive human fossil sample currently available. Results suggest that the Atapuerca (SH) sample can derive from a stationary population. Further, in the case that the expected reproductive period ends between 37 and 40 yr of age, then 24 less, similarE(Y) less, similar27 yr, E(X)=3 yr, 0.224

  14. Pleistocene climatic oscillations rather than recent human disturbance influence genetic diversity in one of the world's highest treeline species. (United States)

    Peng, Yanling; Lachmuth, Susanne; Gallegos, Silvia C; Kessler, Michael; Ramsay, Paul M; Renison, Daniel; Suarez, Ricardo; Hensen, Isabell


    Biological responses to climatic change usually leave imprints on the genetic diversity and structure of plants. Information on the current genetic diversity and structure of dominant tree species has facilitated our general understanding of phylogeographical patterns. Using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLPs), we compared genetic diversity and structure of 384 adults of P. tarapacana with those of 384 seedlings across 32 forest sites spanning a latitudinal gradient of 600 km occurring between 4100 m and 5000 m a.s.l. in Polylepis tarapacana (Rosaceae), one of the world's highest treeline species endemic to the central Andes. Moderate to high levels of genetic diversity and low genetic differentiation were detected in both adults and seedlings, with levels of genetic diversity and differentiation being almost identical. Four slightly genetically divergent clusters were identified that accorded to differing geographical regions. Genetic diversity decreased from south to north and with increasing precipitation for adults and seedlings, but there was no relationship to elevation. Our study shows that, unlike the case for other Andean treeline species, recent human activities have not affected the genetic structure of P. tarapacana, possibly because its inhospitable habitat is unsuitable for agriculture. The current genetic pattern of P. tarapacana points to a historically more widespread distribution at lower altitudes, which allowed considerable gene flow possibly during the glacial periods of the Pleistocene epoch, and also suggests that the northern Argentinean Andes may have served as a refugium for historical populations. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  15. Palaeoloxodon and Human Interaction: Depositional Setting, Chronology and Archaeology at the Middle Pleistocene Ficoncella Site (Tarquinia, Italy) (United States)

    Aureli, Daniele; Contardi, Antonio; Giaccio, Biagio; Jicha, Brian; Lemorini, Cristina; Madonna, Sergio; Magri, Donatella; Marano, Federica; Milli, Salvatore; Modesti, Valerio; Palombo, Maria Rita; Rocca, Roxane


    The Ficoncella site in northern Latium (Italy) represents a unique opportunity to investigate the modalities of a short occupation in an alluvial setting during the Lower Palaeolithic. The small excavation area yielded a lithic assemblage, a carcass of Palaeoloxodon antiquus, and some other faunal remains. The main objectives of the study are to better characterize the depositional context where the Palaeoloxodon and the lithic assemblage occur, and to evaluate with greater precision the occupation dynamics. A 25 m-long well was drilled just above the top of the terrace of the Ficoncella site and faunal and lithic remains were analyzed with current and innovative techniques. The archaeological site contains floodplain deposits as it is located next to a small incised valley that feeds into a larger valley of the Mignone River. A tephra layer capping the site is 40Ar/39Ar dated to 441± 8 ka. Collectively, the geochronologic, tephrochronologic and geologic data, suggest the site was occupied during MIS 13. The new results should prompt further research at Ficoncella in order to improve our understanding of the dynamics of human settlement in Europe during the Early to Middle Pleistocene. PMID:25898322

  16. Size and shape stasis in late Pleistocene mammals and birds from Rancho La Brea during the Last Glacial-Interglacial cycle (United States)

    Prothero, Donald R.; Syverson, Valerie J.; Raymond, Kristina R.; Madan, Meena; Molina, Sarah; Fragomeni, Ashley; DeSantis, Sylvana; Sutyagina, Anastasiya; Gage, Gina L.


    Conventional neo-Darwinian theory views organisms as infinitely sensitive and responsive to their environments, and considers them able to readily change size or shape when they adapt to selective pressures. Yet since 1863 it has been well known that Pleistocene animals and plants do not show much morphological change or speciation in response to the glacial-interglacial climate cycles. We tested this hypothesis with all of the common birds (condors, golden and bald eagles, turkeys, caracaras) and mammals (dire wolves, saber-toothed cats, giant lions, horses, camels, bison, and ground sloths) from Rancho La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, California, which preserves large samples of many bones from many well-dated pits spanning the 35,000 years of the Last Glacial-Interglacial cycle. Pollen evidence showed the climate changed from chaparral/oaks 35,000 years ago to snowy piñon-juniper forests at the peak glacial 20,000 years ago, then back to the modern chaparral since the glacial-interglacial transition. Based on Bergmann's rule, we would expect peak glacial specimens to have larger body sizes, and based on Allen's rule, peak glacial samples should have shorter and more robust limbs. Yet statistical analysis (ANOVA for parametric samples; Kruskal-Wallis test for non-parametric samples) showed that none of the Pleistocene pit samples is statistically distinct from the rest, indicating complete stasis from 35 ka to 9 ka. The sole exception was the Pit 13 sample of dire wolves (16 ka), which was significantly smaller than the rest, but this did not occur in response to climate change. We also performed a time series analysis of the pit samples. None showed directional change; all were either static or showed a random walk. Thus, the data show that birds and mammals at Rancho La Brea show complete stasis and were unresponsive to the major climate change that occurred at 20 ka, consistent with other studies of Pleistocene animals and plants. Most explanations for such

  17. Late Pleistocene steppe lion Panthera leo spelaea (Goldfuss, 1810) footprints and bone records from open air sites in northern Germany - Evidence of hyena-lion antagonism and scavenging in Europe (United States)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.


    Bone remains and a trackway of Pantheraichnus bottropensis nov. ichg. ichnsp. of the Late Pleistocene lion Panthera leo spelaea ( Goldfuss, 1810) have been recovered from Bottrop and other open air sites in northern Germany. Some of these bones are from open air hyena den sites. A relative high proportion of lion bones (20%) exhibit bite, chew or nibble marks, or bone crushing and nibbling caused by a large carnivore. Repeated patterns of similar bone damage have been compared to bone remains found at hyena dens in gypsum karst areas and cave sites in northern Germany. Ice Age spotted hyenas have been the main antagonists and the main scavengers on lion carcasses. The remains appear to have been imported often by hyenas into their communal dens, supporting the theory of strong hyena-lion antagonism, similar to the well documented antagonism between modern African lions and spotted hyenas. Most of the lion bones from the open air hyena den at Bottrop are probably a result of such antagonism, as are the rare remains of these carnivores found within large hyena prey bone accumulations along the Pleistocene rivers. The Emscher River terrace also has the largest quantity of hyena remains from open air river terrace sites in northern Germany. Their cub remains, and incomplete chewed prey bones from mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses, typical of hyena activity, underline the character of these sites as cub-raising and communal dens, where their prey was accumulated along the riverbanks in a similar manner to modern African hyenas.

  18. Ecosystem Collapse in Pleistocene Australia and a Human Role in Megafaunal Extinction (United States)

    Miller, Gifford H.; Fogel, Marilyn L.; Magee, John W.; Gagan, Michael K.; Clarke, Simon J.; Johnson, Beverly J.


    Most of Australia's largest mammals became extinct 50,000 to 45,000 years ago, shortly after humans colonized the continent. Without exceptional climate change at that time, a human cause is inferred, but a mechanism remains elusive. A 140,000-year record of dietary δ13C documents a permanent reduction in food sources available to the Australian emu, beginning about the time of human colonization; a change replicated at three widely separated sites and in the marsupial wombat. We speculate that human firing of landscapes rapidly converted a drought-adapted mosaic of trees, shrubs, and nutritious grasslands to the modern fire-adapted desert scrub. Animals that could adapt survived; those that could not, became extinct.

  19. Direct U-series analysis of the Lezetxiki humerus reveals a Middle Pleistocene age for human remains in the Basque Country (northern Iberia). (United States)

    de-la-Rúa, Concepción; Altuna, Jesús; Hervella, Monserrat; Kinsley, Leslie; Grün, Rainer


    In 1964, a human humerus was found in a sedimentary deposit in Lezetxiki Cave (Basque Country, northern Iberia). The first studies on the stratigraphy, associated mammal faunal remains and lithic implements placed the deposits containing the humerus into the Riss glacial stage. Direct chronometric evidence has so far been missing, and the previous chronostratigraphic framework and faunal dating gave inconsistent results. Here we report laser ablation U-series analyses on the humerus yielding a minimum age of 164 ± 9 ka, corresponding to MIS 6. This is the only direct dating analysis of the Lezetxiki humerus and confirms a Middle Pleistocene age for this hominin fossil. Morphometric analyses suggest that the Lezetxiki humerus has close affinities to other Middle Pleistocene archaic hominins, such as those from La Sima de los Huesos at Atapuerca. This emphasizes the significance of the Lezetxiki fossil within the populations that predate the Neanderthals in south-western Europe. It is thus an important key fossil for the understanding of human evolution in Europe during the Middle Pleistocene, a time period when a great morphological diversity is observed but whose phylogenetic meaning is not yet fully understood. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Humans rather than climate the primary cause of Pleistocene megafaunal extinction in Australia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Der Kaars, Sander; Miller, Gifford H.; Turney, Chris S.M.; Cook, Ellyn J.; Nürnberg, Dirk; Schönfeld, Joachim; Kershaw, A. Peter; Lehman, Scott J.


    Environmental histories that span the last full glacial cycle and are representative of regional change in Australia are scarce, hampering assessment of environmental change preceding and concurrent with human dispersal on the continent ca. 47,000 years ago. Here we present a continuous 150,000-year

  1. Beyond the Pleistocene: Using Phylogeny and Constraint to Inform the Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating (United States)

    Eastwick, Paul W.


    Evolutionary psychologists explore the adaptive function of traits and behaviors that characterize modern Homo sapiens. However, evolutionary psychologists have yet to incorporate the phylogenetic relationship between modern Homo sapiens and humans' hominid and pongid relatives (both living and extinct) into their theorizing. By considering the…

  2. Detecting human impacts on the flora, fauna, and summer monsoon of Pleistocene Australia (United States)

    Miller, G. H.; Magee, J. W.; Fogel, M. L.; Gagan, M. K.


    All of Australia's largest mammalian vertebrates became extinct 50 to 45 ka (thousand years ago), shortly after human colonization. Between 60 and 40 ka Australian climate was similar to present and not changing rapidly. Consequently, attention has turned toward plausible human mechanisms for the extinction, with proponents for over-hunting, ecosystem change, and introduced disease. To differentiate between these options we utilize isotopic tracers of diet preserved in eggshells of two large, flightless birds to track the status of ecosystems before and after human colonization. δ13C preserved in their eggshells monitor a bird's dietary intake in the weeks to months before egg-laying. More than 500 dated eggshells from central Australia of the Australian emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), an opportunistic, dominantly herbivorous feeder, provide a continuous 140 kyr dietary δ 13C reconstruction. More than 350 dated eggshells from the same region of the heavier, extinct, giant bird Genyornis newtoni define its dietary intake from 140 ka until its extinction about 50 ka. Additional dietary records for both species were developed from two distant regions. Dromaius eggshell dietary δ13C reveals an unprecedented reduction in the bird's food resources about 50 ka, coeval in all three regions, suggesting conversion at that time of a tree/shrub savannah with occasionally rich grasslands to the modern desert scrub. We speculate that ecosystem collapse across the arid and semi-arid zones is a consequence of systematic burning by early humans. Genyornis diet everywhere is more restricted than in co-existing Dromaius, implying a more specialized feeding strategy. These data suggest that generalist feeders, such as Dromaius, were able to adapt to a changed vegetation regime, whereas more specialized feeders, such as Genyornis, became extinct. The altered vegetation may have also impacted Australian climate. Changes in the strength of climate feedbacks linked to vegetation and

  3. Detecting human impacts on the flora, fauna, and summer monsoon of Pleistocene Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. H. Miller


    Full Text Available The moisture balance across northern and central Australia is dominated by changes in the strength of the Australian Summer Monsoon. Lake-level records that record changes in monsoon strength on orbital timescales are most consistent with a Northern Hemisphere insolation control on monsoon strength, a result consistent with recent modeling studies. A weak Holocene monsoon relative to monsoon strength 65–60 ka, despite stronger forcing, suggests a changed monsoon regime after 60 ka. Shortly after 60 ka humans colonized Australia and all of Australia's largest mammals became extinct. Between 60 and 40 ka Australian climate was similar to present and not changing rapidly. Consequently, attention has turned toward plausible human mechanisms for the extinction, with proponents for over-hunting, ecosystem change, and introduced disease. To differentiate between these options we utilize isotopic tracers of diet preserved in eggshells of two large, flightless birds to track the status of ecosystems before and after human colonization. More than 800 dated eggshells of the Australian emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae, an opportunistic, dominantly herbivorous feeder, provide a 140-kyr dietary reconstruction that reveals unprecedented reduction in the bird's food resources about 50 ka, coeval in three distant regions. These data suggest a tree/shrub savannah with occasionally rich grasslands was converted abruptly to the modern desert scrub. The diet of the heavier, extinct Genyornis newtoni, derived from >550 dated eggshells, was more restricted than in co-existing Dromaius, implying a more specialized feeding strategy. We suggest that generalist feeders, such as Dromaius, were able to adapt to a changed vegetation regime, whereas more specialized feeders, such as Genyornis, became extinct. We speculate that ecosystem collapse across arid and semi-arid zones was a consequence of systematic burning by early humans

  4. Pollen analyses of Pleistocene hyaena coprolites from Montenegro and Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Argant Jacqueline


    Full Text Available The results of pollen analyses of hyaena coprolites from the Early Pleistocene cave of Trlica in northern Montenegro and the Late Pleistocene cave of Baranica in southeast Serbia are described. The Early Pleistocene Pachycrocuta brevirostris, and the Late Pleistocene Crocuta spelaea are coprolite-producing species. Although the pollen concentration was rather low, the presented analyses add considerably to the much-needed knowledge of the vegetation of the central Balkans during the Pleistocene. Pollen extracted from a coprolite from the Baranica cave indicates an open landscape with the presence of steppe taxa, which is in accordance with the recorded conditions and faunal remains. Pollen analysis of the Early Pleistocene samples from Trlica indicate fresh and temperate humid climatic conditions, as well as the co-existence of several biotopes which formed a mosaic landscape in the vicinity of the cave.

  5. Elephants and human intervention in the Lower and Middle Pleistocene sites of Africa and Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martos Romero, Juan Antonio


    Full Text Available In this paper, we review some African and European sites at which it is claimed that elephants were exploted by humans. The differences between sites with only one individual (type 1 and sites with a large number of elephants (type 2 are related to different formation processes and particular problems which limit the informative potential of sites.

    En el presente artículo se revisan yacimientos africanos y europeos donde se ha planteado la existencia de una intervención humana sobre elefantes. Se establece una diferencia entre sitios con un sólo individuo (tipo 1 o un número alto de elefantes (tipo 2. Con independencia del carácter de la intervención humana, cuando ésta es evidente, tales diferencias responden a unos procesos de formación distintos con problemáticas singulares que condicionan finalmente la capacidad informativa del yacimiento.

  6. Quantification of climate and vegetation from southern African Middle Stone Age sites - an application using Late Pleistocene plant material from Sibudu, South Africa (United States)

    Bruch, Angela A.; Sievers, Christine; Wadley, Lyn


    In southern Africa numerous Middle Stone Age (MSA) sites document important steps in technological and behavioural development leading to significant changes in the lifeways of modern humans. To assess whether these cultural changes and developments may be related to environmental changes we need to ascertain past environments. To do this we apply a new quantitative method, the GIS-based Coexistence Approach (CAGIS), on fossil plant material from the MSA site Sibudu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Previous qualitative environmental interpretations of the fossil fauna and flora of the site remain ambiguous. Because much of the material is anthropogenically introduced, it is difficult to distinguish between the effects of natural changes in the local vegetation and behavioural changes of the people that inhabited the shelter. CAGIS can be applied to such biased assemblages and seems to be an adequate method to directly quantify palaeoclimate and vegetation parameters at an archaeological site. The CAGIS analysis shows that during the Howiesons Poort (HP) Industry winters were slightly colder and drier than present, whereas during summer, temperatures and precipitation were similar to today. Post-HP winters were drier and colder than present, presumably colder than during the HP. Summer temperatures remained the same, but summer precipitation decreased from the HP to post-HP. Vegetation cover was less than today, may be even less than during the HP. The late MSA was observably warmer than the older periods, especially during winter. At the same time summer precipitation slightly increased and vegetation became more dense, but still remained generally open similar to today's anthropogenic landscape. Generally, climatic changes are most pronouncedly reflected in winter temperature parameters, especially in minimum winter temperatures, and to a lesser extent by changes in summer precipitation. The observed ecological trends seem to be affected mainly by variations through

  7. Pleistocene Palaeoart of the Americas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert G. Bednarik


    Full Text Available In contrast to the great time depth of Pleistocene rock art and mobiliary ‘art’ in the four other continents, the available evidence from the Americas is very limited, and restricted at best to the last part of the final Pleistocene. A review of what has so far become available is hampered by a considerable burden of literature presenting material contended to be of the Ice Age, even of the Mesozoic in some cases, that needs to be sifted through to find a minute number of credible claims. Even the timing of the first colonization of the Americas remains unresolved, and the lack of clear-cut substantiation of palaeoart finds predating about 12,000 years bp is conspicuous. There are vague hints of earlier human presence, rendering it likely that archaeology has failed to define its manifestations adequately, and Pleistocene palaeoart remains almost unexplored at this stage.

  8. Middle to Late Pleistocene multi-proxy record of environmental response to climate change from the Vienna Basin, Central Europe (Austria) (United States)

    Salcher, Bernhard C.; Frank-Fellner, Christa; Lomax, Johanna; Preusser, Frank; Ottner, Franz; Scholger, Robert; Wagreich, Michael


    Tectonic basins can represent valuable archives of the environmental history. Presented here are the stratigraphy and multi-proxy analyses of two adjacent alluvial fans in the Quaternary active parts of the Vienna Basin, situated at the interface of the Atlantic, European continental and Mediterranean climate. Deposits comprise a sequence of coarse-grained fluvial deposits intercalated by laterally extensive horizons of pedogenically altered fine sediments. To establish palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, fine-grained sequences from a drill core and outcrop data were analysed according to its malacofauna, palaeopedology, susceptibility and sedimentology. The chronological framework is provided by 38 luminescence ages and supported by geomagnetic polarity investigations. Distinct warm periods each associated with a geomagnetic excursion, are recorded in three pedocomplexes formed during the Last Interglacial and two earlier interglacial periods, indicted to correlate with Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 9 and MIS 11, respectively. Environmental conditions during the early last glacial period (MIS 5, c. 100-70 ka) are reconstructed from mollusc-shell rich overbank fines deposited along a former channel belt, covered by massive sheetflood deposits during MIS 2. Analysed warm phases suggest strong variations in humidity, ranging from steppe to forest dominated environments. The study presents one of the few numerically dated Middle Pleistocene multi-proxy records and one of the most comprehensive malacological datasets covering the early phases of last glacial period of continental Europe.

  9. Paleobiology of Pleistocene Proboscideans (United States)

    Fisher, Daniel C.


    The paleobiology of Pleistocene proboscideans plays a pivotal role in understanding their history and in answering fundamental questions involving their interactions with other taxa, including humans. Much of our view of proboscidean paleobiology is influenced by analogies with extant elephants. However, a wealth of information is available for reconstructing the paleobiology of ancient proboscideans using data from fossil specimens and preservational settings. Remarkable opportunities include permafrost-derived specimens with preserved soft tissue, intestinal contents with direct evidence of diet, and compositional and structural profiles with subannual temporal resolution archived in appositional systems such as proboscidean tusks. New information on diets and local climates puts our understanding of proboscidean paleoecology on a firmer foundation, but the greatest prospects for new insight spring from life history data now being retrieved from accelerator mass spectrometry–dated fossil material. Interaction between humans and proboscideans has been a critical factor in the history of both groups.

  10. A new record of Equus (Mammalia: Equidae from the Late Pleistocene of central-south Chile Un nuevo registro de Equus (Mammalia: Equidae para el Pleistoceno Superior de Osorno, Chile

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    Full Text Available Fourteen dental and bone parts of a horse excavated from the Pilauco paleontological site, Osorno (40°39' S-73°07' W are analysed and interpreted. This site was formed in association with a peat bog located on the banks of the old Damas River and has conserved abundant late Pleistocene mammalian fauna and flora materials. A date of 11457 ± 140 14C yrs B.P. was obtained from a molar and agrees with our stratigraphic age model. We have identified the fossils as pertaining to the species Equus (Amerhippus andium, which confirms its presence in central-south Chile. Furthermore, the recorded geographic location indicate that the metapodial adaptations of the specimens previously described agree with the reconstructed late Pleistocene landscape of Pilauco, dominated by soft volcanic soils and isolated forest patches over large extensions of grasslands.Se analizan e interpretan 14 fósiles correspondientes a dientes y huesos de caballo registrados en el sitio Pilauco, Osorno (40°39' S-73°07' W. El sitio se formó asociado a un pantano en un borde del antiguo río Damas; en él se ha conservado abundante material de mastofauna y flora pleistocénica. Una fecha radiocarbónica de 11457 ± 140 A.P obtenida de un molar, es concordante con el modelo de edad del sitio. La identificación taxonómica permite asociar a los fósiles a la especie Equus (Amerhippus andium, lo que confirma la presencia de la especie en el centro-sur de Chile. Por otra parte, la posición geográfica de los hallazgos y la reconstrucción del paisaje indicarían que se trata de ejemplares cuyas adaptaciones en los metapodios son concordantes para el paisaje pleistocénico de Pilauco dominado por suelos volcánicos blandos, con presencia de bosquetes dispersos en grandes extensiones de praderas de gramíneas.

  11. LA-ICP-MS and SIMS U-Pb and U-Th zircon geochronological data of Late Pleistocene lava domes of the Ciomadul Volcanic Dome Complex (Eastern Carpathians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Réka Lukács


    Full Text Available This article provides laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS and secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS U-Pb and U-Th zircon dates for crystals separated from Late Pleistocene dacitic lava dome rocks of the Ciomadul Volcanic Dome Complex (Eastern Carpathians, Romania. The analyses were performed on unpolished zircon prism faces (termed rim analyses and on crystal interiors exposed through mechanical grinding an polishing (interior analyses. 206Pb/238U ages are corrected for Th-disequilibrium based on published and calculated distribution coefficients for U and Th using average whole-rock and individually analyzed zircon compositions. The data presented in this article were used for the Th-disequilibrium correction of (U-Th/He zircon geochronology data in the research article entitled “The onset of the volcanism in the Ciomadul Volcanic Dome Complex (Eastern Carpathians: eruption chronology and magma type variation” (Molnár et al., 2018 [1].

  12. Possible Late Pleistocene volcanic activity on Nightingale Island, South Atlantic Ocean, based on geoelectrical resistivity measurements, sediment corings and 14C dating

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørk, Anders Anker; Björck, Svante; Cronholm, Anders


    . The irregular shapes of the basins and the lack of clear erosional features indicate that they are not eruption craters and were not formed by erosion. Instead, we regard them as morphological depressions formed between ridges of trachytic lava flows and domes at a late stage of the formation of the volcanic...... edifice. The onset of sedimentation within these basins appears to have occurred between 24 and 37 ka with the highest situated wetland yielding the highest ages. These ages are very young compared to the timing of the main phase of the formation of the island, implying volcanic activity on the island......Tristan da Cunha is a volcanic island group situated in the central South Atlantic. The oldest of these islands, Nightingale Island, has an age of about 18Ma. In the interior of the island, there are several wetlands situated in topographic depressions. The ages of these basins have been unknown...

  13. Anthropology. Response to Comment on "Late Pleistocene human skeleton and mtDNA link Paleoamericans and modern Native Americans". (United States)

    Kemp, Brian M; Lindo, John; Bolnick, Deborah A; Malhi, Ripan S; Chatters, James C


    Prüfer and Meyer raise concerns over the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) results we reported for the Hoyo Negro individual, citing failure of a portion of these data to conform to their expectations of ancient DNA (aDNA). Because damage patterns in aDNA vary, outright rejection of our findings on this basis is unwarranted, especially in light of our other observations. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  14. Oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica. Reconstructing changes in surface water hydrography and silicic acid utilization in the late Pleistocene subarctic Pacific

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maier, Edith


    Deglacial variations in upper ocean nutrient dynamics and stratification in high latitudes, as well as associated changes in thermohaline overturning circulation, are thought to have played a key role in changing atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations. This thesis examines the relationship between past changes in subarctic Pacific upper ocean stratification and nutrient (silicic acid) utilization, using oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica, for the first time at millennial-scale resolution and analyzed with a new and efficient instrumentation set-up. The isotopic data, presented in three manuscripts, show a consistent picture of millennial-scale variability in upper ocean stratification and silicic acid utilization during the last ∝50 ka BP, e.g. indicating that the subarctic Pacific was a source region for atmospheric CO{sub 2} during the last deglaciation (late Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Boelling/Alleroed). The presented results demonstrate the high potential of combined diatom oxygen and silicon stable isotope analysis especially for, but not restricted to, marine regions characterized by a low biogenic carbonate content like the subarctic Pacific and the Southern Ocean.

  15. Oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica. Reconstructing changes in surface water hydrography and silicic acid utilization in the late Pleistocene subarctic Pacific

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maier, Edith


    Deglacial variations in upper ocean nutrient dynamics and stratification in high latitudes, as well as associated changes in thermohaline overturning circulation, are thought to have played a key role in changing atmospheric CO 2 concentrations. This thesis examines the relationship between past changes in subarctic Pacific upper ocean stratification and nutrient (silicic acid) utilization, using oxygen and silicon stable isotopes of diatom silica, for the first time at millennial-scale resolution and analyzed with a new and efficient instrumentation set-up. The isotopic data, presented in three manuscripts, show a consistent picture of millennial-scale variability in upper ocean stratification and silicic acid utilization during the last ∝50 ka BP, e.g. indicating that the subarctic Pacific was a source region for atmospheric CO 2 during the last deglaciation (late Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Boelling/Alleroed). The presented results demonstrate the high potential of combined diatom oxygen and silicon stable isotope analysis especially for, but not restricted to, marine regions characterized by a low biogenic carbonate content like the subarctic Pacific and the Southern Ocean.

  16. No surface breaking on the Ecemiş Fault, central Turkey, since Late Pleistocene (~ 64.5 ka); new geomorphic and geochronologic data from cosmogenic dating of offset alluvial fans (United States)

    Sarıkaya, M. A.; Yıldırım, C.; Çiner, A.


    The Ecemiş Fault Zone (EF) has been recognized as a major left lateral strike-slip fault in the Central Anatolian Fault Zone (CAFZ) of Turkey. However, its Quaternary slip-rate has been challenging to determine due to the difficulty of dating offset markers. Using high-precision offset measurements and 36Cl cosmogenic nuclide dating, we present the first geochronologically determined Late Quaternary slip-rate for the EF. Our study focuses on the excellent exposures of offset alluvial fan surfaces, originating from the Aladağlar, a Late Quaternary glaciated mountain. Analysis of airborne orthophotogrametry and GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) surveys indicates 168 ± 2 m left lateral and 31 ± 1 m vertical displacements. In-situ terrestrial cosmogenic 36Cl geochronology obtained from eleven surface boulders provides a minimum abandonment/incision age of 104.2 ± 16.5 ka for the oldest offset alluvial fan surface. Our geomorphic observations together with Self-potential geophysical surveys revealed the presence of an unfaulted alluvial fan terrace, which allows us to constrain the timing of deformation. The abandonment/incision age of this fan is 64.5 ± 5.6 ka based on thirteen 36Cl depth profile samples. Accordingly, we obtained a geologic fault slip-rate of 4.2 ± 1.9 mm a- 1 horizontally and 0.8 ± 0.3 mm a- 1 vertically for the time frame between 104.2 ± 16.5 ka and 64.5 ± 5.6 ka. Our analysis indicates that the EF has not been producing a major surface breaking earthquake on the main strand at least since 64.5 ± 5.6 ka (mid-Late Pleistocene). This could be the result of abandonment of the main strand and accommodation of deformation by other faults within the EF. Nevertheless, a recently occurred (30 September 2011) low magnitude (ML: 4.3) left lateral strike-slip earthquake indicates recent seismic activity of the EF. Comparison of the recent GPS velocity field with the longer slip history along the CAFZ indicates a constant but low strain

  17. Non-carcinogenic late effects of ionizing radiation; human data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beebe, G.W.


    The late effects of ionizing radiation may be somatic effect or potential effect, about which such informations as follows are required: teratogenesis the disturbances in growth and development, cataracts, infertility, cytogenetic aberration, and accelerated aging. Although much is known about the nature of the malformations produced by ionizing radiation, and about the vulnerability of human embryonal and fetal tissues during various stages of organogenesis, the quantitative information is uncertain and incomplete. The data on A-bomb survivors were flawed by confounding radiation dose with nutritional and other influences caused by the disasters created by war-time bombings. If the effects of radiation are real, they are quite small for the dose below 100 rad (kerma), are confined to the children of pre-pubertal age at the time of exposure, and are of much less consequence for low-LET radiation than for high. Radiation-induced lenticular changes are of graded severity, and as for cataracts, the threshold is in the range from 600 to 1,000 rad of low-LET radiation, and perhaps 75 to 100 rad for fast neutrons; the average latent period is 2 to 7 years. The estimate of the RBE for neutrons is in the range from 2 to 10, and dose-dependent. Ionizing radiation has important effects on fertility only at very high dose. The relationship of the quantitative aspects of the biologic significance of chromosomal aberration in somatic cells to dose may provide an interesting parallel to the carcinogenic effect. For neutrons, the dose-response curve appears to be linear, at least for stable aberration. (Yamashita, S.)

  18. Late Pliocene/Pleistocene changes in Arctic sea-ice cover: Biomarker and dinoflagellate records from Fram Strait/Yermak Plateau (ODP Sites 911 and 912) (United States)

    Stein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten; Matthiessen, Jens


    have been important for general cooling and ice-sheet build-up. (4) Maxima in sea ice occurred near 3.3, 2.7, 2.1, 1.7 and during the last 1.2 Ma whereas between about 2.6 and 2.2 Ma the sea-ice cover was surprisingly reduced. The IP25 maxima are similar to those determined for the late Holocene. (5) Both, dinoflagellate and IP25/PIP25 data indicate that also during the Late Pliocene Warming Event at least occasionally sea ice must have occurred. (6) This low-resolution pilot study motivates to carry out further detailed high-resolution sea-ice biomarker research on ODP/IODP material in order to prove or disprove these preliminary interpretations. References Belt, S.T., Massé, G., Rowland, S.J., Poulin, M., Michel, C., LeBlanc, B., 2007. A novel chemical fossil of palaeo sea ice: IP25. Organic Geochemistry 38, 16-27. Müller, J., Wagner, A., Fahl, K., Stein, R., Prange, M., Lohmann, G., 2011. Towards quantitative sea ice reconstructions in the northern North Atlantic: A combined biomarker and numerical modelling approach. Earth Planetary Science Letters 306, 137-148.

  19. Interaction between aggrading geomorphic surfaces and the formation of a late pleistocene paleosol in the palouse loess of eastern Washington state (United States)

    McDonald, Eric V.; Busacca, Alan J.


    Variable rates of loess deposition contributed to dramatic regional variation in a soil-stratigraphic unit, the Washtucna Soil, in the Palouse loess deposits in the Channeled Scabland of eastern Washington state. Throughout most of the Channeled Scabland, the morphology of the Washtucna Soil is that of a single buried soil, but it bifurcates into two well-developed and pedologically distinct buried soils in areas immediately downwind of the major source of loessial sediment. Regional loess stratigraphy confirms that the two well-developed soils formed during the same interval of time during which only one soil formed in areas that are distal to loess source areas. The variable and perhaps rapid rates of soil formation suggested by the stratigraphy resulted from an interaction between variable rates of loess deposition and the formation of superimposed calcic soils. Petrocalcic horizons with weak Stage IV morphology formed as the zone of carbonate accumulation moved up into former A and cambic horizons that had been profusely burrowed by cicadas. The development of cicada burrows in one phase of soil development that were subsequently engulfed by pedogenic carbonate under a rising land surface seems to have greatly accelerated the development of the petrocalcic horizons. Accelerated rates of formation of the petrocalcic horizons occurred when extrinsic (pulses of loess deposition) and intrinsic (engulfment of burrowed horizons) thresholds were exceeded. Stratigraphic evidence suggests that the soil formation that accompanied the rise in the land surface due to additional loess deposition may have occurred during the late Wisconsin glaciation when giant glacial outburst floods in the channeled Scabland triggered a new cycle of loess deposition.

  20. Water-Level Reconstruction and its Implications for Late Pleistocene Paleontological Site Formation in Hoyo Negro, a Submerged Subterranean Pit in Quintana Roo, Mexico (United States)

    Rissolo, D.; Reinhardt, E. G.; Collins, S.; Kovacs, S. E.; Beddows, P. A.; Chatters, J. C.; Nava Blank, A.; Luna Erreguerena, P.


    A massive pit deep within the now submerged cave system of Sac Actun, located along the central east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, contains a diverse fossil assemblage of extinct megafauna as well as a nearly complete human skeleton. The inundated site of Hoyo Negro presents a unique and promising opportunity for interdisciplinary Paleoamerican and paleoenvironmental research in the region. Investigations have thus far revealed a range of associated features and deposits which make possible a multi-proxy approach to identifying and reconstructing the natural and cultural processes that have formed and transformed the site over millennia. Understanding water-level fluctuations (both related to, and independent from, eustatic sea level changes), with respect to cave morphology is central to understanding the movement of humans and animals into and through the cave system. Recent and ongoing studies involve absolute dating of human, faunal, macrobotanical, and geological samples; taphonomic analyses; and a characterization of site hydrogeology and sedimentological facies, including microfossil assemblages and calcite raft deposits.

  1. Hippidion saldiasi Roth, 1899 (Mammalia, Perissodactyla en el Pleistoceno tardío de Calama, norte de Chile Late Pleistocene Hippidion saldiasi Roth, 1899 (Mammalia, Perissodactyla from Calama, northern Chile

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    Full Text Available Se describen restos del género Hippidion procedentes de la zona del desierto de Atacama (Calama, Segunda Región de Chile. El conjunto analizado corresponde a un esqueleto bastante completo proveniente del yacimiento Betecsa 1, así como escasas unidades del yacimiento Kamac Mayu. En ambos sitios se identifica H. saldiasi. A partir de dos dataciones radiométricas por AMS del ejemplar estudiado, los restos se sitúan estratigráficamente en el Pleistoceno Superior (21.070 ± 100 AP y 21.380 ± 100 14C AP. Se infieren datos ambientales y de dieta a partir de análisis de isótopos estables en los restos de Hippidion saldiasi del sitio Betecsa 1 cuyo valor de δ13C en hueso fue de -15,45 y el valor en esmalte de dientes fue de -16,68, sugiriendo una alimentación con pastos C3. El cráneo recuperado es el primero conocido de esta especieThis paper describes the Hippidion bones recovered from the Atacama Desert (Calama, Second Region of Chile. The analyzed assemblage corresponds to a nearly complete skeleton from Betecsa 1 site and more poorly preserved remains from Kamac Mayu site. In both H. saldiasi is identified. Two 14C radiometric determinations indicate late Pleistocene age for these remains (21,070 ± 100 BP and 21,380 ± 100 BP. Environmental and diet inferences from stable isotope analysis are also presented. The δ13C value from Betecsa 1 horses (-15.45 from bone sample and -16.68 from enamel sample suggest a dietary adaptation exclusively C3 feeders. This is the first skull and associated skeleton recovered of this species

  2. The Balitx landslide (Mallorca, Spain) and its possible seismic origin: active spreading since the Late Pleistocene; El deslizamiento de Balitx (Mallorca) y su posible origen sismico. Procesos activos desde el Pleistoceno superior

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mateos, R. M.; Rodriguez-Peces, M. J.; Azanon, J. M.; Rodriguez-Fernandez, J.; Roldan, F. J.; Garcia-Moreno, I.; Galabert, B.; Garcia-Mayordomo, J.


    The Balitx landslide, located on the steep coastal side of the Tramuntana range on the island of Mallorca, is a large translational rock landslide in which the failure surface coincides with the reactivation of an earlier normal fault. The dating of calcite striae on the fault plane with U/Th techniques reveals that the last movement was over 400 kyr ago, which falls outside of the range of this method. The volume of the landslide is estimated to be over 700 million cubic metres, with a north-westward displacement of 300 m. Active extensional cracks as well as block spreads have been identified along the main scarp, together with displacement and toppling of blocks, the beginning of which coincides with oxygen isotope stage OIS 5a (Late Pleistocene = 83 kyr), a wetter and warmer period than the present. Currently active decametre-long cracks up to 50 m wide can be seen to affect the displaced materials. They reveal the rupture of the displaced block into several units at different speeds. A retrospective analysis of slope stability has been carried out, taking into account different scenarios according to three critical sea stands. All the scenarios are stable, with a safety factor of over 1.35. These results support the thesis that the Balitx landslide could have been triggered by seismicity. A study of the Balitx landslide under dynamic conditions reveals that the landslide could have been triggered by a moderate-to-high-magnitude earthquake (Mw=6.0) located close to the landslide (10-30 km) and probably related to some of the active faults identified in Majorca, such as the Palma Fault. (Author) 58 refs.


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    Rafael Labarca Encina


    species outside its current distribution range was due to shared environmental conditions between the Puna and Patagonia during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. The extinction of this form is, most likely, due to the impact of climatic change during the begining of the Holocene over its pasturing diet and its territorial and non migratory habits. It is added to this, a hunting pressure by human and non-human predators.Keywords: Vicugna genus, osteometry, Pleistocene, Patagonia 

  4. A comparative study of frontal bone morphology among Pleistocene hominin fossil groups. (United States)

    Athreya, Sheela


    Features of the frontal bone that are conventionally used to distinguish among fossil hominin groups were quantitatively examined. Fifty-five fossil crania dating from the early to the late Pleistocene were analyzed. Using a modified pantograph, outlines of the frontal bone were collected along the midsagittal and two parasagittal planes. The profile from nasion to bregma, as well as two profiles above the medial and lateral sections of the orbit, respectively, extending from the orbital margin to the coronal suture were traced. The outlines were measured using Elliptical Fourier Function Analysis (EFFA), which enabled a quantification of aspects of the frontal bone that have historically been described primarily in nonmetric or linear terms. Four measurements were obtained: 1) overall morphology as expressed in the Fourier harmonic amplitudes; 2) maximum projection of the supraorbital torus at three points along the browridge (glabella and the medial and lateral aspects of the torus above the orbit); 3) maximum distance of the frontal squama from the frontal chord, capturing forehead curvature; and 4) nasion-bregma chord length. The results indicate that the midsagittal profile is significantly different among all Pleistocene groups in analyses that include both size and shape, as well as size-adjusted data. Homo erectus is significantly different from the late Pleistocene groups (Neandertals and early modern H. sapiens) in glabellar projection. Anatomically modern humans are significantly different from all other groups in both raw and size-standardized analyses of all three outlines that captured overall morphology, as well as forehead curvature and lateral supraorbital torus prominence, and middle Pleistocene Homo are significantly different in both medial and lateral overall parasagittal form. However, for the majority of analyses there were no significant differences among the Pleistocene archaic groups in supraorbital torus projection, frontal squama

  5. High-resolution paleoenvironmental context for human occupations during the Middle Pleistocene in Europe (MIS 11, Germany) (United States)

    Rivals, Florent; Ziegler, Reinhard


    High-resolution paleoecological proxies, such as stable isotopes or tooth microwear in large mammals, are often used for their potential to deliver information about the paleodietary traits of individuals and populations at the time of death. Such proxies are of interest in high resolution sites because they provide accurate data regarding the diet of large herbivores as well as the habitats that were available at the time of formation of the site, and by inference can detect seasonality in the formation of the assemblages. The integration of two techniques, tooth mesowear and microwear, applied to Middle Pleistocene assemblages of large herbivores from Steinheim and Heppenloch did not indicate seasonality at any of the two sites, most likely due to low resolution and time averaging of the dietary signal. However, the combination of the two proxies was highly informative for reconstructing the paleodiets of the large herbivores. The two paleodietary proxies provided consistent results that permitted us to propose a reconstruction of the paleodiets and habitats available at each site.

  6. Species-specific responses of Late Quaternary megafauna to climate and humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorenzen, Eline; Nogues, David Bravo; Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre


    Despite decades of research, the roles of climate and humans in driving the dramatic extinctions of large-bodied mammals during the Late Quaternary period remain contentious. Here we use ancient DNA, species distribution models and the human fossil record to elucidate how climate and humans shape...

  7. Interhemispheric correlation of late pleistocene glacial events. (United States)

    Lowell, T V; Heusser, C J; Andersen, B G; Moreno, P I; Hauser, A; Heusser, L E; Schlüchter, C; Marchant, D R; Denton, G H


    A radiocarbon chronology shows that piedmont glacier lobes in the Chilean Andes achieved maxima during the last glaciation at 13,900 to 14,890, 21,000, 23,060, 26,940, 29,600, and >/=33,500 carbon-14 years before present ((14)C yr B.P.) in a cold and wet Subantarctic Parkland environment. The last glaciation ended with massive collapse of ice lobes close to 14,000(14)C yr B.P., accompanied by an influx of North Patagonian Rain Forest species. In the Southern Alps of New Zealand, additional glacial maxima are registered at 17,720(14)C yr B.P., and at the beginning of the Younger Dryas at 11,050 (14)C yr B. P. These glacial maxima in mid-latitude mountains rimming the South Pacific were coeval with ice-rafting pulses in the North Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, the last termination began suddenly and simultaneously in both polar hemispheres before the resumption of the modern mode of deep-water production in the Nordic Seas. Such interhemispheric coupling implies a global atmospheric signal rather than regional climatic changes caused by North Atlantic thermohaline switches or Laurentide ice surges.

  8. Pleistocene Paleoart of Australia

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    Robert G. Bednarik


    Full Text Available Pleistocene rock art is abundant in Australia, but has so far received only limited attention. Instead there has been a trend, begun over a century ago, to search for presumed depictions of extinct megafauna and the tracks of such species. All these notions have been discredited, however, and the current evidence suggests that figurative depiction was introduced only during the Holocene, never reaching Tasmania. Nevertheless, some Australian rock art has been attributed to the Pleistocene by direct dating methods, and its nature implies that a significant portion of the surviving corpus of rock art may also be of such age. In particular much of Australian cave art is of the Ice Age, or appears to be so, and any heavily weathered or patinated petroglyphs on particularly hard rocks are good candidates for Pleistocene antiquity. On the other hand, there is very limited evidence of mobiliary paleoart of such age in Australia.

  9. Pleistocene Palaeoart of Asia

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    Robert G. Bednarik


    Full Text Available This comprehensive overview considers the currently known Pleistocene palaeoart of Asia on a common basis, which suggests that the available data are entirely inadequate to form any cohesive synthesis about this corpus. In comparison to the attention lavished on the corresponding record available from Eurasia’s small western appendage, Europe, it is evident that Pleistocene palaeoart from the rest of the world has been severely neglected. Southern Asia, in particular, holds great promise for the study of early cognitive development of hominins, and yet this potential has remained almost entirely unexplored. Asia is suggested to be the key continent in any global synthesis of ‘art’ origins, emphasising the need for a comprehensive pan-continental research program. This is not just to counter-balance the incredible imbalance in favour of Europe, but to examine the topic of Middle Pleistocene palaeoart development effectively.

  10. Present spatial diversity patterns of Theobroma cacao L. in the neotropics reflect genetic differentiation in pleistocene refugia followed by human-influenced dispersal. (United States)

    Thomas, Evert; van Zonneveld, Maarten; Loo, Judy; Hodgkin, Toby; Galluzzi, Gea; van Etten, Jacob


    Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is indigenous to the Amazon basin, but is generally believed to have been domesticated in Mesoamerica for the production of chocolate beverage. However, cacao's distribution of genetic diversity in South America is also likely to reflect pre-Columbian human influences that were superimposed on natural processes of genetic differentiation. Here we present the results of a spatial analysis of the intra-specific diversity of cacao in Latin America, drawing on a dataset of 939 cacao trees genotypically characterized by means of 96 SSR markers. To assess continental diversity patterns we performed grid-based calculations of allelic richness, Shannon diversity and Nei gene diversity, and distinguished different spatially coherent genetic groups by means of cluster analysis. The highest levels of genetic diversity were observed in the Upper Amazon areas from southern Peru to the Ecuadorian Amazon and the border areas between Colombia, Peru and Brazil. On the assumption that the last glaciation (22,000-13,000 BP) had the greatest pre-human impact on the current distribution and diversity of cacao, we modeled the species' Pleistocene niche suitability and overlaid this with present-day diversity maps. The results suggest that cacao was already widely distributed in the Western Amazon before the onset of glaciation. During glaciations, cacao populations were likely to have been restricted to several refugia where they probably underwent genetic differentiation, resulting in a number of genetic clusters which are representative for, or closest related to, the original wild cacao populations. The analyses also suggested that genetic differentiation and geographical distribution of a number of other clusters seem to have been significantly affected by processes of human management and accompanying genetic bottlenecks. We discuss the implications of these results for future germplasm collection and in situ, on farm and ex situ conservation of cacao.

  11. The lithic industry of Sima del Elefante (Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain) in the context of Early and Middle Pleistocene technology in Europe. (United States)

    de Lombera-Hermida, Arturo; Bargalló, Amèlia; Terradillos-Bernal, Marcos; Huguet, Rosa; Vallverdú, Josep; García-Antón, Maria-Dolores; Mosquera, Marina; Ollé, Andreu; Sala, Robert; Carbonell, Eudald; Rodríguez-Álvarez, Xosé-Pedro


    This paper presents the lithic assemblages documented at Sima del Elefante (TE) and their importance in the context of the Early and Middle Pleistocene human occupation of Europe. We also study changes in human behaviour within the context of the palaeoenvironmental evolution of the Sierra de Atapuerca. This site has characteristics that are of great value for the study of human evolution. The lower levels of TE (Units TE7-TE14) are an essential reference for understanding the early stages of the colonization of Europe. The TE9c level has provided stone tools (Mode 1), faunal remains, and human fossils dated to 1.22 Ma (millions of years ago). Moreover, this is one of the few European sites with a stratigraphic sequence that includes remains of human occupations predating the Jaramillo subchron (Early Pleistocene) and from the Late Middle Pleistocene (Units TE18-TE19). Despite this, the presence of archaeologically sterile units (TE15-17) prevents us from establishing a continuous relationship between the Early and Middle Pleistocene human settlements and, consequently, between their technological and behavioural differences. We can, however compare the technological and palaeoeconomic strategies adopted by different species of hominins during two key phases of the occupation of Europe. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Is the modern koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus) a derived dwarf of a Pleistocene giant? Implications for testing megafauna extinction hypotheses (United States)

    Price, Gilbert J.


    The modern Australian koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus) is commonly regarded as a dwarf descendent of a Late Pleistocene giant koala ( Ph. stirtoni). The implication of that hypothesis is that the giant koala survived the Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction "event", albeit as a smaller body-sized form. It is important to be able to constrain rates of Late Pleistocene faunal turnover, an aspect reliant on having accurate taxonomic information of extinct species. The koala dwarfing hypothesis is tested here by using a temporally-constrained biogeographical record of fossil koalas, and a morphological character analysis. The contemporary occurrence of both taxa in pre-Late Pleistocene deposits and significant differences in dental morphologies between those forms suggests that the modern koala is not a derived dwarf of the Pleistocene giant koala. Thus, the giant-form was among a number of other giant mammals, lizards and birds that suffered extinction sometime during the Late Pleistocene. The potential phenomenon of dwarfing of other Late Pleistocene and Recent faunas, such as grey kangaroos, is commonly used as a test for or against various megafaunal extinction hypotheses. However, the results of this study also demonstrate that the dwarfing hypothesis has not been adequately tested for a suite of other taxa. Thus, until the dwarfing hypothesis can be more fully tested, a clear understanding of the fate of Late Pleistocene faunas that apparently survived the extinction "event", and the origins of many extant forms will remain elusive.

  13. Assembly of fibronectin into the extracellular matrix of early and late passage human skin fibroblasts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mann, D.M.


    The specific binding of soluble 125 I-human plasma fibronectin ( 125 I-HFN-P) to confluent cultures of early and late passage human skin fibroblasts was investigated. Previous studies HFN-P bound to fibroblast cell layers indicated that HNF-P was present in the cultures in two separate pools, distinguishable on the basis of their solubility in 1% deoxycholate. Examination of the kinetics of 125 I-HFN-P binding to Pool I of early and late passage cultures revealed that both cultures required 2-4 h to approach steady-state conditions. Other kinetic studies showed that the rates of low of 125 I-HFN-P from either Pool I or Pool II were similar for both cultures. Further, Scatchard analysis revealed a single class of Pool I binding sites with apparent dissociation constants (K/sub d/) of 5.3 x 10 -8 M (early passage) and 4.2 x 10 -8 M (late passage). These results indicate that early and late passage cultures of human fibroblasts exhibit differences in the number of cell surface biding sites for soluble fibronectin, and in the extent to which they incorporate soluble fibronectin into the extracellular matrix. Parameters which affect the fibronectin matrix assembly system of human skin fibroblasts were also examined. In addition, several monoclonal anti-fibronectin antibodies were characterized and developed as experimental probes for fibronectin structure and function

  14. Upper Pleistocene and Holocene palaeoenvironmental records in Cueva Mayor karst (Atapuerca, Spain from different proxies: speleothem crystal fabrics, palynology and archaeology.

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    Virginia Martínez-Pillado


    Full Text Available The Cueva Mayor karst system of Atapuerca, in Northern Spain, hosts a highly significant record of human occupation from the Pleistocene. The climatic context of the human activities during the Pleistocene-Holocene for this inland site has not been well constrained, since existing records of the palaeoclimatic evolution of the Northern Iberian Peninsula are from more distal coastal and high-elevation sites. In this study, we interpret the palaeoenvironmental information recorded on the petrography of a stalagmite and the pollen spectra of the Sierra de Atapuerca karst system during the last 20 kyr. The integration of both types of records has allowed us to define four palaeoenvironmental stages. During the Upper Pleistocene and until 12.8 kyr BP, the climate was cold and dry, toward the end of the interval evolving to wetter and warmer conditions. From 12.8 to 7.7 kyr BP, during the Mesolithic-Neolithic, a major erosion event in both records marks the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Around 5.9 kyr BP, the Late Neolithic, environmental conditions indicate a climatic optimum with a marked seasonality. The environmental conditions became drier from 4.2 kyr BP until the present, with a decrease in the woodlands. This aridity signal might be amplified by the impact of a more intense human agricultural activity after 3.1 kyr BP, during the Bronze Age.

  15. Pleistocene Palaeoart of Africa

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    Robert G. Bednarik


    Full Text Available This comprehensive review of all currently known Pleistocene rock art of Africa shows that the majority of sites are located in the continent’s south, but that the petroglyphs at some of them are of exceptionally great antiquity. Much the same applies to portable palaeoart of Africa. The current record is clearly one of paucity of evidence, in contrast to some other continents. Nevertheless, an initial synthesis is attempted, and some preliminary comparisons with the other continents are attempted. Certain parallels with the existing record of southern Asia are defined.

  16. Global late Quaternary megafauna extinctions linked to humans, not climate change. (United States)

    Sandom, Christopher; Faurby, Søren; Sandel, Brody; Svenning, Jens-Christian


    The late Quaternary megafauna extinction was a severe global-scale event. Two factors, climate change and modern humans, have received broad support as the primary drivers, but their absolute and relative importance remains controversial. To date, focus has been on the extinction chronology of individual or small groups of species, specific geographical regions or macroscale studies at very coarse geographical and taxonomic resolution, limiting the possibility of adequately testing the proposed hypotheses. We present, to our knowledge, the first global analysis of this extinction based on comprehensive country-level data on the geographical distribution of all large mammal species (more than or equal to 10 kg) that have gone globally or continentally extinct between the beginning of the Last Interglacial at 132,000 years BP and the late Holocene 1000 years BP, testing the relative roles played by glacial-interglacial climate change and humans. We show that the severity of extinction is strongly tied to hominin palaeobiogeography, with at most a weak, Eurasia-specific link to climate change. This first species-level macroscale analysis at relatively high geographical resolution provides strong support for modern humans as the primary driver of the worldwide megafauna losses during the late Quaternary.

  17. Soil-landscape development and late Quaternary environmental change in coastal Estremadura, Portugal (United States)

    Daniels, Michael; Haws, Jonathan; Benedetti, Michael; Bicho, Nuno


    This poster integrates soil-landscape analysis with archaeological survey and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Soils in surface and buried contexts in Estremadura, Portugal, provide evidence of landscape stability and instability, relative age relationships between landforms, and general paleoenvironmental conditions during the late Quaternary. These factors provide insight into the distribution and condition of Paleolithic archaeological sites and help understand the record of human settlement in the region. Late Pleistocene and Holocene dunes extend inland approximately 10 km from coastal source regions. Surface soils in Holocene dunes under maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) forest exhibit A, E, C/Bh and A, C horizon sequences and classify as Quartzipsamments. Surface soils in late Pleistocene dunes exhibit A, E, Bh, Bhs, Bs horizon sequences and classify as Haplorthods. Both Pleistocene and Holocene dunes commonly bury a heavily weathered soil formed in calcareous sandstone. The boundary between underlying buried soils and overlying surface soils is characterized by a lag deposit of medium to coarse, moderately-rounded gravels, underlain immediately by subsurface Bt and Bss horizons. The lag deposit and absence of buried A horizons both indicate intense and/or prolonged surface erosion prior to burial by late Quaternary dunes. Soil-geomorphic relationships therefore suggest at least two distinct episodes of dune emplacement and subsequent landscape stability following an extensive episode late Pleistocene landscape instability and soil erosion. A conceptual model of soil-landscape evolution through the late Quaternary and Holocene results from the integration of soil profile data, proxy paleoenvironmental data, and the partial record of human settled as revealed in the archaeological record.

  18. Adaptation and niche construction in human prehistory: a case study from the southern Scandinavian Late Glacial. (United States)

    Riede, Felix


    The niche construction model postulates that human bio-social evolution is composed of three inheritance domains, genetic, cultural and ecological, linked by feedback selection. This paper argues that many kinds of archaeological data can serve as proxies for human niche construction processes, and presents a method for investigating specific niche construction hypotheses. To illustrate this method, the repeated emergence of specialized reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) hunting/herding economies during the Late Palaeolithic (ca 14.7-11.5 kyr BP) in southern Scandinavia is analysed from a niche construction/triple-inheritance perspective. This economic relationship resulted in the eventual domestication of Rangifer. The hypothesis of whether domestication was achieved as early as the Late Palaeolithic, and whether this required the use of domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris) as hunting, herding or transport aids, is tested via a comparative analysis using material culture-based phylogenies and ecological datasets in relation to demographic/genetic proxies. Only weak evidence for sustained niche construction behaviours by prehistoric hunter-gatherer in southern Scandinavia is found, but this study nonetheless provides interesting insights into the likely processes of dog and reindeer domestication, and into processes of adaptation in Late Glacial foragers.

  19. Thrombopoietin has a differentiative effect on late-stage human erythropoiesis. (United States)

    Liu, W; Wang, M; Tang, D C; Ding, I; Rodgers, G P


    To further explore the mechanism of the effect of thrombopoietin (TPO) on erythropoiesis, we used a two-phase culture system to investigate the effect of TPO on late-stage human erythroid lineage differentiation. In serum-free suspension and semisolid cultures of human peripheral blood derived erythroid progenitors, TPO alone did not produce benzidine-positive cells. However, in serum-containing culture, TPO alone stimulated erythroid cell proliferation and differentiation, demonstrated by erythroid colony formation, production of benzidine-positive cells and haemoglobin (Hb) synthesis. Monoclonal anti-human erythropoietin antibody and anti-human erythropoietin receptor antibody completely abrogated the erythroid differentiative ability of TPO in the serum-containing systems. This implied that binding of EPO and EPO-R was essential for erythropoiesis and the resultant signal transduction may be augmented by the signals emanating from TPO-c-Mpl interaction. Experiment of withdrawal of TPO further demonstrated the involvement of TPO in late-stage erythropoiesis. RT-PCR results showed that there was EPO-R but not c-Mpl expression on developing erythroblasts induced by TPO in serum-containing system. Our results establish that TPO affects not only the proliferation of erythroid progenitors but also the differentiation of erythroid progenitors to mature erythroid cells.

  20. Early death, late death and repair factor in three human tumour cell lines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Courdi, A.; Gioanni, J.; Mari, D.; Chauvel, P.


    The in vivo colony method used to generate survival curves following exposure to ionizing irradiation allows to score large clones, representing surviving cells, and small colonies, representing late reproductive death. By subtraction, early-dying cells can be estimated. In the three human tumour cell lines examined, we have observed that early cell death is a major mode of action of irradiation. The contribution of early cell death to total mortality increases as the dose increases. Moreover, repair due to dose-splitting and delayed plating in densely-inhibited cells is not observed in early-dying cells. (authors)

  1. Assessment of geomorphological and hydrological changes produced by Pleistocene glaciations in a Patagonian basin (United States)

    Scordo, Facundo; Seitz, Carina; Melo, Walter D.; Piccolo, M. Cintia; Perillo, Gerardo M. E.


    This work aims to assess how Pleistocene glaciations modeled the landscape in the upper Senguer River basin and its relationship to current watershed features (drainage surface and fluvial hydrological regime). During the Pleistocene six glacial lobes developed in the upper basin of the Senguer River localized east of the Andean range in southern Argentinean Patagonia between 43° 36' - 46° 27‧ S. To describe the topography and hydrology, map the geomorphology, and propose an evolution of the study area during the Pleistocene we employed multitemporal Landsat images, national geological sheets and a mosaic of the digital elevation model (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) along with fieldwork. The main conclusion is that until the Middle Pleistocene, the drainage divide of the Senguer River basin was located to the west of its current limits and its rivers drained the meltwater of the glaciers during interglacial periods. However, processes of drainage inversion and drainage surface reduction occurred in the headwater of most rivers of the basin during the Late Pleistocene. Those processes were favored by a relative shorter glacial extension during LGM and the dam effect produced by the moraines of the Post GPG I and III glaciations. Thus, since the Late Pleistocene, the headwaters of several rivers in the basin have been reduced, and the moraines corresponding to the Middle Pleistocene glaciations currently divide the watersheds that drain towards the Senguer River from those that flow west towards the Pacific Ocean.

  2. A new species of land crab, Sesarma Say, 1817 (Decapoda, Brachyura), from the Pleistocene of Jamaica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Collins, J.S.H.; Mitchell, S.F.; Donovan, S.K.


    Terrestrial arthropods are poorly known from the Cenozoic of Jamaica. A probably Late Pleistocene land crab, Sesarma primigenium sp. nov., is described from the Western Cement Company Cave, parish of St. Elizabeth, southwestern Jamaica. The same species is also tentatively recognised from the Late

  3. Long-term changes in composition and distribution patterns in the Iberian herpetofaunal communities since the latest Pleistocene (United States)

    Bisbal-Chinesta, Josep Francesc; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre


    The climate has undergone significant changes since the end of the Last Glacial Maximum and in the course of the Holocene, parallel to important cultural transformations and migrations in the human communities. The faunal record has also suffered the effects of climate change. Amphibians and reptiles in particular have been shown to be highly sensitive because they are very susceptible to temperature alterations due to their ectothermy. This research presents the first approach to the Iberian paleobiogeography of the different species of amphibians and reptiles from the Late Pleistocene (MIS3) to present times, based on a comparative synthesis of the latest research published in recent years and the fossil record of the 58 archaeo-paleontological sites with significant assemblages. The paleoherpetofaunal associations make it possible to establish two major biotic regions during the Late Pleistocene. The first biotic region was located in the center and south of the Iberian Peninsula, with thermophilic species as the most representative taxa. The second biotic region was formed by the Atlantic-Cantabrian facade and the northeast Iberian area, dominated by hygrophilous and Euro-Siberian species, with an absence of Mediterranean species. After the Last Glacial Maximum there was an unprecedented concurrence in the northern Iberian Peninsula of autochthonous taxa from that area with thermophilic species. In the early Holocene, new species with no previous record in the Iberian Peninsula entered northern Iberia from eastern Mediterranean refugia. Finally, the introduction of North African species was the last significant biogeographical change during the Middle-Late Holocene.

  4. Pleistocene Park: the restoration of steppes as a tool to mitigate climate change through albedo effect (United States)

    Zimov, N.; Loranty, M. M.; Edgar, C.; Kropp, H.; Zimov, S. A.


    In the late Pleistocene, the world largest ecosystem was the mammoth steppe. It stretched from the Iberian Peninsula to Canada and from the New Siberian Islands to China. It was a highly productive steppe ecosystem with numerous predators and herbivores that maintained the dominance of grasslands. With the end of the Pleistocene, the climate warmed and humans entered Siberia and the Americas. The introduction of humans as predators in these regions led to the extinction of most large animals, and the further degradation of the steppes. Mosses, shrubs and larch forest soon replaced grasses and herbs. Pleistocene Park is an experiment conducted in the far north of Siberia; its main goal is to revive the extinct steppe ecosystem in the Arctic. This would increase the richness of the northern ecosystems and, bioproductivity, and through a series of ecological mechanisms help to mitigate climate change. To conduct the experiment, was fenced 2000 hectares of land, and continue the ongoing process of introducing animals that either lived on this territory in the past or that can adapt to the modern northern environment. Through grazing, animals slowly transform the vegetation, replacing mosses, shrubs, and trees with grasses and herbs. Here we present the effects grazing animals have on the albedo of the landscape. Several years of year-round measurement of albedo and incoming and reflected radiation conducted in the grasslands in the park indicate substantially higher albedo compared with most modern ecosystems like larch forest and shrublands. Since grasses are lighter than forest, they reflect a higher portion of energy back to space. Results indicate the most dramatic difference in reflected solar radiation is in April and early May. Grasslands covered with snow reflect most of the sun's energy, while dark stems of forests and shrubs absorb that energy and promote warming. We argue that large-scale promotion of highly productive steppes in the Arctic will

  5. FGF21 and the late adaptive response to starvation in humans. (United States)

    Fazeli, Pouneh K; Lun, Mingyue; Kim, Soo M; Bredella, Miriam A; Wright, Spenser; Zhang, Yang; Lee, Hang; Catana, Ciprian; Klibanski, Anne; Patwari, Parth; Steinhauser, Matthew L


    In mice, FGF21 is rapidly induced by fasting, mediates critical aspects of the adaptive starvation response, and displays a number of positive metabolic properties when administered pharmacologically. In humans, however, fasting does not consistently increase FGF21, suggesting a possible evolutionary divergence in FGF21 function. Moreover, many key aspects of FGF21 function in mice have been identified in the context of transgenic overexpression or administration of supraphysiologic doses, rather than in a physiologic setting. Here, we explored the dynamics and function of FGF21 in human volunteers during a 10-day fast. Unlike mice, which show an increase in circulating FGF21 after only 6 hours, human subjects did not have a notable surge in FGF21 until 7 to 10 days of fasting. Moreover, we determined that FGF21 induction was associated with decreased thermogenesis and adiponectin, an observation that directly contrasts with previous reports based on supraphysiologic dosing. Additionally, FGF21 levels increased after ketone induction, demonstrating that endogenous FGF21 does not drive starvation-mediated ketogenesis in humans. Instead, a longitudinal analysis of biologically relevant variables identified serum transaminases--markers of tissue breakdown--as predictors of FGF21. These data establish FGF21 as a fasting-induced hormone in humans and indicate that FGF21 contributes to the late stages of adaptive starvation, when it may regulate the utilization of fuel derived from tissue breakdown.

  6. Calibration of amino acid racemization (AAR) kinetics in United States mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain Quaternary mollusks using 87Sr/ 86Sr analyses: Evaluation of kinetic models and estimation of regional Late Pleistocene temperature history (United States)

    Wehmiller, J.F.; Harris, W.B.; Boutin, B.S.; Farrell, K.M.


    The use of amino acid racemization (AAR) for estimating ages of Quaternary fossils usually requires a combination of kinetic and effective temperature modeling or independent age calibration of analyzed samples. Because of limited availability of calibration samples, age estimates are often based on model extrapolations from single calibration points over wide ranges of D/L values. Here we present paired AAR and 87Sr/ 86Sr results for Pleistocene mollusks from the North Carolina Coastal Plain, USA. 87Sr/ 86Sr age estimates, derived from the lookup table of McArthur et al. [McArthur, J.M., Howarth, R.J., Bailey, T.R., 2001. Strontium isotopic stratigraphy: LOWESS version 3: best fit to the marine Sr-isotopic curve for 0-509 Ma and accompanying Look-up table for deriving numerical age. Journal of Geology 109, 155-169], provide independent age calibration over the full range of amino acid D/L values, thereby allowing comparisons of alternative kinetic models for seven amino acids. The often-used parabolic kinetic model is found to be insufficient to explain the pattern of racemization, although the kinetic pathways for valine racemization and isoleucine epimerization can be closely approximated with this function. Logarithmic and power law regressions more accurately represent the racemization pathways for all amino acids. The reliability of a non-linear model for leucine racemization, developed and refined over the past 20 years, is confirmed by the 87Sr/ 86Sr age results. This age model indicates that the subsurface record (up to 80m thick) of the North Carolina Coastal Plain spans the entire Quaternary, back to ???2.5Ma. The calibrated kinetics derived from this age model yield an estimate of the effective temperature for the study region of 11??2??C., from which we estimate full glacial (Last Glacial Maximum - LGM) temperatures for the region on the order of 7-10??C cooler than present. These temperatures compare favorably with independent paleoclimate information

  7. Pleistocene lake level changes in Western Mongolia (United States)

    Borodavko, P. S.


    Global cooling in the Early Pleistocene caused extensive continental glaciation in the northern hemisphere including the arid areas of Central Asia. The reduction of temperatures (particularly summer temperatures) reduced evaporation and strengthened the importance of precipitation. The simultaneity of "lakes periods" (pluvials) and stages of glaciation is established experience confirmed by investigations in the west of North America and Russia. In the Mongolian Great Lakes Depression new evidence for similar conditions is found. The Great Lakes Depression is one of the largest in Central Asia, and is divided into 2 main Lakes basins: Hyargas Lake Basin and Uvs Lake Basin. The basin is 600-650 km in length with a width of 200-250 km in the north and 60-100 km in the south. Total catchment area is about 186600 km2. The elevation of the basin floor is from 1700 m a.s.l. to 760 m a.s.l., decreasing to the north and south-east. The depression extends south-north and is bounded by mountains: Tannu-Ola to the north, Hangai to the east; Gobi Altai to the south and Mongolian Altay to the west. The maximum elevation of the mountains is 4000 m a.s.l. There are some mountains with an elevation between 2000 and 3000 m a.s.l in the lake catchment. These mountains are not glaciated today. The geological record [1] suggests the Great Lakes Depression already existed in the Mesozoic, but assumed its modern form only during the Pliocene-Quaternary when tectonic movements caused the uplift of the surrounding mountains. A phase of tectonic stability occurred during the Late Quaternary. The depression is filled by Quaternary fluvial, aeolian and lacustrine deposits (e.g. sand, pebbles). The Neogene deposits are represented by coloured clay, marl, sand and sandstone [1]. Hyargas Lake is the end base level of erosion of the lake group consisting of the Hara-Us Nur, Dorgon, Hara Nur and Airag lakes. Hyargas is one of the largest lakes in Mongolia, with a water surface of 1,407 km2. The

  8. Cranial discrete traits in the middle pleistocene humans from Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). Does hypostosis represent any increase in "ontogenetic stress" along the Neanderthal lineage? (United States)

    Manzi, G; Gracia, A; Arsuaga, J L


    Cranial discrete traits may be regarded as markers of dynamic responses to general and local perturbations of the morphogenetic pattern, particularly when they are viewed and examined in terms of hypostosis vs. hyperostosis. There are indications, in fact, that the variation between these two opposite conditions relates to mechanical stress suffered by the bony structures during early stages of growth and development. In a previous comparison between Neanderthals and modern humans, variable degrees and contrasting distribution patterns of hypostosis were found [Manzi et al. (1996), JHE30: 511-527]. In the present paper, the occurrence, expression and cranial distribution of 20 hypo-hyperostotic traits are examined in the Middle Pleistocene sample from Atapuerca - Sima de los Huesos (Spain), with the principal aim being to test whether or not the degree of cranial hypostosis increases during the evolution of the Neanderthals. Other Middle Pleistocene representatives of the genus Homo (Kabwe and Petralona), the Italian Neanderthals, and a large recent European sample are also considered. A general consistency between the gradual appearance and stabilization of the Neanderthal cranial features and the results of the present analysis is found and is interpreted as an indication that hypostosis does mark the occurrence of "ontogenetic stress". As suggested more than half a century ago by S. Sergi, an increase in "ontogenetic stress" in the Neanderthal lineage could result from the relationship between intracranial pressures and other (heterochronic) effects produced by the growth of a large brain (encephalization) and the ossification of an archaic (platycephalic) cranial vault. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  9. Human Dispersals Along the African Rift Valley in the Late Quaternary (United States)

    Tryon, C. A.; Faith, J. T.; Peppe, D. J.


    Climate- and tectonic-driven environmental dynamics of the East African Rift System (EARS) during the Quaternary played an important role in the demographic history of early Homo sapiens, including expansions of modern humans across and out of Africa. Human forager population size, geographic range, and behaviors such as hunting strategies and residential mobility likely varied in response to changes in the local and regional environment. Throughout the Quaternary, floral and faunal change was linked at least in part to variations in moisture availability, temperature, and atmospheric CO2, which in addition to uplift and faulting, contributed to the expansion and contraction of a number of large lakes that served as biogeographic barriers to many taxa. This is particularly clear for the Lake Victoria basin, where biogeographic, geological, and paleontological evidence documents repeated expansion and contraction of the ranges of species in response to lake level and vegetation change. Across much of eastern Africa, the topography of the rift facilitated north-south dispersals, the timing of which may have depended in part on the expansion and contraction of the equatorial forest belt. Dispersal potential likely increased during the more arid periods of the late Quaternary, when the roles of lakes and forests as dispersal barriers was reduced and the extent of low net primary productivity dry grasslands increased, the latter requiring large home ranges for human foragers, conditions suitable for range expansions within H. sapiens.

  10. The carnivore remains from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). (United States)

    García, N; Arsuaga, J L; Torres, T


    Remains of carnivores from the Sima de los Huesos site representing at least 158 adult individuals of a primitive (i.e., not very speleoid) form of Ursus deningeri Von Reichenau 1906, have been recovered through the 1995 field season. These new finds extend our knowledge of this group in the Sierra de Atapuerca Middle Pleistocene. Material previously classified as Cuoninae indet, is now assigned to Canis lupus and a third metatarsal assigned in 1987 to Panthera of gombaszoegensis, is in our opinion only attributable to Panthera sp. The family Mustelidae is added to the faunal list and includes Martes sp. and a smaller species. The presence of Panthera leo cf. fossilis, Lynx pardina spelaea and Felis silvestris, is confirmed. The presence of a not very speloid Ursus deningeri, together with the rest of the carnivore assemblage, points to a not very late Middle Pleistocene age, i.e., oxygen isotope stage 7 or older. Relative frequencies of skeletal elements for the bear and fox samples are without major biases. The age structure of the bear sample, based on dental wear stages, does not follow the typical hibernation mortality profile and resembles a catastrophic profile. The site was not a natal or refuge den. The hypothesis that the site was a natural trap is the most plausible. If the Sima de los Huesos functioned as a natural trap (without an egress out), the human accumulation cannot be attributed to carnivore: activities and must be explained differently.

  11. El registro más completo de un Hoplophorini (Xenarthra: Glyptodontidae para los Pisos/Edades Chapadmalalense-Marplatense (Plioceno tardío-Pleistoceno temprano The most complete record of a Hoplophorini (Xenarthra: Glyptodontidae for the Chapadmalalan-Marplatan Stages (Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene

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    Alfredo E Zurita


    by Paraglyptodon chapadmalensis (Ameghino in Rovereto, a fossil guide of the Upper Chapadmalalan Stage, and the Plohophorini Plohophorus figuratus Ameghino. On the other hand, the "Hoplophorinae" Hoplophorini are glyptodonts that have its first records during the Huayquerian (late Miocene and "Araucanian" Stages (late Miocene-early Pliocene, but they are almost absents during the Chapadmalalan-Marplatan Stages (Pliocene-early Pleistocene. Later, the Hoplophorini (Neosclerocalyptus Paula Couto are, together with Glyptodon Owen, the most common South American Pleistocene Glyptodontidae. In this contribution we report the first record of a Chapadmalalan Hoplophorini, assigned to the genus Eosclerocalyptus C. Ameghino (Eosclerocalyptus cf. E. lineatus, coming from the Mar del Plata locality, Buenos Aires province (Argentina. This new material, represented by a complete dorsal carapace, was exhumed from the upper section of the Chapadmalalan Formation. From a morphological perspective, this dorsal carapace shows an intermediate size between E. tapinocephalus Cabrera, E. proximus (Moreno & Mercerat and Neosclerocalyptus Paula Couto. Together with cf. Paraglyptodon chapadmalensis and Plohophorus figuratus Ameghino those records represents the most entire Pliocene Glyptodontidae known and, in addition, it partially complete the stratigraphical distribution of the Glyptodontidae Hoplophorini.

  12. Anthropogenic Origin of Siliceous Scoria Droplets from Pleistocene and Holocene Archeaological Sites in Northern Syria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thy, Peter; Willcox, George; Barfod, Gry


    Siliceous scoria droplets, measuring from 1 to 10 mm, from one late Pleistocene and four early Holocene archaeological sites in northern Syria are compared to similar droplets previously suggested to be the result of a cosmic impact at the onset of the Younger Dryas global cooling event. The !ndi......Siliceous scoria droplets, measuring from 1 to 10 mm, from one late Pleistocene and four early Holocene archaeological sites in northern Syria are compared to similar droplets previously suggested to be the result of a cosmic impact at the onset of the Younger Dryas global cooling event...

  13. Shaped by uneven Pleistocene climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Xinlei; Dong, Feng; Lei, Fumin


    had different impacts on different populations: clade N expanded after the last glacial maximum (LGM), whereas milder Pleistocene climate of east Asia allowed clade SE a longer expansion time (since MIS 5); clade SW expanded over a similarly long time as clade SE, which is untypical for European...

  14. Late Holocene vegetation changes in relation with climate fluctuations and human activities in Languedoc (Southern France) (United States)

    Azuara, J.; Combourieu-Nebout, N.; Lebreton, V.; Mazier, F.; Müller, S. D.; Dezileau, L.


    Holocene climate fluctuations and human activities since the Neolithic have shaped present-day Mediterranean environments. Separating anthropogenic effects from climatic impacts to reconstruct Mediterranean paleoenvironments over the last millennia remains a challenging issue. High resolution pollen analyses were undertaken on two cores from the Palavasian lagoon system (Hérault, southern France). These records allow reconstruction of vegetation dynamics over the last 4500 years. Results are compared with climatic, historical and archeological archives. A long-term aridification trend is highlighted during the Late Holocene and three superimposed arid events are recorded at 4600-4300, 2800-2400 and 1300-1100 cal BP. These periods of climatic instability coincide in time with the rapid climatic events depicted in the Atlantic Ocean (Bond et al., 2001). From the Bronze Age (4000 cal BP) to the end of the Iron Age (around 2000 cal BP), the spread of evergreen taxa and loss of forest cover result from anthropogenic impact. The Antiquity is characterized by a major reforestation event related to the concentration of rural activities and populations in coastal plains leading to forest recovery in the mountains. A major regional deforestation occurred at the beginning of the High Middle Ages. Around 1000 cal BP, forest cover is minimal while cover of olive, chestnut and walnut expands in relation to increasing human influence. The present day vegetation dominated by Mediterranean shrubland and pines has been in existence since the beginning of the 20th century.

  15. Late Holocene vegetation changes in relation with climate fluctuations and human activity in Languedoc (southern France) (United States)

    Azuara, J.; Combourieu-Nebout, N.; Lebreton, V.; Mazier, F.; Müller, S. D.; Dezileau, L.


    Holocene climate fluctuations and human activity since the Neolithic have shaped present-day Mediterranean environments. Separating anthropogenic effects from climatic impacts to better understand Mediterranean paleoenvironmental changes over the last millennia remains a challenging issue. High-resolution pollen analyses were undertaken on two cores from the Palavasian lagoon system (Hérault, southern France). These records allow reconstruction of vegetation dynamics over the last 4500 years. Results are compared with climatic, historical and archeological archives. A long-term aridification trend is highlighted during the late Holocene, and three superimposed arid events are recorded at 4600-4300, 2800-2400 and 1300-1100 cal BP. These periods of high-frequency climate variability coincide in time with the rapid climatic events observed in the Atlantic Ocean (Bond et al., 2001). From the Bronze Age (4000 cal BP) to the end of the Iron Age (around 2000 cal BP), the spread of sclerophyllous taxa and loss of forest cover result from anthropogenic impact. Classical Antiquity is characterized by a major reforestation event related to the concentration of rural activity and populations in coastal plains leading to forest recovery in the mountains. A major regional deforestation occurred at the beginning of the High Middle Ages. Around 1000 cal BP, forest cover is minimal while the cover of olive, chestnut and walnut expands in relation to increasing human influence. The present-day vegetation dominated by Mediterranean shrubland and pines has been in existence since the beginning of the 20th century.

  16. Snapshots of the Greenland ice sheet configuration in the Pliocene to early Pleistocene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne M.; Reeh, Niels; Japsen, Peter


    The geometry of the ice sheets during the Pliocene to early Pleistocene is not well constrained. Here we apply an ice-flow model in the study of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) during three extreme intervals of this period constrained by geological observations and climate reconstructions. We study...... the extent of the GIS during the Mid-Pliocene Warmth (3.3-3.0 Ma), its advance across the continental shelf during the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene glaciations (3.0-2.4 Ma) as implied by offshore geological studies, and the transition from glacial to interglacial conditions around 2.4 Ma as deduced...... the variability of the GIS during the Pliocene to early Pleistocene and underline the importance of including independent estimates of the GIS in studies of climate during this period. We conclude that the GIS did not exist throughout the Pliocene to early Pleistocene, and that it melted during interglacials even...

  17. Osteoarchaeological Studies of Human Systemic Stress of Early Urbanization in Late Shang at Anyang, China (United States)

    Zhang, Hua; Merrett, Deborah C.; Jing, Zhichun; Tang, Jigen; He, Yuling; Yue, Hongbin; Yue, Zhanwei; Yang, Dongya Y.


    Through the analysis of human skeletal remains and mortuary practice in Yinxu, this study investigates the impact of early urbanization on the commoners during the Late Shang dynasty (ca. 1250–1046 B.C.). A total of 347 individuals examined in this study represent non-elites who were recovered from two different burial contexts (formally buried in lineage cemeteries and randomly scattered in refuse pits). Frequencies of enamel hypoplasia (childhood stress), cribra orbitalia (childhood stress and frailty) and osteoperiostitis (adult stress) were examined to assess systemic stress exposure. Our results reveal that there was no significant difference in the frequency of enamel hypoplasia between two burial groups and between sexes, suggesting these urban commoners experienced similar stresses during childhood, but significantly elevated levels of cribra orbitalia and osteoperiostitis were observed in the refuse pit female cohort. Theoretically, urbanization would have resulted in increased population density in the urban centre, declining sanitary conditions, and increased risk of resource shortage. Biologically, children would be more vulnerable to such physiological disturbance; as a result, high percentages of enamel hypoplasia (80.9% overall) and cribra orbitalia (30.3% overall) are observed in Yin commoners. Adults continued to suffer from stress, resulting in high frequencies of osteoperiostitis (40.0% total adults); in particular, in the refuse pit females who may also reflect a compound impact of gender inequality. Our data show that the non-elite urban population in the capital city of Late Shang Dynasty had experienced extensive stress exposure due to early urbanization with further social stratification only worsening the situation, and eventually contributing to collapse of the Shang Dynasty. PMID:27050400

  18. Synergistic roles of climate warming and human occupation in Patagonian megafaunal extinctions during the Last Deglaciation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Metcalf, Jessica L.; Turney, Chris; Barnett, Ross


    The causes of Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions (60,000 to 11,650 years ago, hereafter 60 to 11.65 ka) remain contentious, with major phases coinciding with both human arrival and climate change around the world. The Americas provide a unique opportunity to disentangle these factors as huma...

  19. A multi-proxy approach to understanding complex responses of salt-lake catchments to climate variability and human pressure: A Late Quaternary case study from south-eastern, Spain (United States)

    Jones, Samantha Elsie; Burjachs, Francesc; Ferrer-García, Carlos; Giralt, Santiago; Schulte, Lothar; Fernández-López de Pablo, Javier


    This article focuses on a former salt lake in the upper Vinalopó Valley in south-eastern Spain. The study spans the Late Pleistocene through to the Late Holocene, although with particular focus on the period between 11 ka cal BP and 3000 ka cal BP (which spans the Mesolithic and part of the Bronze Age). High resolution multi-proxy analysis (including pollen, non pollen palynomorphs, grain size, X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffraction) was undertaken on the lake sediments. The results show strong sensitivity to both long term and small changes in the evaporation/precipitation ratio, affecting the surrounding vegetation composition, lake-biota and sediment geochemistry. To summarise the key findings the main general trends identified include: 1) Hyper-saline conditions and low lake levels at the end of the Late Glacial 2) Increasing wetness and temperatures which witnessed an expansion of mesophilic woodland taxa, lake infilling and the establishment of a more perennial lake system at the onset of the Holocene 3) An increase in solar insolation after 9 ka cal BP which saw the re-establishment of pine forests 4) A continued trend towards increasing dryness (climatic optimum) at 7 ka cal BP but with continued freshwater input 5) An increase in sclerophyllous open woody vegetation (anthropogenic?), and increasing wetness (climatic?) is represented in the lake record between 5.9 and 3 ka cal BP 6) The Holocene was also punctuated by several aridity pulses, the most prominent corresponding to the 8.2 ka cal BP event. These events, despite a paucity of well dated archaeological sites in the surrounding area, likely altered the carrying capacity of this area both regionally and locally, particularly during the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, in terms of fresh water supply for human/animal consumption, wild plant food reserves and suitable land for crop growth.

  20. Complete mitochondrial genome and phylogeny of Pleistocene mammoth Mammuthus primigenius.

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    Evgeny I Rogaev


    Full Text Available Phylogenetic relationships between the extinct woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius, and the Asian (Elephas maximus and African savanna (Loxodonta africana elephants remain unresolved. Here, we report the sequence of the complete mitochondrial genome (16,842 base pairs of a woolly mammoth extracted from permafrost-preserved remains from the Pleistocene epoch--the oldest mitochondrial genome sequence determined to date. We demonstrate that well-preserved mitochondrial genome fragments, as long as approximately 1,600-1700 base pairs, can be retrieved from pre-Holocene remains of an extinct species. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the Elephantinae clade suggests that M. primigenius and E. maximus are sister species that diverged soon after their common ancestor split from the L. africana lineage. Low nucleotide diversity found between independently determined mitochondrial genomic sequences of woolly mammoths separated geographically and in time suggests that north-eastern Siberia was occupied by a relatively homogeneous population of M. primigenius throughout the late Pleistocene.

  1. Early pleistocene sediments at Great Blakenham, Suffolk, England (United States)

    Gibbard, P. L.; Allen, P.; Field, M. H.; Hallam, D. F.

    Detailed investigation of a fine sediment sequence, the College Farm Silty Clay Member, that overlies the Creeting Sands (Early Pleistocene) in Suffolk, is presented. The sedimentary sequence is thought to represent a freshwater pool accumulation in a small coastal embayment. Palaeobotanical investigation of the sediment indicates that it accumulated during the late temperate substage of a temperate (interglacial) event. The occurrence of Tsuga pollen, associated with abundant remains of the water fern Azolla tegeliensis indicate that the deposits are of Early Pleistocene age and are correlated with a later part of the Antian-Bramertonian Stage. Correlation with Tiglian TO substage in The Netherlands' sequence is most likely. The sediments' normal palaeomagnetic polarity reinforces the biostratigraphical correlation.

  2. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

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    Nohemi Sala

    Full Text Available Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  3. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene. (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald


    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  4. Presencia de Antifer ultra Ameghino (=Antifer niemeyeri Casamiquela (Artiodactyla, Cervidae en el Pleistoceno tardío-Holoceno temprano de Chile central (30-35°S Presence of Antifer ultra Ameghino (=Antifer niemeyeri Casamiquela in the late Pleistocene-early Holocene of Central Chile (30-35°S

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    Rafael Labarca E


    Full Text Available El presente trabajo discute el estatus taxonómico de la especie Antifer niemeyeri Casamiquela, 1984, definida a partir de astas completas procedentes de la laguna Taguatagua y la quebrada de Quereo (Pleistoceno tardío-Holoceno temprano, en Chile central (30-35°S. Se concluye, a partir de un estudio morfológico y morfométrico detallado, que Antifer niemeyeri debe ser considerado sinónimo de Antifer ultra Ameghino, 1889 dados los caracteres anatómicos compartidos con esta especie. Los resultados amplían la distribución geográfica del taxón, que previamente se registraba en Argentina, Uruguay y sur de Brasil, y confirman su biocrón para el Pleistoceno tardío-Holoceno temprano (edad Lu-janense, aun cuando las fechas radiocarbónicas de Chile central (ca. 9.900 años 14C AP corresponden a las más tardías para la especie. A la luz de la evidencia paleoclimática disponible, se vincula A ultra durante el Pleistoceno de Chile central a ambientes cálidos y abiertos. Considerando estos requerimientos, se discute su posible vía de ingreso al actual territorio chileno a través de corredores ubicados hacia el sur del macizo andino, y su coexistencia con Hippocamelus bisulcus Molina, 1782. De acuerdo a la información estratigráfica y paleoambiental, se postula que ambas especies habrían sido alopátridas, por lo menos en el área de estudio.This paper discusses the taxonomic status of Antifer niemeyeri Casamiquela, 1984, defined from complete antlers from Taguatagua lake and Quereo canyon, both located in central Chile (30-35°S. From a detailed morphological and moiphometrical study, it is concluded that Antifer niemeyeri should be considered synonymous with Antifer ultra Ameghino, 1889, due to the anatomical characters shared between both forms. These results expand the geographical distribution of this taxa previously recorded in Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil, confirming their late Pleistocene-early Holocene biochron, in spite

  5. Ecological impacts of the late Quaternary megaherbivore extinctions. (United States)

    Gill, Jacquelyn L


    As a result of the late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions (50,000-10,000 before present (BP)), most continents today are depauperate of megaherbivores. These extinctions were time-transgressive, size- and taxonomically selective, and were caused by climate change, human hunting, or both. The surviving megaherbivores often act as ecological keystones, which was likely true in the past. In spite of this and extensive research on the causes of the Late Quaternary Extinctions, the long-term ecological consequences of the loss of the Pleistocene megafauna remained unknown until recently, due to difficulties in linking changes in flora and fauna in paleorecords. The quantification of Sporormiella and other dung fungi have recently allowed for explicit tests of the ecological consequences of megafaunal extirpations in the fossil pollen record. In this paper, I review the impacts of the loss of keystone megaherbivores on vegetation in several paleorecords. A growing number of studies support the hypothesis that the loss of the Pleistocene megafauna resulted in cascading effects on plant community composition, vegetation structure and ecosystem function, including increased fire activity, novel communities and shifts in biomes. Holocene biota thus exist outside the broader evolutionary context of the Cenozoic, and the Late Quaternary Extinctions represent a regime shift for surviving plant and animal species.

  6. Involvement of DNA polymerase δ in DNA repair synthesis in human fibroblasts at late times after ultraviolet irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dresler, S.L.; Gowans, B.J.; Robinson-Hill, R.M.; Hunting, D.J.


    DNA repair synthesis following UV irradiation of confluent human fibroblasts has a biphasic time course with an early phase of rapid nucleotide incorporation and a late phase of much slower nucleotide incorporation. The biphasic nature of this curve suggests that two distinct DNA repair systems may be operative. Previous studies have specifically implicated DNA polymerase δ as the enzyme involved in DNA repair synthesis occurring immediately after UV damage. In this paper, the authors describe studies of DNA polymerase involvement in DNA repair synthesis in confluent human fibroblasts at late times after UV irradiation. Late UV-induced DNA repair synthesis in both intact and permeable cells was found to be inhibited by aphidicolin, indicating the involvement of one of the aphidicolin-sensitive DNA polymerases, α or δ. In permeable cells, the process was further analyzed by using the nucleotide analogue (butylphenyl)-2'-deoxyguanosine 5'-triphosphate, which inhibits DNA polymerase α several hundred times more strongly than it inhibits DNA polymerase δ. The (butylphenyl)-2'-deoxyguanosine 5'-triphosphate inhibition curve for late UV-induced repair synthesis was very similar to that for polymerase δ. It appears that repair synthesis at late time after UV irradiation, like repair synthesis at early times, is mediated by DNA polymerase δ

  7. A dielectric method for measuring early and late reactions in irradiated human skin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nuutinen, J.; Lahtinen, T.; Turunen, M.; Alanen, E.; Tenhunen, M.; Usenius, T.; Kolle, R.


    Background and purpose: To measure the dielectric constant of irradiated human skin in order to test the feasibility of the dielectric measurements in the quantitation of acute and late radiation reactions. Materials and methods: The dielectric constant of irradiated breast skin was measured at an electromagnetic frequency of 300 MHz in 21 patients during postmastectomy radiotherapy. The measurements were performed with an open-ended coaxial line reflection method. The irradiation technique consisted of an anterior photon field to the lymph nodes and a matched electron field to the chest wall using conventional fractionation of five fractions/week to 50 Gy. Fourteen out of the 21 patients were remeasured 2 years later and the skin was palpated for subcutaneous fibrosis. Results: At 5 weeks the dielectric constant had decreased by 31 and 39% for the investigated skin sites of the photon and electron fields, respectively. There was a statistically significant inverse correlation between the mean dielectric constant and the clinical score of erythema. An unexpected finding was a decrease of the dielectric constant of the contralateral healthy skin during radiotherapy. Two years later a statistically significant positive correlation was found between the dielectric constant at the irradiated skin sites and the clinical score of subcutaneous fibrosis. Conclusions: Dielectric measurements non-invasively yield quantitative information concerning radiation-induced skin reactions. (Copyright (c) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  8. The first polluted river? Repeated copper contamination of fluvial sediments associated with Late Neolithic human activity in southern Jordan. (United States)

    Grattan, J P; Adams, R B; Friedman, H; Gilbertson, D D; Haylock, K I; Hunt, C O; Kent, M


    The roots of pyrometallurgy are obscure. This paper explores one possible precursor, in the Faynan Orefield in southern Jordan. There, at approximately 7000cal. BP, banks of a near-perennial meandering stream (today represented by complex overbank wetland and anthropogenic deposits) were contaminated repeatedly by copper emitted by human activities. Variations in the distribution of copper in this sequence are not readily explained in other ways, although the precise mechanism of contamination remains unclear. The degree of copper enhancement was up to an order of magnitude greater than that measured in Pleistocene fluvial and paludal sediments, in contemporary or slightly older Holocene stream and pond deposits, and in the adjacent modern wadi braidplain. Lead is less enhanced, more variable, and appears to have been less influenced by contemporaneous human activities at this location. Pyrometallurgy in this region may have appeared as a byproduct of the activity practised on the stream-bank in the Wadi Faynan ~7000years ago. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Soluble human leukocyte antigen-G isoforms in maternal plasma in early and late pregnancy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rizzo, Roberta; Andersen, Anita Sylvest; Lassen, Michael Rud


    -G generated by specific HLA-G transcripts, have been investigated early [median of 16.4 weeks of gestation (GW)] and late (median: 38.9 GW) in pregnancy in an original cohort of 580 pregnant Caucasian women. RESULTS: Lower concentrations of sHLA-G1 were found late in pregnancy (>32 GW) in a group of women...

  10. Middle-Late Holocene environmental history of Kulunda (Southwestern Siberia): vegetation, climate, humans (United States)

    Rudaya, N.; Nazarova, L.; Papin, D.; Nourgaliev, D.


    Environmental reconstruction of Mid-Late Holocene vegetation and climate was inferred from pollen records of Lake Big Yarovoe (Kulunda steppe, Southwestern Siberia). Reconstruction suggests generally prevalence of steppe during last 4.45 ka. Relatively warm and dry climate, open semi-desert and dry steppes with patchy birch forest spread between 4.45 and 3.80 ka BP. The largest development of conifers forest started in Kulunda after 3.80 ka BP. Constant presence of dark-coniferous trees Abies and especially Picea between 3.80 and 2.7 ka BP indicates the most humid period in the region during studied time. Onset of the Late Holocene is characterised by dominance of steppe with birch and pine forests in lowlands and river valleys. After AD 1860, open steppe and semi-desert vegetation with fragmentary birch forest have been dominated parallel to sharp reduction of conifers in Kulunda. These results are in agreement with general scheme of Holocene environmental history of surrounding areas including Baraba forest-steppe, Kazakh Upland and Altai Mountains. Territory of Kulunda consists many archaeological sites of Bronze, Iron and Middle Ages. Second half of Bronze Age (4.45-3.80 ka BP) was represented by local human cultures or migrants from the North Kazakhstan. The main archaeological culture of Kulunda alike in the whole Ob`-Irtysh interfluve in this period was Elunino culture. The economical activities of Elunino community were connected with animal breeding especially with sheep and goats. The most humid period (~1795-710 BC; 3.8-2.7 ka BP) in Kulunda corresponded to the end of early Bronze Age and to the onset of the Iron Age. In 18 century BC Andronovo culture, associated with the Indo-Iranians and migrants from Central Kazakhstan, spread in the region. Cattle breeding economy was distinctive features of Andronovo people, however, increase of sheep, goats and horses with transition to nomadic life style was characteristic of the late Bronze Age. This trend is in

  11. Macro fossils vegetable in Palmar formation (later pleistocene) in Entre Rios - Argentina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramos, R.; Brea, M.; Krohling, D.


    This work is about the macro fossil knowledge preserved like wood fossils in the El Palmar Formation (Late Pleistocene) from a systematic - anatomical as well as paleoecological and paleoclimate point of view.The paleo Flora comes from various fossil located in the province of Entre Rios - Argentina

  12. Human ClC-6 is a late endosomal glycoprotein that associates with detergent-resistant lipid domains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofie Ignoul

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The mammalian CLC protein family comprises nine members (ClC-1 to -7 and ClC-Ka, -Kb that function either as plasma membrane chloride channels or as intracellular chloride/proton antiporters, and that sustain a broad spectrum of cellular processes, such as membrane excitability, transepithelial transport, endocytosis and lysosomal degradation. In this study we focus on human ClC-6, which is structurally most related to the late endosomal/lysomal ClC-7. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a polyclonal affinity-purified antibody directed against a unique epitope in the ClC-6 COOH-terminal tail, we show that human ClC-6, when transfected in COS-1 cells, is N-glycosylated in a region that is evolutionary poorly conserved between mammalian CLC proteins and that is located between the predicted helices K and M. Three asparagine residues (N410, N422 and N432 have been defined by mutagenesis as acceptor sites for N-glycosylation, but only two of the three sites seem to be simultaneously N-glycosylated. In a differentiated human neuroblastoma cell line (SH-SY5Y, endogenous ClC-6 colocalizes with LAMP-1, a late endosomal/lysosomal marker, but not with early/recycling endosomal markers such as EEA-1 and transferrin receptor. In contrast, when transiently expressed in COS-1 or HeLa cells, human ClC-6 mainly overlaps with markers for early/recycling endosomes (transferrin receptor, EEA-1, Rab5, Rab4 and not with late endosomal/lysosomal markers (LAMP-1, Rab7. Analogously, overexpression of human ClC-6 in SH-SY5Y cells also leads to an early/recycling endosomal localization of the exogenously expressed ClC-6 protein. Finally, in transiently transfected COS-1 cells, ClC-6 copurifies with detergent-resistant membrane fractions, suggesting its partitioning in lipid rafts. Mutating a juxtamembrane string of basic amino acids (amino acids 71-75: KKGRR disturbs the association with detergent-resistant membrane fractions and also affects the segregation of ClC-6

  13. Late-onset hypogonadism: the advantages of treatment with human chorionic gonadotropin rather than testosterone. (United States)

    La Vignera, Sandro; Condorelli, Rosita Angela; Cimino, Laura; Russo, Giorgio Ivan; Morgia, Giuseppe; Calogero, Aldo E


    The traditional pharmacological treatment of patients with late onset hypogonadism (LOH) is represented by different formulations of testosterone (T) or alternatively by the extractive human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). The hormone replacement treatment (HRT) is associated with the potential increase of hematocrit, serum concentrations of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostate volume. Moreover, the gynecomastia represent a condition frequently associated with HRT. Recent evidences showed the role of leydig cells in the 25-hydroxylation of vitamin D and the elevated frequency of hypovitaminosis D among LOH patients. Finally, another important aspect of LOH is represented by the frequency of secondary infertility due to age or to traditional HRT. This study evaluated 40 LOH patients treated for 6 months with extractive HCG (n = 10 patients) and three different formulations of T: transdermal (n = 10 patients), undecaonate (n = 10 patients) and enantate (n = 10 patients). Hormonal, anthropometric, metabolic and sperm parameters were evaluated and compared. Moreover, the main safety parameters and the results of the main questionnaires were evaluated. After treatment, HCG group showed serum concentrations of 25-OH-vitamin D significantly higher (p < 0.05) and serum concentrations of oestrogens significantly lower (p < 0.05) compared with other groups. Moreover, they showed a mean value of hematocrit, PSA and prostate volume significantly lower (p < 0.05) compared with other groups. Finally, all the groups treated with T showed a significant reduction (p < 0.05) of sperm density and of percentage of spermatozoa with progressive motility compared with HCG group.

  14. Viral DNA Replication Orientation and hnRNPs Regulate Transcription of the Human Papillomavirus 18 Late Promoter. (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohong; Liu, Haibin; Ge, Hui; Ajiro, Masahiko; Sharma, Nishi R; Meyers, Craig; Morozov, Pavel; Tuschl, Thomas; Klar, Amar; Court, Donald; Zheng, Zhi-Ming


    The life cycle of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) is tightly linked to keratinocyte differentiation. Although expression of viral early genes is initiated immediately upon virus infection of undifferentiated basal cells, viral DNA amplification and late gene expression occur only in the mid to upper strata of the keratinocytes undergoing terminal differentiation. In this report, we show that the relative activity of HPV18 TATA-less late promoter P 811 depends on its orientation relative to that of the origin (Ori) of viral DNA replication and is sensitive to the eukaryotic DNA polymerase inhibitor aphidicolin. Additionally, transfected 70-nucleotide (nt)-long single-strand DNA oligonucleotides that are homologous to the region near Ori induce late promoter activity. We also found that promoter activation in raft cultures leads to production of the late promoter-associated, sense-strand transcription initiation RNAs (tiRNAs) and splice-site small RNAs (spliRNAs). Finally, a cis -acting AAGTATGCA core element that functions as a repressor to the promoter was identified. This element interacts with hnRNP D0B and hnRNP A/B factors. Point mutations in the core prevented binding of hnRNPs and increased the promoter activity. Confirming this result, knocking down the expression of both hnRNPs in keratinocytes led to increased promoter activity. Taking the data together, our study revealed the mechanism of how the HPV18 late promoter is regulated by DNA replication and host factors. IMPORTANCE It has been known for decades that the activity of viral late promoters is associated with viral DNA replication among almost all DNA viruses. However, the mechanism of how DNA replication activates the viral late promoter and what components of the replication machinery are involved remain largely unknown. In this study, we characterized the P 811 promoter region of HPV18 and demonstrated that its activation depends on the orientation of DNA replication. Using single

  15. Late Pleistocene temperature history of Southeast Africa: A TEX

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woltering, M.; Johnson, T.C.; Werne, J.P.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.


    We present a TEX86-derived surface water temperature record for Lake Malawi that provides the first continuous continental record of temperature variability in the continental tropics spanning the past similar to 74 kyr with millennial-scale resolution. Average temperature during Marine Isotope

  16. Response of the Amazon rainforest to late Pleistocene climate variability (United States)

    Häggi, Christoph; Chiessi, Cristiano M.; Merkel, Ute; Mulitza, Stefan; Prange, Matthias; Schulz, Michael; Schefuß, Enno


    Variations in Amazonian hydrology and forest cover have major consequences for the global carbon and hydrological cycles as well as for biodiversity. Yet, the climate and vegetation history of the lowland Amazon basin and its effect on biogeography remain debated due to the scarcity of suitable high-resolution paleoclimate records. Here, we use the isotopic composition (δD and δ13C) of plant-waxes from a high-resolution marine sediment core collected offshore the Amazon River to reconstruct the climate and vegetation history of the integrated lowland Amazon basin for the period from 50,000 to 12,800 yr before present. Our results show that δD values from the Last Glacial Maximum were more enriched than those from Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 and the present-day. We interpret this trend to reflect long-term changes in precipitation and atmospheric circulation, with overall drier conditions during the Last Glacial Maximum. Our results thus suggest a dominant glacial forcing of the climate in lowland Amazonia. In addition to previously suggested thermodynamic mechanisms of precipitation change, which are directly related to temperature, we conclude that changes in atmospheric circulation are crucial to explain the temporal evolution of Amazonian rainfall variations, as demonstrated in climate model experiments. Our vegetation reconstruction based on δ13C values shows that the Amazon rainforest was affected by intrusions of savannah or more open vegetation types in its northern sector during Heinrich Stadials, while it was resilient to glacial drying. This suggests that biogeographic patterns in tropical South America were affected by Heinrich Stadials in addition to glacial-interglacial climate variability.

  17. Formation and evolution of yardangs activated by Late Pleistocene ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2School of Tourism, Hebei University of Economics and Business, Shijiazhuang 050061, China. ∗ ... Based on fieldwork, this study ascertained three levels of river terrace in the ...... Cheng J 2009 Practice book of Quaternary geology and geo-.

  18. Pleistocene and Holocene Iberian flora: a complete picture and review (United States)

    González Sampériz, Penélope


    A detailed analysis of the location and composition of Iberian vegetation types during the whole Pleistocene and Holocene periods shows a complex patched landscape with persistence of different types of ecosystems, even during glacial times. In addition, recent, high-resolution palaeoecological records are changing the traditional picture of post-glacial vegetation succession in the Iberian Peninsula. The main available charcoal and pollen sequences include, coniferous and deciduous forest, steppes, shrublands, savannahs and glacial refugia during the Pleistocene for Meso-thermophytes (phytodiversity reservoirs), in different proportions. This panorama suggests an environmental complexity that relates biotic responses to climate changes forced by Milankovitch cycles, suborbital forcings and by the latitudinal and physiographic particularities of the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, many factors are critical in the course of vegetational developments and strong regional differences are observed since the Early Pleistocene. Currently, the flora of Iberia is located in two biogeographical/climatic regions: the Eurosiberian and the Mediterranean. The first one includes northern and northwestern areas of the peninsula, where post-glacial responses of vegetation are very similar to Central Europe, although with some particularities due to its proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean region. The second one comprises the main territory of Iberia and shows more complex patterns and singularities, now and in the past. Steppe landscapes dominated extensive areas over all the territory during the cold spells of the Quaternary, especially during the Late Pleistocene up to the Last Glacial Maximum, but differences in composition of the dominant taxa (Compositae versus Artemisia) are observed since the Early Pleistocene, probably related to moisture regional gradients. Coastal shelves and intramountainous valleys, even in continental areas, are spots of floristic

  19. Thermoluminescence dating of pleistocene sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poupeau, G.; Souza, J.H.; Rivera, A.


    After a short introduction on recent trends in quaternary geochronology, this article focuses on the thermoluminescence dating of sediments, whose principles and present limits and prospects are discussed. Results are presented for the TL behaviour of sands from various geological contexts in Brazil. They show that the coarse (approx. 100-200μm) quartz fraction of coastal and intra continental, eolian and fluvial-type deposits, might be datable by TL from the upper Holocene to at least the basis of the upper Pleistocene, with a precision of + - 10-15%. (Author) [pt

  20. Thermoluminescence dating of pleistocene sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poupeau, G.; Souza, J.H.


    After a short introduction on recent trends in quaternary geochronology, this article focuses on the thermoluminescence (TL) dating of sediments, whose principles, present limits and prospects are discussed. Results are presented for TL behavior of sands from various geological contexts in Brazil. They show that the coarse (approx. 100-200 μm) quartz fraction of coastal and intracontinental, eolian and fluvial - type deposits, might be datable by TL from the upper Holocene to at least the base of the upper Pleistocene, with a precision of +- 10-15%. (Author) [pt

  1. Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia. (United States)

    Aubert, M; Brumm, A; Ramli, M; Sutikna, T; Saptomo, E W; Hakim, B; Morwood, M J; van den Bergh, G D; Kinsley, L; Dosseto, A


    Archaeologists have long been puzzled by the appearance in Europe ∼40-35 thousand years (kyr) ago of a rich corpus of sophisticated artworks, including parietal art (that is, paintings, drawings and engravings on immobile rock surfaces) and portable art (for example, carved figurines), and the absence or scarcity of equivalent, well-dated evidence elsewhere, especially along early human migration routes in South Asia and the Far East, including Wallacea and Australia, where modern humans (Homo sapiens) were established by 50 kyr ago. Here, using uranium-series dating of coralloid speleothems directly associated with 12 human hand stencils and two figurative animal depictions from seven cave sites in the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, we show that rock art traditions on this Indonesian island are at least compatible in age with the oldest European art. The earliest dated image from Maros, with a minimum age of 39.9 kyr, is now the oldest known hand stencil in the world. In addition, a painting of a babirusa ('pig-deer') made at least 35.4 kyr ago is among the earliest dated figurative depictions worldwide, if not the earliest one. Among the implications, it can now be demonstrated that humans were producing rock art by ∼40 kyr ago at opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world.

  2. Climate and landscape in Italy during Late Epigravettian. The Late Glacial small mammal sequence of Riparo Tagliente (Stallavena di Grezzana, Verona, Italy) (United States)

    Berto, Claudio; Luzi, Elisa; Canini, Guido Montanari; Guerreschi, Antonio; Fontana, Federica


    The site of Riparo Tagliente (north-eastern Italy) contains one of the main Upper Pleistocene archaeological sequences of south-western Europe. It also represents a key site for the study of human adaptation to Late Glacial environmental changes in the southern Alpine area. These climatic and environmental conditions are here reconstructed based on small mammal assemblages, using the Bioclimatic model and Habitat Weighting methods. Climate proxies indicate a rise in temperature during the transition between HE1 and the Bølling-Allerød interstadial, while the landscape surrounding the shelter was still dominated by open grasslands. By comparing the data obtained from Riparo Tagliente with other coeval small mammal faunas from the Italian Peninsula and Europe we contribute to the reconstruction of the processes of faunal renewal registered during the Late Glacial across the continent and of the climatic and environmental context in which the Late Epigravettian hunter-gatherer groups lived.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available The preliminary results of the analisys of fossil vertebrate remains from 19 fissure fillings in the karst network at Monte Tuttavista (Orosei, NMoro are reported. about 80 taxa, among fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals have been recognised.These remains document the evolution of vertebrate assemblages in the Sardinian insular domain, during a time interval apparently spanning the Late Pliocene to Late Pleistocene or Holocene. A succession of at least four populating complexes has been identified which document the vertebrate colonisation phases from the Italian mainland and the following periods of insularity. Indeed, the occurrence of endemic taxa such as the murid Rhagapodemus minor, the primate Macaca cf. M. majori and the caprine Nesogoral, suggest some fissure fillings date to a phase close to the Plio/Pleistocene boundary since these taxa occur at the Sardinian locality Capo Figari I which has been dated to about 1.8 Ma. However, the presence of the "hunting-hyaena" Chasmaporthetes, never reported before in Sardinia, could suggest that the beginning of the vertebrate record of Monte Tuttavista is older, given that this carnivore is documented in European Middle Pliocene-Early Pleistocene localities. The vertebrate assemblages that document the most recent migratory phases in the karst network of Monte Tuttavista are characterised by the occurrence of the endemic megalocerine cervid Praemegaceros cazioti and the arvicolid Tyrrhenicola henseli which are comparable with those occurring in other Late Pleistocene and early Holocene Sardinian sites.

  4. Stature estimation from complete long bones in the Middle Pleistocene humans from the Sima de los Huesos, Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain). (United States)

    Carretero, José-Miguel; Rodríguez, Laura; García-González, Rebeca; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Lorenzo, Carlos; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Gracia, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf


    Systematic excavations at the site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain) have allowed us to reconstruct 27 complete long bones of the human species Homo heidelbergensis. The SH sample is used here, together with a sample of 39 complete Homo neanderthalensis long bones and 17 complete early Homo sapiens (Skhul/Qafzeh) long bones, to compare the stature of these three different human species. Stature is estimated for each bone using race- and sex-independent regression formulae, yielding an average stature for each bone within each taxon. The mean length of each long bone from SH is significantly greater (p Huesos hominins nor the Neandertals should be considered 'short' people. In fact, the average stature within the genus Homo seems to have changed little over the course of the last two million years, since the appearance of Homo ergaster in East Africa. It is only with the emergence of H. sapiens, whose earliest representatives were 'very tall', that a significant increase in stature can be documented. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Human polyomavirus JCV late leader peptide region contains important regulatory elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akan, Ilhan; Sariyer, Ilker Kudret; Biffi, Renato; Palermo, Victoria; Woolridge, Stefanie; White, Martyn K.; Amini, Shohreh; Khalili, Kamel; Safak, Mahmut


    Transcription is a complex process that relies on the cooperative interaction between sequence-specific factors and the basal transcription machinery. The strength of a promoter depends on upstream or downstream cis-acting DNA elements, which bind transcription factors. In this study, we investigated whether DNA elements located downstream of the JCV late promoter, encompassing the late leader peptide region, which encodes agnoprotein, play regulatory roles in the JCV lytic cycle. For this purpose, the entire coding region of the leader peptide was deleted and the functional consequences of this deletion were analyzed. We found that viral gene expression and replication were drastically reduced. Gene expression also decreased from a leader peptide point mutant but to a lesser extent. This suggested that the leader peptide region of JCV might contain critical cis-acting DNA elements to which transcription factors bind and regulate viral gene expression and replication. We analyzed the entire coding region of the late leader peptide by a footprinting assay and identified three major regions (region I, II and III) that were protected by nuclear proteins. Further investigation of the first two protected regions by band shift assays revealed a new band that appeared in new infection cycles, suggesting that viral infection induces new factors that interact with the late leader peptide region of JCV. Analysis of the effect of the leader peptide region on the promoter activity of JCV by transfection assays demonstrated that this region has a positive and negative effect on the large T antigen (LT-Ag)-mediated activation of the viral early and late promoters, respectively. Furthermore, a partial deletion analysis of the leader peptide region encompassing the protected regions I and II demonstrated a significant down-regulation of viral gene expression and replication. More importantly, these results were similar to that obtained from a complete deletion of the late leader

  6. Fossil human remains from Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain). (United States)

    Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Fernández Peris, Josep; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Quam, Rolf; Carretero, José Miguel; Barciela González, Virginia; Blasco, Ruth; Cuartero, Felipe; Sañudo, Pablo


    Systematic excavations carried out since 1989 at Bolomor Cave have led to the recovery of four Pleistocene human fossil remains, consisting of a fibular fragment, two isolated teeth, and a nearly complete adult parietal bone. All of these specimens date to the late Middle and early Late Pleistocene (MIS 7-5e). The fibular fragment shows thick cortical bone, an archaic feature found in non-modern (i.e. non-Homo sapiens) members of the genus Homo. Among the dental remains, the lack of a midtrigonid crest in the M(1) represents a departure from the morphology reported for the majority of Neandertal specimens, while the large dimensions and pronounced shoveling of the marginal ridges in the C(1) are similar to other European Middle and late Pleistocene fossils. The parietal bone is very thick, with dimensions that generally fall above Neandertal fossils and resemble more closely the Middle Pleistocene Atapuerca (SH) adult specimens. Based on the presence of archaic features, all the fossils from Bolomor are attributed to the Neandertal evolutionary lineage. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The southernmost record of a large erethizontid rodent (Hystricomorpha: Erethizontoidea) in the Pleistocene of South America: Biogeographic and paleoenvironmental implications (United States)

    Vezzosi, Raúl I.; Kerber, Leonardo


    The South American porcupines (Erethizontidae) are included in two genera: Chaetomys and Coendou. The latter is a very speciose taxon, with about 13 living species. During at least the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene, erethizontids immigrated to Central and North America during the Great American Biotic Interchange. Although some Pleistocene fossils have been reported, the Quaternary history of this clade is still understudied. The only known extinct species is Coendou magnus. In this work, a fossil of a porcupine is reported from an Upper Pleistocene fluvial sedimentary sequence cropping out in the Northern Pampa geomorphological region, Santa Fe Province, Argentina. Despite this group having different living forms widely distributed in South American Neotropical woodland habitats, the Pleistocene occurrences of Erethizontidae are scarce and limited to Upper Pleistocene deposits from Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay. Currently, the specimen here reported represents the only Pleistocene porcupine from Argentina with a stratigraphical context. The morphological characters as well as the dimensions indicate that it is close to the Pleistocene erethizontid Coendou magnus. In this context, the presence of this erethizontid in such a southern locality, together with other taxa recorded from this site and the associated geological and paleoenvironmental evidence, indicates subtropical conditions, compared with the current conditions, which may have allowed a southern displacement of taxa more related to woodlands and xeric subtropical environments.

  8. Nitrogen Isotope Evidence for a Shift in Eastern Beringian Nitrogen Cycle after the Terminal Pleistocene (United States)

    Tahmasebi, F.; Longstaffe, F. J.; Zazula, G.


    The loess deposits of eastern Beringia, a region in North America between 60° and 70°N latitude and bounded by Chukchi Sea to the west and the Mackenzie River to the east, are a magnificent repository of Late Pleistocene megafauna fossils. The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions of these fossils are measured to determine the paleodiet of these animals, and hence the paleoenvironment of this ecosystem during the Quaternary. For this approach to be most successful, however, requires consideration of possible changes in nutrient cycling and hence the carbon and nitrogen isotopic compositions of vegetation in this ecosystem. To test for such a shift following the terminal Pleistocene, we analyzed the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions of modern plants and bone collagen of Arctic ground squirrels from Yukon Territory, and fossil plants and bones recovered from Late Pleistocene fossil Arctic ground squirrel nests. The data for modern samples provided a measure of the isotopic fractionation between ground squirrel bone collagen and their diet. The over-wintering isotopic effect of decay on typical forage grasses was also measured to evaluate its role in determining fossil plant isotopic compositions. The grasses showed only a minor change ( 0-1 ‰) in carbon isotope composition, but a major change ( 2-10 ‰) in nitrogen isotope composition over the 317-day experiment. Based on the modern carbon isotope fractionation between ground squirrel bone collagen and their diet, the modern vegetation carbon isotopic baseline provides a suitable proxy for the Late Pleistocene of eastern Beringia, after accounting for the Suess effect. However, the predicted nitrogen isotope composition of vegetation comprising the diet of fossil ground squirrels remains 2.5 ‰ higher than modern grasslands in this area, even after accounting for possible N-15 enrichment during decay. This result suggests a change in N cycling in this region since the Late Pleistocene.


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    Full Text Available We here present che preliminary results of the analysis of the fossil bird assemblages found in the lignite deposits of the Pietrafitta Mine (Perugia, Central Italy. A rich vertebrate association, mainly mammals, has been retrieved in Pietrafitta, which is the richest local fauna of the Farneta Faunal Unit (late Villafranchian, early Pleistocene. Avian remains of Podicipedidae, Ardeidae, Phalacrocoracidae, Anatidae, Phasianidae and Rallidae have been identified, for most of which Pietrafitta represents the earliest occurrence in Italy. The Pietrafitta fossil bird association is the first Italian bird assemblage of the Early Pleistocene and seems to be one of the most important ones for the early Pleistocene in Europe, especially because it contains mainly aquatic birds, often rare in many other European deposits. 

  10. Palynological evidence of human activity on the gulf of Gdansk coast during the late holocene

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    Grazyna Miotk-Szpiganowicz


    Full Text Available The Gulf of Gdansk is located in the southern part of the Baltic Sea. The shores of the Gulf are dominated by the sandy barriers which have developed in front of the Vistula Lagoon and the Vistula Delta Plain to the south-east and south and in front of the Puck Lagoon in the north-west such as the Hel Peninsula. Cliffs occur on the western coast of the Gulf. Neolithic settlements around the coast of the Gulf of Gdansk are mainly located at the foot of the upland slope and on the Vistula Spit and the Vistula Delta and are closely related to the rise and displacement of the shoreline during the Late Holocene. Pollen analyses of the sediment cores from the Vistula Delta, the Vistula Lagoon and the coast of the Puck Lagoon allow four anthropogenic phases to be distinguished in the area of the Gulf of Gdansk. It has been shown that the first indicators of an early husbandry economy in the vicinity of the Gulf of Gdansk appeared in the Atlantic Period. Pollen grains of plants related to this kind of human activity those of the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae, motherwort (Artemisia, sorrel (Rumex are present and the first pollen grains of the plantain (Plantago lanceolata also appear. The second anthropogenic phase of Neolithic settlement is one of the best investigated cultures. This is the Rzucewo Culture. Pollen analyses indicate increasing human activity at the beginning of the Subboreal Period. The preserved traces of fauna show that the seal hunting and fishing economy was preferred. Radiocarbon dating of archaeological artifacts indicates the beginning of the settlement at ca. 2 400 B.C. (ca. 4 400 years B.P. (Król 1997. The altitude of peat and marine mollusks shells and their radiocarbon age shows that during the Early Subboreal Period the water level rose from ca. 2.8 m to 1.1 m below the present-day sea level. The date of the beginning of the seal hunters settlement correlates well with the period when the shores of the Puck Lagoon

  11. Human settlement history between Sunda and Sahul: a focus on East Timor (Timor-Leste) and the Pleistocenic mtDNA diversity. (United States)

    Gomes, Sibylle M; Bodner, Martin; Souto, Luis; Zimmermann, Bettina; Huber, Gabriela; Strobl, Christina; Röck, Alexander W; Achilli, Alessandro; Olivieri, Anna; Torroni, Antonio; Côrte-Real, Francisco; Parson, Walther


    Distinct, partly competing, "waves" have been proposed to explain human migration in(to) today's Island Southeast Asia and Australia based on genetic (and other) evidence. The paucity of high quality and high resolution data has impeded insights so far. In this study, one of the first in a forensic environment, we used the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) for generating complete mitogenome sequences via stand-alone massively parallel sequencing and describe a standard data validation practice. In this first representative investigation on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation of East Timor (Timor-Leste) population including >300 individuals, we put special emphasis on the reconstruction of the initial settlement, in particular on the previously poorly resolved haplogroup P1, an indigenous lineage of the Southwest Pacific region. Our results suggest a colonization of southern Sahul (Australia) >37 kya, limited subsequent exchange, and a parallel incubation of initial settlers in northern Sahul (New Guinea) followed by westward migrations <28 kya. The temporal proximity and possible coincidence of these latter dispersals, which encompassed autochthonous haplogroups, with the postulated "later" events of (South) East Asian origin pinpoints a highly dynamic migratory phase.

  12. Early Pleistocene occurrence of Acheulian technology in North China (United States)

    Li, Xingwen; Ao, Hong; Dekkers, Mark J.; Roberts, Andrew P.; Zhang, Peng; Lin, Shan; Huang, Weiwen; Hou, Yamei; Zhang, Weihua; An, Zhisheng


    Acheulian tools with their associated level of cognizance heralded a major threshold in the evolution of hominin technology, culture and behavior. Thus, unraveling occurrence ages of Acheulian technology across different regions worldwide constitutes a key aspect of understanding the archeology of early human evolution. Here we present a magneto-cyclochronology for the Acheulian assemblage from Sanmenxia Basin, Loess Plateau, North China. Our results place a sequence of stable normal and reversed paleomagnetic polarities within a regional lithostratigraphic context. The Acheulian assemblage is dated to be older than the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary at 0.78 Ma, and is found in strata that are probably equivalent to a weak paleosol subunit within loess layer L9 in the Chinese loess-paleosol sequence, which corresponds to marine isotope stage (MIS) 23, a relatively subdued interglacial period with age range of ∼0.89-0.92 Ma. This age of ∼0.9 Ma implies that Acheulian stone tools were unambiguously present in North China during the Early Pleistocene. It distinctly enlarges the geographic distribution of Acheulian technology and brings its occurrence in North China back into the Early Pleistocene, which is contemporaneous with its first emergence in Europe. Combined with other archeological records, the larger area over which Acheulian technology existed in East Asia during the terminal Early Pleistocene has important implications for understanding early human occupation of North China.

  13. Plio-Pleistocene aardvarks (Mammalia, Tubulidentata from East Africa

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    T. Lehmann


    Full Text Available The Tubulidentata are unique among mammals for being the only order represented nowadays by a single living species, Orycteropus afer: the aardvark. Nevertheless, it is one of the least studied mammalian orders. Aardvarks are currently distributed all over sub-Saharan Africa, but the fossil record extends their spatial range to Europe and Asia. The earliest known Tubulidentata are ca. 20 million years old. About 14 species and three to four genera have been recognised so far, but since the late Pliocene, aardvarks have only been represented by a single genus and are restricted to Africa. The extant aardvark is the only species of Tubulidentata with a large distribution area, i.e. the African continent. There are three known Plio-Pleistocene African species of aardvark: Orycteropus afer (Pallas, 1766, O. crassidens MacInnes, 1956, and O. djourabensis Lehmann et al., 2004. Fossils of these species have been discovered in North-Africa, Kenya, and Chad respectively. The present study is focused on the aardvark material found in the Plio-Pleistocene of East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya. New specimens from Asa Issie (Ethiopia and East Turkana (Kenya are described, and published ones are re-examined in the light of the latest discoveries. This study demonstrates that Kenyan specimens identified as O. crassidens are in fact representatives of the Chadian O. djourabensis. Moreover, additional material from Ethiopia and Kenya shows a close relationship with the latter species too. The presence of specimens of O. djourabensis in Chad and in Kenya during the Plio-Pleistocene implies that this taxon is the oldest-known species of aardvark to have experienced a continental dispersal. It also shows that Tubulidentates were able to cross Africa from east-west during Plio-Pleistocene times, despite the presence of the Rift Valley. It is however not possible to infer the centre of origin of O. djourabensis. Finally, this study suggests that two species of aardvark

  14. Non-Catalytic Functions of Pyk2 and Fyn Regulate Late Stage Adhesion in Human T Cells (United States)

    Houtman, Jon C. D.


    T cell activation drives the protective immune response against pathogens, but is also critical for the development of pathological diseases in humans. Cytoskeletal changes are required for downstream functions in T cells, including proliferation, cytokine production, migration, spreading, and adhesion. Therefore, investigating the molecular mechanism of cytoskeletal changes is crucial for understanding the induction of T cell-driven immune responses and for developing therapies to treat immune disorders related to aberrant T cell activation. In this study, we used a plate-bound adhesion assay that incorporated near-infrared imaging technology to address how TCR signaling drives human T cell adhesion. Interestingly, we observed that T cells have weak adhesion early after TCR activation and that binding to the plate was significantly enhanced 30–60 minutes after receptor activation. This late stage of adhesion was mediated by actin polymerization but was surprisingly not dependent upon Src family kinase activity. By contrast, the non-catalytic functions of the kinases Fyn and Pyk2 were required for late stage human T cell adhesion. These data reveal a novel TCR-induced signaling pathway that controls cellular adhesion independent of the canonical TCR signaling cascade driven by tyrosine kinase activity. PMID:23300847

  15. Paleohydrology and paleoenvironments at Bir Sahara: Pleistocene lithostratigraphy and sedimentology in the southern Egyptian Sahara (United States)

    Hill, Christopher L.; Schild, Romuald


    The Bir Sahara area contains a remarkable record of Middle and Late Pleistocene hydrologic and environmental conditions for Saharan North Africa, based on lithostratigraphic and sedimentologic evidence from basin-fill deposits. Some of the deposits contain Lower Paleolithic (Acheulean) or Middle Paleolithic artifacts that help to constrain their age, since Acheulian artifacts are assigned to the Middle Pleistocene, while Middle Paleolithic artifacts are limited to either the Middle or Late Pleistocene. Locality BS-14 is in the southern part of Bir Sahara, while localities E-88-15, E-88-2, BS-13, and BS-16 are situated in the south-central part of the deflational basin, closer to the present-day water-hole. Lowered groundwater conditions during arid intervals resulted in erosional topographic basins. These deflational basins were later filled with sediments associated with wetter hydrologic conditions. The oldest studied sedimentary sequence in the Bir Sahara depression (BS-14) contains in situ Acheulian artifacts. Acheulian handaxes are found in sands underlying carbonates that are interpreted as evidence of spring-fed pond and marsh environments during a Middle Pleistocene wet interval. At the E-88-15 locality, the stratigraphic sequence documents deposition in a possible perennial pond or small lake that varied in extent and depth and is associated with Middle Paleolithic artifacts. At E-88-12 and BS-13, lateral and vertical variations in the lithofacies of the basin-fill sediments provide additional records of changing hydrologic conditions during the Late Pleistocene. These hydrologic conditions appear to reflect variations in water-table levels related to groundwater recharge and, at times, local rains.

  16. Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene


    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-P?rez, Ana; Pablos, Adri?n; Mart?nez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M.; G?mez-Olivencia, Asier; Berm?dez de Castro, Jos? Mar?a; Carbonell, Eudald


    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force ...

  17. The Pleistocene rivers of the English Channel region (United States)

    Antoine, Pierre; Coutard, Jean-Pierre; Gibbard, Philip; Hallegouet, Bernard; Lautridou, Jean-Pierre; Ozouf, Jean-Claude


    The Pleistocene history of river systems that enter the English Channel from northern France and southern England is reviewed. During periods of low sea-level (cold stages) these streams were tributaries of the Channel River. In southern England the largest, the River Solent, is an axial stream that has drained the Hampshire Basin from the Early Pleistocene or late Pliocene. Other streams of southern England may be of similar antiquity but their records are generally short and their sedimentary history have been destroyed, as in northern Brittany, by coastal erosion and valley deepening as a consequence of tectonic uplift. In northern France, the Seine and Somme rivers have very well developed terrace systems recording incision that began at around 1 Ma. The uplift rate, deduced from the study of these terrace systems, is of 55 to 60 m myr-1 since the end of the Early Pleistocene. Generally the facies and sedimentary structures indicate that the bulk of the deposits in these rivers accumulated in braided river environments under periglacial climates in all the area around the Channel. Evolution of the rivers reflects their responses to climatic change, local geological structure and long-term tectonic activity. In this context the Middle Somme valley is characterised by a regular pattern in which incision occurs at the beginning of each glacial period within a general background of uplift. Nevertheless the response of the different rivers to climatic variations, uplift and sea-level changes is complex and variable according to the different parts of the river courses.

  18. Oleistocene mammals in the late-early Holocene in Santa Lucia river basin (Uruguay southern)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ubilla, M.; Perea, D.; Corona, A.; Rinderknecht, A.; Sanchez, A.


    This work is about the fossileferous outcrops belongs to the late Pleistocene - early Holocene in Santa Lucia River. It enable to analyse the last records of megafauna vertebrate extinctions (olistecene mammals) with the climate conditions / environment

  19. Development of the Human Fetal Kidney from Mid to Late Gestation in Male and Female Infants

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    Danica Ryan


    Interpretation: These findings highlight spatial and temporal variability in nephrogenesis in the developing human kidney, whereas the relative cellular composition of glomeruli does not appear to be influenced by gestational age.

  20. High-latitude steppe vegetation and the mineral nutrition of Pleistocene herbivores (United States)

    Davydov, S. P.; Davydova, A.; Makarevich, R.; Loranty, M. M.; Boeskorov, G.


    High-latitude steppes were widespread and zonal in the Late Pleistocene and formed a landscape basis for the Mammoth Biome. Now the patches of these steppes survived on steep slopes under southern aspects. These steppes serve as unique information sources about the Late Pleistocene "Mammoth" steppe. Numerous data obtained by palynological, carpological, and DNA analysis of plant remains from feces and stomach contents of Pleistocene herbivore mummies, as well as from buried soils and enclosing deposits show that they are similar to modern steppe plant assemblage in taxa composition. Plant's nutrient concentrations are of fundamental importance across Pleistocene grass-rich ecosystems because of their role in the support of large herbivores. The average weight of an adult mammoth skeleton (about 0.5 tons) and of a woolly rhinoceros (about 0.2 tons) clearly suggests this. Detailed studies on fossil bone remains showed mineral deficiency in large Pleistocene herbivores. A three-year study of ash and mineral contents of two types of relict steppe vegetation at the Kolyma Lowland, Arctic Siberia has been carried out. Nowadays refugia of similar vegetation are located not far (1 - 15km) from the Yedoma permafrost outcrops were abundant fossil remains are found. Dominant species of the steppe vegetation were sampled. Preliminary studies indicate that the ash-content varied 1.5-2 times in speceies of steppe herbs. The Ca, P, Mg, K element contents was higher for most steppe species than in the local herbaceous vegetation, especially in Ca and P. One of the most important elements of the mineral nutrition, the phosphorus, was always found in higher concentrations in the steppe vegetation than in plants of recently dominant landscapes of the study area. It should be noted that the mineral nutrient content of the modern steppe vegetation of Siberian Arctic is comparable to that of the recent zonal steppe of Transbaikal Region. This study supports the hypothesis that


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    Irina Streletskaya


    Full Text Available The Kara Sea coasts were studied using comprehensive stratigraphic and geocryological methods. The paper presents the new analytical studies of ground ice and Quaternary deposits of Western Taymyr and presents the results of spore and pollen, foraminifera, grain-size, mineralogical, geochemical, oxygen isotopic, and other analyses. Several stratigraphic-geocryological transects from Yenisey and Gydan Bays enable us to refine the stratigraphy and palaeogeographical reconstruction of the environments and freezing of Late Pleistocene-Holocene sediments. Marine sedimentation conditions during the late Kargino time (MIS3 changed to continental conditions in MIS2 and MIS1. Marine sediments were frozen syn- and epigenetically with cryotexture and ground ice formation. Ice wedges formation corresponds to the end of the Pleistocene (MIS2 and during cooler periods of the Holocene.

  2. Late Quaternary dynamics of a South African floodplain wetland and the implications for assessing recent human impacts (United States)

    Tooth, S.; Rodnight, H.; McCarthy, T. S.; Duller, G. A. T.; Grundling, A. T.


    Knowledge of the long-term geomorphological dynamics of wetlands is limited, so currently there is an inadequate scientific basis for assessing anthropogenically induced changes and for developing conservation, remediation, and/or sustainable management guidelines for these fragile ecosystems. Along the upper Klip River, eastern South Africa, geomorphological and sedimentological investigations, geochronology, and remote sensing have been used to establish the late Quaternary dynamics of some internationally important floodplain wetlands, thus providing a reference condition against which to assess the extent of recent human impacts. Optically stimulated luminescence dating reveals that the wetlands have developed over at least the last 30 ky as a result of slow meander migration (y - 1 ), irregular cutoff events, and infrequent avulsions (approximately one every 3-6 ky) that have occurred autogenically as a natural part of meander-belt development. Following European settlement in the Klip valley (late nineteenth century), however, modifications to local flora and fauna, as well as the initiation of local wetland drainage schemes, have had major impacts. In particular, proliferation of exotic willows and associated debris jams, and the artificial excavation of a 1.2-km-long channel section across the wetlands have initiated an ongoing avulsion that is characterised by failure (gradual abandonment) of the main channel and rapid incision of a headcutting channel. Compared to the pre-settlement condition, little change in lateral migration activity has occurred, but this avulsion provides a clear example of anthropogenically accelerated change, occurring only ~ 1 ky after the last natural avulsion and in a part of the wetlands where avulsions have not occurred previously. Subsequent human interventions have included installing weirs in an attempt to control the resulting erosion and promote reflooding, but ongoing maintenance has been required. In areas that were not

  3. Hominin teeth from the Middle Pleistocene site of Yiyuan, Eastern China. (United States)

    Xing, Song; Sun, Chengkai; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Han, Fei; Zhang, Yingqi; Liu, Wu


    In 1981-1982, some hominin fossils, including a relatively complete skull and seven isolated teeth, were recovered from the Middle Pleistocene site of Yiyuan in Eastern China. In the present study we provide a detailed metric and morphological comparison of the Yiyuan dental sample in order to characterize better the variability of the human populations that inhabited China during the Middle Pleistocene. Aside from taxonomic and phylogenetic questions, the lack of understanding and/or knowledge about the morphological variability of these populations have caused concern about the human versus non-human nature of some of the hominin dental remains found in East Asia during the Early and the Middle Pleistocene. Thus, our study aims to present a detailed description and comparison of the Yiyuan isolated teeth to 1) discuss and support their human nature and 2) to explore their taxonomic affinities with regard to other penecontemporaneous populations from Asia. Our results clearly differentiate the Yiyuan sample from Pongo specimens and support a human attribution for the Yiyuan material. Our analyses also suggest that the Yiyuan teeth form a morphologically coherent group together with samples from Zhoukoudian, Chaoxian and Hexian. They are different from the more derived specimens from Panxian Dadong, suggesting a pattern of biogeographic isolation and different evolutionary trends between northern and southern China during the Middle Pleistocene. In addition, and despite sharing a common morphological bauplan with Homo erectus sensu stricto (s.s.), the Yiyuan, Zhoukoudian and Hexian teeth are also different from the Indonesian Early Pleistocene samples. In particular, the expression of a highly crenulated or dendritic enamel-dentine surface could be unique to these groups. Our study supports the notion that the taxonomy of the Pleistocene hominins from Asia may have been oversimplified. Future studies should explore the variability of the Asian specimens and

  4. Late Holocene Lake Level Fluctuations at Laguna Arapa, Peru and Connections to Human Demography (United States)

    Hillman, A. L.; Abbott, M. B.; Werne, J. P.; Arkush, E.; Thompson, L. G.; Ferland, T.; Holmes, E.; Puhnaty, C.; Woods, A.


    The relationship between variations in hydroclimate and human demography on the Peruvian Altiplano has significant implications for understanding how people in the past have adapted to changes in freshwater resources. To investigate these human-environmental interactions, this project presents a 2,000 year sediment record from Laguna Arapa, a large lake that is Titicaca. Using sedimentology and stratigraphy as well as a suite of organic geochemical proxies including fecal 5β-stanols and leaf waxes (long chain n-alkanoic acids), we aim to tie together proxies of human population with indicators of regional hydroclimate. Preliminary results of sedimentology and stratigraphy show notable transitions from sand to silt to clay, suggesting rising lake level sequences at 500 and 700 AD. The last 1,300 years of sediment are characterized by alternating layers of organic rich material with abundant charcoal and black inorganic clay, suggesting intermittent periods of aridity and/or anthropogenic fire-setting. These layers are particularly frequent during the Medieval Climate Anomaly, which was characterized by dry and warm conditions. These results agree well with other records of hydroclimate from regional lakes as well as accumulation rate and temperature from the Quelccaya ice cap. Organic geochemical work is currently in progress and shows promise for linking together proxies of human demography with hydroclimate to understand the relationship between human settlement and climate change.

  5. Parallels between playbacks and Pleistocene tar seeps suggest sociality in an extinct sabretooth cat, Smilodon


    Carbone, Chris; Maddox, Tom; Funston, Paul J.; Mills, Michael G.L.; Grether, Gregory F.; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire


    Inferences concerning the lives of extinct animals are difficult to obtain from the fossil record. Here we present a novel approach to the study of extinct carnivores, using a comparison between fossil records (n=3324) found in Late Pleistocene tar seeps at Rancho La Brea in North America and counts (n=4491) from playback experiments used to estimate carnivore abundance in Africa. Playbacks and tar seep deposits represent competitive, potentially dangerous encounters where multiple predators ...

  6. Evolution, Systematics, and Phylogeography of Pleistocene Horses in the New World: A Molecular Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weinstock, Jaco; Willerslev, Eske; Sher, A.


    . Furthermore, we show that stilt-legged horses, commonly regarded as Old World migrants related to the hemionid asses of Asia, were in fact an endemic North American lineage. Finally, our data suggest that there were fewer horse species in late Pleistocene North America than have been named on morphological...... grounds. Both caballine and stilt-legged lineages may each have comprised a single, wide-ranging species....

  7. Bioarchaeological Analysis of the Human Skeletal Remains from the Late Mediaeval Cemetery of Koprivno, Southern Croatia

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    Mario Novak


    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of bioarchaeological analysis of the late mediaeval (13th-14th century skeletal sample from Koprivno, southern Croatia. Skeletal remains of 21 individuals (eight males, nine females, and four subadults were examined for the possible presence of dental pathologies (caries and alveolar bone diseases, subadult stress indicators (cribra orbitalia and dental enamel hypoplasia, degenerative osteoarthritis of the vertebrae and major joints, Schmorl’s nodes on vertebrae, periostitis, and bone trauma. The analysed sample is characterised by high frequency of alveolar bone disease, most probably as a result of somewhat longer average life span (around 41 years and very poor oral hygiene, while the data concerning dental caries indicate mixed diet evenly based on meat and cereals. High frequencies of cribra orbitalia, dental enamel hypoplasia and periostitis suggest frequent episodes of physiological stress (hunger, epidemics of infectious diseases which is in accordance with historical data. Distribution and prevalence of cranial traumas strongly suggest a relatively high degree of interpersonal violence in the analysed community.

  8. Beta receptor-mediated modulation of the late positive potential in humans. (United States)

    de Rover, Mischa; Brown, Stephen B R E; Boot, Nathalie; Hajcak, Greg; van Noorden, Martijn S; van der Wee, Nic J A; Nieuwenhuis, Sander


    Electrophysiological studies have identified a scalp potential, the late positive potential (LPP), which is modulated by the emotional intensity of observed stimuli. Previous work has shown that the LPP reflects the modulation of activity in extrastriate visual cortical structures, but little is known about the source of that modulation. The present study investigated whether beta-adrenergic receptors are involved in the generation of the LPP. We used a genetic individual differences approach (experiment 1) and a pharmacological manipulation (experiment 2) to test the hypothesis that the LPP is modulated by the activation of β-adrenergic receptors. In experiment 1, we found that LPP amplitude depends on allelic variation in the β1-receptor gene polymorphism. In experiment 2, we found that LPP amplitude was modulated by the β-blocker propranolol in a direction dependent on subjects' level of trait anxiety: In participants with lower trait anxiety, propranolol led to a (nonsignificant) decrease in the LPP modulation; in participants with higher trait anxiety, propranolol increased the emotion-related LPP modulation. These results provide initial support for the hypothesis that the LPP reflects the downstream effects, in visual cortical areas, of β-receptor-mediated activation of the amygdala.

  9. Human copper transporter 2 is localized in late endosomes and lysosomes and facilitates cellular copper uptake

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berghe, van den P.V.E; Folmer, D.E.; Malingré, H.E.M.; Beurden, van E.; Klomp, A.E.M.; Sluis, van de B.; Merkx, M.; Berger, R.J.; Klomp, L.W.J.


    High-affinity cellular copper uptake is mediated by the CTR (copper transporter) 1 family of proteins. The highly homologous hCTR (human CTR) 2 protein has been identified, but its function in copper uptake is currently unknown. To characterize the role of hCTR2 in copper homoeostasis,

  10. Late Holocene vegetation changes in relation with climate fluctuations and human activities in Languedoc (Southern France)


    J. Azuara; N. Combourieu-Nebout; V. Lebreton; F. Mazier; S. D. Müller; L. Dezileau


    Holocene climate fluctuations and human activities since the Neolithic have shaped present-day Mediterranean environments. Separating anthropogenic effects from climatic impacts to reconstruct Mediterranean paleoenvironments over the last millennia remains a challenging issue. High resolution pollen analyses were undertaken on two cores from the Palavasian lagoon system (Hérault, southern France). These records allow reconstruction of vegetation dynamics ove...

  11. Late-Holocene palaeoenvironments of Southern Crimea: Soils, soil-climate relationship and human impact

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lisetskii, Fedor N.; Stolba, Vladimir; Pichura, Vitalii I.


    Occupying 4% of Crimea’s territory, the sub-Mediterranean landscapes of Southern Crimea stand out for their distinct soil-climatic conditions and record of human activity. This paper presents the results of study of the newly formed and well-dated soils from 21 archaeological sites, making...

  12. Global late Quaternary megafauna extinctions linked to humans, not climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandom, Christopher James; Faurby, Søren; Sandel, Brody Steven


    by glacial–interglacial climate change and humans. We show that the severity of extinction is strongly tied to hominin palaeobiogeography, with at most a weak, Eurasia-specific link to climate change. This first species-level macroscale analysis at relatively high geographical resolution provides strong...

  13. Mid- and late Holocene human impact recorded by the Coltrondo peat bog (NE Italian Alps) (United States)

    Segnana, Michela; Poto, Luisa; Gabrieli, Jacopo; Martino, Matteo; Oeggl, Klaus; Barbante, Carlo


    Peat bogs are ideal archives for the study of environmental changes, whether these are natural or human induced. Indeed, receiving water and nutrients exclusively from dry and wet atmospheric depositions, they are among the most suitable matrices for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. The present study is focused on the Eastern sector of the Italian Alps, where we sampled the Coltrondo peat bog, in the Comelico area (ca. 1800 m a.s.l.) The knowledge of the human history in this area is rather scarce: the only pieces of archaeological evidence found in this area dates back to the Mesolithic and the absence of later archaeological finds makes it difficult to reconstruct the human settlement in the valley. With the main aim to obtain information about the human settlement in that area we selected a multi-proxy approach, combining the study of biotic and abiotic sedimentary components archived in the 7900 years-peat bog record. Pollen analysis is performed along the core registering human impacts on the area from ca. 2500 cal BP, when land-use changes are well evidenced by the presence of human-related pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs), as well as by the increase in micro-charcoal particles. Periods of increased human impact are recorded at the end of the Middle Ages and later, at the end of the 19th century. The analysis of trace elements, such as lead, is performed by means of ICP-MS technique and its enrichment factor (EF) is calculated. A first slight increase of Pb EF during Roman Times is possibly related to mining activities carried out by the Romans. Mining activities carried out in the area are registered during the Middle Ages, while the advent of the industrialization in the 20th century is marked by the highest EF values registered on the top of the core. To help and support the interpretation of geochemical data, lead isotopes ratios are also measured using ICP-MS to discriminate between natural and anthropogenic sources of lead. The 206Pb/207Pb

  14. Pleistocene Indian Monsoon Rainfall Variability (United States)

    Yirgaw, D. G.; Hathorne, E. C.; Giosan, L.; Collett, T. S.; Sijingeo, A. V.; Nath, B. N.; Frank, M.


    The past variability of the Indian Monsoon is mostly known from records of wind strength over the Arabian Sea. Here we investigate proxies for fresh water input and runoff in a region of strong monsoon precipitation that is a major moisture source for the east Asian Monsoon. A sediment core obtained by the IODP vessel JOIDES Resolution and a gravity core from the Alcock Seamount complex in the Andaman Sea are used to examine the past monsoon variability on the Indian sub-continent and directly over the ocean. The current dataset covers the last glacial and deglacial but will eventually provide a Pleistocene record. We utilise the ecological habitats of G. sacculifer and N. dutertrei to investigate the freshwater-induced stratification with paired Mg/Ca and δ18O analyses to estimate seawater δ18O (δ18Osw). During the last 60 kyrs, Ba/Ca ratios and δ18Osw values generally agree well between the two cores and suggest the weakest surface runoff and monsoon during the LGM and strongest monsoon during the Holocene. The difference in δ18O between the species, interpreted as a proxy for upper ocean stratification, implies stratification developed around 37 ka and remained relatively constant during the LGM, deglacial and Holocene. To investigate monsoon variability for intervals in the past, single shell Mg/Ca and δ18O analyses have been conducted. Mg/Ca ratios from individual shells of N. dutertrei suggest relatively small changes in temperature. However, individual N. dutertrei δ18O differ greatly between the mid-Holocene and samples from the LGM and a nearby core top. The mid-Holocene individuals have a greater range and large skew towards negative values indicating greater fresh water influence.

  15. Late Holocene vegetation changes in relation with climate fluctuations and human activity in Languedoc (southern France)


    Azuara , J; Combourieu-Nebout , N; Lebreton , V; Mazier , F; Müller , S D; Dezileau , L ,


    International audience; Holocene climate fluctuations and human activity since the Neolithic have shaped present-day Mediter-ranean environments. Separating anthropogenic effects from climatic impacts to better understand Mediterranean pale-oenvironmental changes over the last millennia remains a challenging issue. High-resolution pollen analyses were un-dertaken on two cores from the Palavasian lagoon system (Hérault, southern France). These records allow reconstruction of vegetation dynamic...

  16. Cerebrovascular Remodeling and Neuroinflammation is a Late Effect of Radiation-Induced Brain Injury in Non-Human Primates (United States)

    Andrews, Rachel N.; Metheny-Barlow, Linda J.; Peiffer, Ann M.; Hanbury, David B.; Tooze, Janet A.; Bourland, J. Daniel; Hampson, Robert E.; Deadwyler, Samuel A.; Cline, J. Mark


    Andrews, R. N., Metheny-Barlow, L. J., Peiffer, A. M., Hanbury, D. B., Tooze, J. A., Bourland, J. D., Hampson, R. E., Deadwyler, S. A. and Cline, J. M. Cerebrovascular Remodeling and Neuroinflammation is a Late Effect of Radiation-Induced Brain Injury in Non-Human Primates. Radiat. Res. 187, 599–611 (2017). Fractionated whole-brain irradiation (fWBI) is a mainstay of treatment for patients with intracranial neoplasia; however late-delayed radiation-induced normal tissue injury remains a major adverse consequence of treatment, with deleterious effects on quality of life for affected patients. We hypothesize that cerebrovascular injury and remodeling after fWBI results in ischemic injury to dependent white matter, which contributes to the observed cognitive dysfunction. To evaluate molecular effectors of radiation-induced brain injury (RIBI), real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was performed on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, Brodmann area 46), hippocampus and temporal white matter of 4 male Rhesus macaques (age 6–11 years), which had received 40 Gray (Gy) fWBI (8 fractions of 5 Gy each, twice per week), and 3 control comparators. All fWBI animals developed neurologic impairment; humane euthanasia was elected at a median of 6 months. Radiation-induced brain injury was confirmed histopathologically in all animals, characterized by white matter degeneration and necrosis, and multifocal cerebrovascular injury consisting of perivascular edema, abnormal angiogenesis and perivascular extracellular matrix deposition. Herein we demonstrate that RIBI is associated with white matter-specific up-regulation of hypoxia-associated lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) and that increased gene expression of fibronectin 1 (FN1), SERPINE1 and matrix metalloprotease 2 (MMP2) may contribute to cerebrovascular remodeling in late-delayed RIBI. Additionally, vascular stability and maturation associated tumor necrosis super family member 15 (TNFSF15) and

  17. Faunal record identifies Bering isthmus conditions as constraint to end-Pleistocene migration to the New World (United States)

    Meiri, Meirav; Lister, Adrian M.; Collins, Matthew J.; Tuross, Noreen; Goebel, Ted; Blockley, Simon; Zazula, Grant D.; van Doorn, Nienke; Dale Guthrie, R.; Boeskorov, Gennady G.; Baryshnikov, Gennady F.; Sher, Andrei; Barnes, Ian


    Human colonization of the New World is generally believed to have entailed migrations from Siberia across the Bering isthmus. However, the limited archaeological record of these migrations means that details of the timing, cause and rate remain cryptic. Here, we have used a combination of ancient DNA, 14C dating, hydrogen and oxygen isotopes, and collagen sequencing to explore the colonization history of one of the few other large mammals to have successfully migrated into the Americas at this time: the North American elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis), also known as wapiti. We identify a long-term occupation of northeast Siberia, far beyond the species’s current Old World distribution. Migration into North America occurred at the end of the last glaciation, while the northeast Siberian source population became extinct only within the last 500 years. This finding is congruent with a similar proposed delay in human colonization, inferred from modern human mitochondrial DNA, and suggestions that the Bering isthmus was not traversable during parts of the Late Pleistocene. Our data imply a fundamental constraint in crossing Beringia, placing limits on the age and mode of human settlement in the Americas, and further establish the utility of ancient DNA in palaeontological investigations of species histories. PMID:24335981

  18. Physical attractiveness and reproductive success in humans: Evidence from the late 20 century United States. (United States)

    Jokela, Markus


    Physical attractiveness has been associated with mating behavior, but its role in reproductive success of contemporary humans has received surprisingly little attention. In the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (1244 women, 997 men born between 1937 and 1940) we examined whether attractiveness assessed from photographs taken at age ~18 predicted the number of biological children at age 53-56. In women, attractiveness predicted higher reproductive success in a nonlinear fashion, so that attractive (second highest quartile) women had 16% and very attractive (highest quartile) women 6% more children than their less attractive counterparts. In men, there was a threshold effect so that men in the lowest attractiveness quartile had 13% fewer children than others who did not differ from each other in the average number of children. These associations were partly but not completely accounted for by attractive participants' increased marriage probability. A linear regression analysis indicated relatively weak directional selection gradient for attractiveness (β=0.06 in women, β=0.07 in men). These findings indicate that physical attractiveness may be associated with reproductive success in humans living in industrialized settings.

  19. [Chinese books on human anatomy published in the late Qing dynasty]. (United States)

    Matsumoto, Hideshi


    Quanti-chanwei (1881) is the first technical book on human anatomy written in Chinese and brought to Modern China. It was compiled and translated on the basis of Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical (first edition in 1858) by Henry Gray. Quanti-chanwei was published with intent to establish Chinese translations for terms referring to anatomy, and it gained broad support from medical missionaries who mainly served in Guangdong, Shanghai, and Fuzhou at that time. Quanti-tongkao (1886) was also complied and translated on the basis of Gray' Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical. It was published from Jingshi Tongwen Guan, The Academy of Foreign Languages in the Qing dynasty, and they selected different words for the translation into Chinese from Quanti-chanwei. Thus, although Gray' Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical played a great role in the introduction of Western Medicine into Modern China, there was no accordance between the national government and the provinces regarding Chinese translations for terms referring to anatomy.

  20. Sensory exploitation and cultural transmission: the late emergence of iconic representations in human evolution. (United States)

    Verpooten, Jan; Nelissen, Mark


    Iconic representations (i.e., figurative imagery and realistic art) only started to appear consistently some 45,000 years ago, although humans have been anatomically modern since 200,000-160,000 years ago. What explains this? Some authors have suggested a neurocognitive change took place, leading to a creative explosion, although this has been contested. Here, we examine the hypothesis that demographic changes caused cultural "cumulative adaptive evolution" and as such the emergence of modern symbolic behavior. This approach usefully explains the evolution of utilitarian skills and tools, and the creation of symbols to identify groups. However, it does not equally effectively explain the evolution of behaviors that may not be directly adaptive, such as the production of iconic representations like figurines and rock art. In order to shed light on their emergence, we propose to combine the above-mentioned cultural hypothesis with the concept of sensory exploitation. The concept essentially states that behavioral traits (in this case iconic art production) which exploit pre-existing sensory sensitivities will evolve if not hindered by costs (i.e., natural selection). In this view, iconic art traditions are evolved by piggy-backing on cumulative adaptive evolution. Since it is to date uncertain whether art has served any adaptive function in human evolution, parsimony demands paying more attention to the primary and a functional mechanism of sensory exploitation as opposed to mechanisms of models based exclusively on secondary benefits (such as Miller's, for instance, in which art is proposed to evolve as a sexual display of fitness).

  1. Acute paretic syndrome in juvenile White Leghorn chickens resembles late stages of acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathies in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Preisinger Rudolf


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sudden limb paresis is a common problem in White Leghorn flocks, affecting about 1% of the chicken population before achievement of sexual maturity. Previously, a similar clinical syndrome has been reported as being caused by inflammatory demyelination of peripheral nerve fibres. Here, we investigated in detail the immunopathology of this paretic syndrome and its possible resemblance to human neuropathies. Methods Neurologically affected chickens and control animals from one single flock underwent clinical and neuropathological examination. Peripheral nervous system (PNS alterations were characterised using standard morphological techniques, including nerve fibre teasing and transmission electron microscopy. Infiltrating cells were phenotyped immunohistologically and quantified by flow cytometry. The cytokine expression pattern was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR. These investigations were accomplished by MHC genotyping and a PCR screen for Marek's disease virus (MDV. Results Spontaneous paresis of White Leghorns is caused by cell-mediated, inflammatory demyelination affecting multiple cranial and spinal nerves and nerve roots with a proximodistal tapering. Clinical manifestation coincides with the employment of humoral immune mechanisms, enrolling plasma cell recruitment, deposition of myelin-bound IgG and antibody-dependent macrophageal myelin-stripping. Disease development was significantly linked to a 539 bp microsatellite in MHC locus LEI0258. An aetiological role for MDV was excluded. Conclusions The paretic phase of avian inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuritis immunobiologically resembles the late-acute disease stages of human acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, and is characterised by a Th1-to-Th2 shift.

  2. Terminal Pleistocene Alaskan genome reveals first founding population of Native Americans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moreno-Mayar, J Víctor; Potter, Ben A; Vinner, Lasse


    Despite broad agreement that the Americas were initially populated via Beringia, the land bridge that connected far northeast Asia with northwestern North America during the Pleistocene epoch, when and how the peopling of the Americas occurred remains unresolved. Analyses of human remains from La...

  3. The Pleistocene reindeer of the North Sea - initial palaeontological data and archaeological remarks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glimmerveen, J; Mol, D; van der Plicht, H

    The interdisciplinary North Sea Project aims at investigating the biotic history of the Pleistocene in the Southern Bight of the North Sea. Humans were part of these biotopes too as Palaeolithic flint artefacts prove. Based on a large fossil record and radiocarbon dating, it becomes clear that

  4. Selection on alleles affecting human longevity and late-life disease: the example of apolipoprotein E.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fotios Drenos


    Full Text Available It is often claimed that genes affecting health in old age, such as cardiovascular and Alzheimer diseases, are beyond the reach of natural selection. We show in a simulation study based on known genetic (apolipoprotein E and non-genetic risk factors (gender, diet, smoking, alcohol, exercise that, because there is a statistical distribution of ages at which these genes exert their influence on morbidity and mortality, the effects of selection are in fact non-negligible. A gradual increase with each generation of the epsilon2 and epsilon3 alleles of the gene at the expense of the epsilon4 allele was predicted from the model. The epsilon2 allele frequency was found to increase slightly more rapidly than that for epsilon3, although there was no statistically significant difference between the two. Our result may explain the recent evolutionary history of the epsilon 2, 3 and 4 alleles of the apolipoprotein E gene and has wider relevance for genes affecting human longevity.

  5. Pattern of dental development in Hominid XVIII from the Middle Pleistocene Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos site (Spain). (United States)

    Bermudez De Castro, J M; Rosas, A


    . We describe the pattern of dental development of Hominid XVIII from the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos (SH) site of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). As expected, this pattern is similar to that of modern humans. A delay of development of the lower and upper canines was observed. In contrast, the relative advanced development of the lower second molars and, especially, the upper and lower third molars is noteworthy. This latter feature seems to be common in Pleistocene hominids, and suggests that the pattern of dental development evolved in the genus Homo during the Pleistocene. In European Middle Pleistocene hominids, this pattern probably was facilitated by the extra space available in the mandible and maxilla for developing teeth. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Human papillomavirus type 59 immortalized keratinocytes express late viral proteins and infectious virus after calcium stimulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lehr, Elizabeth E.; Qadadri, Brahim; Brown, Calla R.; Brown, Darron R.


    Human papillomavirus type 59 (HPV 59) is an oncogenic type related to HPV 18. HPV 59 was recently propagated in the athymic mouse xenograft system. A continuous keratinocyte cell line infected with HPV 59 was created from a foreskin xenograft grown in an athymic mouse. Cells were cultured beyond passage 50. The cells were highly pleomorphic, containing numerous abnormally shaped nuclei and mitotic figures. HPV 59 sequences were detected in the cells by DNA in situ hybridization in a diffuse nuclear distribution. Southern blots were consistent with an episomal state of HPV 59 DNA at approximately 50 copies per cell. Analysis of the cells using a PCR/reverse blot strip assay, which amplifies a portion of the L1 open reading frame, was strongly positive. Differentiation of cells in monolayers was induced by growth in F medium containing 2 mM calcium chloride for 10 days. Cells were harvested as a single tissue-like sheet, and histologic analysis revealed a four-to-six cell-thick layer. Transcripts encoding involucrin, a cornified envelope protein, and the E1-circumflexE4 and E1-circumflexE4-circumflexL1 viral transcripts were detected after several days of growth in F medium containing 2 mM calcium chloride. The E1-circumflexE4 and L1 proteins were detected by immunohistochemical analysis, and virus particles were seen in electron micrographs in a subset of differentiated cells. An extract of differentiated cells was prepared by vigorous sonication and was used to infect foreskin fragments. These fragments were implanted into athymic mice. HPV 59 was detected in the foreskin xenografts removed 4 months later by DNA in situ hybridization and PCR/reverse blot assay. Thus, the complete viral growth cycle, including production on infectious virus, was demonstrated in the HPV 59 immortalized cells grown in a simple culture system

  7. Salivary pH and buffering capacity in early and late human immunodeficiency virus infection. (United States)

    Hegde, Mithra N; Malhotra, Amit; Hegde, Nidarsh D


    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes severe immunosuppression due to progressive decrease in the CD4 T lymphocyte cells during the course of the disease and this affects all the body systems including glandular secretions. A number of lesions affecting the salivary glands have been noted in HIV infection. The objective of this study was to evaluate the salivary pH and the buffering capacity in HIV positive individuals and comparing it with the HIV negative healthy individuals. The study was carried out on 200 HIV positive subjects aged 20-40 years, divided into two groups on the basis of CD4 count and 100 HIV negative healthy individuals as control group. Both unstimulated and stimulated saliva were collected and the pH and buffering capacity ascertained using the saliva check kit. (GC Asia Dental Pvt. Ltd., Singapore, 508724). All the three groups were compared using the ANOVA and it was found there was highly significant decrease in pH and buffering capacity with increase in immunosuppression. The intergroup comparison was carried out using the Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) and the Chi square test. Group 1; CD4 count 200 showed a significant decrease in unstimulated salivary flow, stimulated salivary flow, and pH in comparison to HIV negative individuals; however, change in buffering capacity in Group 2 was not significant. There is a decrease in pH and buffering capacity in HIV infected patients. This decrease may be one of the factors responsible for increased caries in HIV infected population.

  8. Late Post-glacial Sea Level Rise and Its Effects On Human Activity In Asia (United States)

    Oppenheimer, S. J.

    Three rapid post-glacial sea-level rises flooded coastlines with large continental shelves. The last of these, shortly before the interglacial optimum c.7,500BP, not only changed coastal Neolithic societies, but may also have stimulated maritime skills. Two Asian examples explore these aspects. First, during the Mid-Holocene, the Arabian Gulf transgressed as far inland as Ur probably laying down Woolley's famous Ur Flood silt layer between 7,000-5,500 BP. Stratigraphy and dating suggests the phase of rapid sea level rise immediately preceded the start of the 'Ubaid pottery period. Red-slipped Uruk pottery and copper items then appear from about 6,000BP, but above Woolley's silt layer. The Sumerian King Lists also record a major upheaval and dynastic change after 'the Flood'. Second, the final flooding of the Sunda shelf in Southeast Asia was followed by a maritime extension of human occupation from Northern Melanesia south into the Solomon Islands 6,000 years ago. Simultaneously, further west on the north coast of New Guinea, new archaeological assemblages ap- pear beneath a silt layer left by a pro-grading 6,000 year-old inland sea. The presence of arboriculture items such as betel nuts and the contemporary arrival of dogs and pigs in the same region suggests intrusion from Southeast Asia. This supports Solheim's suggestion that rapid sea-level rise on the eastern edge of the Sunda Shelf stimulated maritime skills and invention in Southeast Asia. This may have provided the initial stimulus to the first maritime expansion that was later to colonise the whole Pacific.

  9. New Middle Pleistocene hominin cranium from Gruta da Aroeira (Portugal). (United States)

    Daura, Joan; Sanz, Montserrat; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Hoffmann, Dirk L; Quam, Rolf M; Ortega, María Cruz; Santos, Elena; Gómez, Sandra; Rubio, Angel; Villaescusa, Lucía; Souto, Pedro; Mauricio, João; Rodrigues, Filipa; Ferreira, Artur; Godinho, Paulo; Trinkaus, Erik; Zilhão, João


    The Middle Pleistocene is a crucial time period for studying human evolution in Europe, because it marks the appearance of both fossil hominins ancestral to the later Neandertals and the Acheulean technology. Nevertheless, European sites containing well-dated human remains associated with an Acheulean toolkit remain scarce. The earliest European hominin crania associated with Acheulean handaxes are at the sites of Arago, Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos (SH), and Swanscombe, dating to 400-500 ka (Marine Isotope Stage 11-12). The Atapuerca (SH) fossils and the Swanscombe cranium belong to the Neandertal clade, whereas the Arago hominins have been attributed to an incipient stage of Neandertal evolution, to Homo heidelbergensis , or to a subspecies of Homo erectus A recently discovered cranium (Aroeira 3) from the Gruta da Aroeira (Almonda karst system, Portugal) dating to 390-436 ka provides important evidence on the earliest European Acheulean-bearing hominins. This cranium is represented by most of the right half of a calvarium (with the exception of the missing occipital bone) and a fragmentary right maxilla preserving part of the nasal floor and two fragmentary molars. The combination of traits in the Aroeira 3 cranium augments the previously documented diversity in the European Middle Pleistocene fossil record.

  10. Geomorphic and sedimentary responses of the Bull Creek Valley (Southern High Plains, USA) to Pleistocene and Holocene environmental change (United States)

    Arauza, Hanna M.; Simms, Alexander R.; Bement, Leland C.; Carter, Brian J.; Conley, Travis; Woldergauy, Ammanuel; Johnson, William C.; Jaiswal, Priyank


    Fluvial geomorphology and stratigraphy often reflect past environmental and climate conditions. This study examines the response of Bull Creek, a small ephemeral creek in the Oklahoma panhandle, to environmental conditions through the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Fluvial terraces were mapped and their stratigraphy and sedimentology documented throughout the course of the main valley. Based on their elevations, terraces were broadly grouped into a late-Pleistocene fill terrace (T3) and two Holocene fill-cut terrace sets (T2 and T1). Terrace systems are marked by similar stratigraphies recording the general environmental conditions of the time. Sedimentary sequences preserved in terrace fills record the transition from a perennial fluvial system during the late glacial period and the Younger Dryas to a semiarid environment dominated by loess accumulation and punctuated by flood events during the middle to late Holocene. The highest rates of aeolian accumulation within the valley occurred during the early to middle Holocene. Our data provide significant new information regarding the late-Pleistocene and Holocene environmental history for this region, located between the well-studied Southern and Central High Plains of North America.

  11. A new fossil peccary from the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary of the eastern Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico (United States)

    Stinnesbeck, Sarah R.; Frey, Eberhard; Stinnesbeck, Wolfgang; Avíles Olguín, Jeronimo; Zell, Patrick; Terrazas Mata, Alejandro; Benavente Sanvicente, Martha; González González, Arturo; Rojas Sandoval, Carmen; Acevez Nuñez, Eugenio


    Here we describe the left mandibular ramus of a fossil peccary from the submerged karst cave system in the southeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The specimen, which was discovered in the Muknal cave northwest of Tulúm, is a new genus and species of peccary termed Muknalia minima. The taxon likely dates from the latest Pleistocene and differs significantly from all extant peccaries and their Pleistocene relatives by a concave notch at the caudal edge of the mandibular ramus and prominent ventrally directed angular process. These diagnostic osteological differences suggest that the masticatory apparatus differed from all other peccaries, which may hint to an ecological isolation on the late Pleistocene Yucatán Peninsula.

  12. The Middle Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from Khok Sung (Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand): biochronological and paleobiogeographical implications (United States)

    Suraprasit, Kantapon; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Chavasseau, Olivier; Yamee, Chotima; Tian, Pannipa; Panha, Somsak


    Abstract The fluviatile terrace deposits of Khok Sung, Nakhon Ratchasima province, have yielded more than one thousand fossils, making this the richest Pleistocene vertebrate fauna of Thailand. The excellent preservation of the specimens allows precise characterization of the faunal composition. The mammalian fauna consists of fifteen species in thirteen genera, including a primate, a canid, a hyaenid, proboscideans, rhinoceroses, a suid, cervids, and bovids. Most species correspond to living taxa but globally (Stegodon cf. orientalis) and locally (Crocuta crocuta ultima, Rhinoceros unicornis, Sus barbatus, and Axis axis) extinct taxa were also present. The identification of Axis axis in Khok Sung, a chital currently restricted to the Indian Subcontinent, represents the first record of the species in Southeast Asia. Three reptilian taxa: Crocodylus cf. siamensis, Python sp., and Varanus sp., are also identified. Faunal correlations with other Southeast Asian sites suggest a late Middle to early Late Pleistocene age for the Khok Sung assemblage. However, the Khok Sung mammalian fauna is most similar to that of Thum Wiman Nakin, dated to older than 169 ka. The Khok Sung large mammal assemblage mostly comprises mainland Southeast Asian taxa that migrated to Java during the latest Middle Pleistocene, supporting the hypothesis that Thailand was a biogeographic pathway for the Sino-Malayan migration event from South China to Java. PMID:27667928

  13. Distribution of elastic fibers in the head and neck: a histological study using late-stage human fetuses (United States)

    Kinoshita, Hideaki; Umezawa, Takashi; Omine, Yuya; Kasahara, Masaaki; Rodríguez-Vázquez, José Francisco; Murakami, Gen


    There is little or no information about the distribution of elastic fibers in the human fetal head. We examined this issue in 15 late-stage fetuses (crown-rump length, 220-320 mm) using aldehyde-fuchsin and elastica-Masson staining, and we used the arterial wall elastic laminae and external ear cartilages as positive staining controls. The posterior pharyngeal wall, as well as the ligaments connecting the laryngeal cartilages, contained abundant elastic fibers. In contrast with the sphenomandibular ligament and the temporomandibular joint disk, in which elastic fibers were partly present, the discomalleolar ligament and the fascial structures around the pterygoid muscles did not have any elastic fibers. In addition, the posterior marginal fascia of the prestyloid space did contain such fibers. Notably, in the middle ear, elastic fibers accumulated along the tendons of the tensor tympani and stapedius muscles and in the joint capsules of the ear ossicle articulations. Elastic fibers were not seen in any other muscle tendons or vertebral facet capsules in the head and neck. Despite being composed of smooth muscle, the orbitalis muscle did not contain any elastic fibers. The elastic fibers in the sphenomandibular ligament seemed to correspond to an intermediate step of development between Meckel's cartilage and the final ligament. Overall, there seemed to be a mini-version of elastic fiber distribution compared to that in adults and a different specific developmental pattern of connective tissues. The latter morphology might be a result of an adaptation to hypoxic conditions during development. PMID:23560235

  14. Distribution of elastic fibers in the head and neck: a histological study using late-stage human fetuses. (United States)

    Kinoshita, Hideaki; Umezawa, Takashi; Omine, Yuya; Kasahara, Masaaki; Rodríguez-Vázquez, José Francisco; Murakami, Gen; Abe, Shinichi


    There is little or no information about the distribution of elastic fibers in the human fetal head. We examined this issue in 15 late-stage fetuses (crown-rump length, 220-320 mm) using aldehyde-fuchsin and elastica-Masson staining, and we used the arterial wall elastic laminae and external ear cartilages as positive staining controls. The posterior pharyngeal wall, as well as the ligaments connecting the laryngeal cartilages, contained abundant elastic fibers. In contrast with the sphenomandibular ligament and the temporomandibular joint disk, in which elastic fibers were partly present, the discomalleolar ligament and the fascial structures around the pterygoid muscles did not have any elastic fibers. In addition, the posterior marginal fascia of the prestyloid space did contain such fibers. Notably, in the middle ear, elastic fibers accumulated along the tendons of the tensor tympani and stapedius muscles and in the joint capsules of the ear ossicle articulations. Elastic fibers were not seen in any other muscle tendons or vertebral facet capsules in the head and neck. Despite being composed of smooth muscle, the orbitalis muscle did not contain any elastic fibers. The elastic fibers in the sphenomandibular ligament seemed to correspond to an intermediate step of development between Meckel's cartilage and the final ligament. Overall, there seemed to be a mini-version of elastic fiber distribution compared to that in adults and a different specific developmental pattern of connective tissues. The latter morphology might be a result of an adaptation to hypoxic conditions during development.

  15. The Human ABCG1 Transporter Mobilizes Plasma Membrane and Late Endosomal Non-Sphingomyelin-Associated-Cholesterol for Efflux and Esterification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward B. Neufeld


    Full Text Available We have previously shown that GFP-tagged human ABCG1 on the plasma membrane (PM and in late endosomes (LE mobilizes sterol on both sides of the membrane lipid bilayer, thereby increasing cellular cholesterol efflux to lipid surfaces. In the present study, we examined ABCG1-induced changes in membrane cholesterol distribution, organization, and mobility. ABCG1-GFP expression increased the amount of mobile, non-sphingomyelin(SM-associated cholesterol at the PM and LE, but not the amount of SM-associated-cholesterol or SM. ABCG1-mobilized non-SM-associated-cholesterol rapidly cycled between the PM and LE and effluxed from the PM to extracellular acceptors, or, relocated to intracellular sites of esterification. ABCG1 increased detergent-soluble pools of PM and LE cholesterol, generated detergent-resistant, non-SM-associated PM cholesterol, and increased resistance to both amphotericin B-induced (cholesterol-mediated and lysenin-induced (SM-mediated cytolysis, consistent with altered organization of both PM cholesterol and SM. ABCG1 itself resided in detergent-soluble membrane domains. We propose that PM and LE ABCG1 residing at the phase boundary between ordered (Lo and disordered (Ld membrane lipid domains alters SM and cholesterol organization thereby increasing cholesterol flux between Lo and Ld, and hence, the amount of cholesterol available for removal by acceptors on either side of the membrane bilayer for either efflux or esterification.

  16. Shift of large-scale atmospheric systems over Europe during late MIS 3 and implications for Modern Human dispersal. (United States)

    Obreht, Igor; Hambach, Ulrich; Veres, Daniel; Zeeden, Christian; Bösken, Janina; Stevens, Thomas; Marković, Slobodan B; Klasen, Nicole; Brill, Dominik; Burow, Christoph; Lehmkuhl, Frank


    Understanding the past dynamics of large-scale atmospheric systems is crucial for our knowledge of the palaeoclimate conditions in Europe. Southeastern Europe currently lies at the border between Atlantic, Mediterranean, and continental climate zones. Past changes in the relative influence of associated atmospheric systems must have been recorded in the region's palaeoarchives. By comparing high-resolution grain-size, environmental magnetic and geochemical data from two loess-palaeosol sequences in the Lower Danube Basin with other Eurasian palaeorecords, we reconstructed past climatic patterns over Southeastern Europe and the related interaction of the prevailing large-scale circulation modes over Europe, especially during late Marine Isotope Stage 3 (40,000-27,000 years ago). We demonstrate that during this time interval, the intensification of the Siberian High had a crucial influence on European climate causing the more continental conditions over major parts of Europe, and a southwards shift of the Westerlies. Such a climatic and environmental change, combined with the Campanian Ignimbrite/Y-5 volcanic eruption, may have driven the Anatomically Modern Human dispersal towards Central and Western Europe, pointing to a corridor over the Eastern European Plain as an important pathway in their dispersal.

  17. Mineralogical evidence of reduced East Asian summer monsoon rainfall on the Chinese loess plateau during the early Pleistocene interglacials (United States)

    Meng, Xianqiang; Liu, Lianwen; Wang, Xingchen T.; Balsam, William; Chen, Jun; Ji, Junfeng


    The East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) is an important component of the global climate system. A better understanding of EASM rainfall variability in the past can help constrain climate models and better predict the response of EASM to ongoing global warming. The warm early Pleistocene, a potential analog of future climate, is an important period to study EASM dynamics. However, existing monsoon proxies for reconstruction of EASM rainfall during the early Pleistocene fail to disentangle monsoon rainfall changes from temperature variations, complicating the comparison of these monsoon records with climate models. Here, we present three 2.6 million-year-long EASM rainfall records from the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) based on carbonate dissolution, a novel proxy for rainfall intensity. These records show that the interglacial rainfall on the CLP was lower during the early Pleistocene and then gradually increased with global cooling during the middle and late Pleistocene. These results are contrary to previous suggestions that a warmer climate leads to higher monsoon rainfall on tectonic timescales. We propose that the lower interglacial EASM rainfall during the early Pleistocene was caused by reduced sea surface temperature gradients across the equatorial Pacific, providing a testable hypothesis for climate models.

  18. Upper Middle Pleistocene climate and landscape development of Northern Germany (United States)

    Urban, B.


    The Pleistocene sequence of the Schöningen lignite mine contains a number of interglacial and interstadial limnic and peat deposits, travertine tuff, soils, tills and fluvioglacial sediments as well as loess deposits. The complex Quaternary sequence contains six major cycles with evidence of four interglacials younger than the Elsterian glaciation and preceding the Holocene. The sequence begins with Late Elsterian glacial and three interstadial deposits formed in shallow basins. Cycle I is assigned to late parts of the Holsteinian interglacial. A strong cooling is recorded by a significant increase of Artemisia and grasses during the following Buschhaus A Stadial, which is considered to mark the onset of the Saalian Complex sensu lato (penultimate glacial-complex). The lacustrine sediments of Cycle II, Reinsdorf interglacial sequence (Urban, 1995), have been found to occur at archaeological sites Schöningen 12 and 13 (Thieme,1997). Recent investigations give evidence for at least 13 Local Pollen Assemblage Zones showing a five-fold division of the interglacial and a sequence of five climatic oscillations following the interglacial (Urban, 2006). From the relative high values for grasses and herbs in the inferred forested periods of the interglacial, a warm dry forest steppe climate can be deduced. The stratigraphic position of throwing spears (Thieme, 1997), can clearly be allocated to Reinsdorf Interstadial B (level II-4) characterized by an open pine-birch forest. Uppermost parts (level II-5) represent the transition into a periglacial environment indicating the definite end of cycle II. The Schöningen Interglacial (Cycle III) represents the youngest of the pre-Drenthe (Early Saalian Stadial) interglacials (Urban, 1995). In summary, it can be concluded that the Middle Pleistocene terrestrial pollen record of the Schöningen sequence represents tentative correlatives of MIS 7, 9 and 11. North of Leck (North Friesland, Schleswig-Holstein) sediments of the centre

  19. Simulation and mechanistic investigation of the arrhythmogenic role of the late sodium current in human heart failure.

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    Beatriz Trenor

    Full Text Available Heart failure constitutes a major public health problem worldwide. The electrophysiological remodeling of failing hearts sets the stage for malignant arrhythmias, in which the role of the late Na(+ current (I(NaL is relevant and is currently under investigation. In this study we examined the role of I(NaL in the electrophysiological phenotype of ventricular myocytes, and its proarrhythmic effects in the failing heart. A model for cellular heart failure was proposed using a modified version of Grandi et al. model for human ventricular action potential that incorporates the formulation of I(NaL. A sensitivity analysis of the model was performed and simulations of the pathological electrical activity of the cell were conducted. The proposed model for the human I(NaL and the electrophysiological remodeling of myocytes from failing hearts accurately reproduce experimental observations. The sensitivity analysis of the modulation of electrophysiological parameters of myocytes from failing hearts due to ion channels remodeling, revealed a role for I(NaL in the prolongation of action potential duration (APD, triangulation of the shape of the AP, and changes in Ca(2+ transient. A mechanistic investigation of intracellular Na(+ accumulation and APD shortening with increasing frequency of stimulation of failing myocytes revealed a role for the Na(+/K(+ pump, the Na(+/Ca(2+ exchanger and I(NaL. The results of the simulations also showed that in failing myocytes, the enhancement of I(NaL increased the reverse rate-dependent APD prolongation and the probability of initiating early afterdepolarizations. The electrophysiological remodeling of failing hearts and especially the enhancement of the I(NaL prolong APD and alter Ca(2+ transient facilitating the development of early afterdepolarizations. An enhanced I(NaL appears to be an important contributor to the electrophysiological phenotype and to the dysregulation of [Ca(2+](i homeostasis of failing myocytes.

  20. Role of ISM circulations in Western Kachchh, India during Mid-Late Holocene in disarticulation of Human Settlements (United States)

    Dabhi, M.


    Paleoclimatic record indicates that one of the major factors for change in Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) is North Atlantic Oceanic Circulation (NAO). Climatic changes have often been an influential factor in culture developments and dislocation of human settlements. The climatic transformations in Western India are affected by variation in the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). During last millennial scale, Indian sub-continent has observed varied climatic oscillations due to temperature variations in ocean and continent. People and society are the most affected lot due to this climate and monsoonal changes, which finally leads towards migration or colonization of people. Therefore, a high resolution data is required to delineate the complexity of monsoonal variation. This study focuses on the Mid-Late Holocene monsoonal changes from the sediment record of Western Kachchh. The field of study is at the mount of Kali River, a 45 km long river originating from the hills of Western Mainland Kachchh and debouching into Kori Creek. The exposed cross-section along the river bank has a fluvial unit (Unit-1) at the base followed by human settlement marked as Unit-2 culminating with eolian deposits (Unit-3) at the top. Multiproxy analysis (sedimentologically, optically and geochemically) were carried out to ascertain the climatic perturbations in the region. The lower Unit 1 which range in age from 6-5 Ka shows declining monsoon. The above exposed sediments with anthropogenic activity (Unit 2) cover a time span of 3-2.5 ka indicates monsoonal stability with declining trends. The general weakening of monsoon may be a major factor towards the ending or migration of the human settlement leading to the absence of archeological activity above 2.5ka in the area. The eolian sediments resting above the Unit 2 fall between 450 to 230 yrs represent the trends of Little Ice Age. Sediment record from the opposite bank of the river reveals an age of 1100 yrs supports wet condition which is co

  1. Late Quaternary speleogenesis and landscape evolution in a tropical carbonate island: Pango la Kuumbi (Kuumbi Cave, Zanzibar

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    Nikos Kourampas


    Full Text Available Kuumbi Cave is one of a group of caves that underlie a flight of marine terraces in Pleistocene limestone in eastern Zanzibar (Indian Ocean. Drawing on the findings of geoarchaeological field survey and archaeological excavation, we discuss the formation and evolution of Kuumbi Cave and its wider littoral landscape. In the later part of the Quaternary (last ca. 250,000 years?, speleogenesis and terrace formation were driven by the interplay between glacioeustatic sea level change and crustal uplift at rates of ca. 0.10-0.20 mm/yr. Two units of backreef/reef limestone were deposited during ‘optimal’ (highest highstands, tentatively correlated with MIS 7 and 5; (mainly erosive marine terraces formed in these limestones in ‘suboptimal’ highstands. Kuumbi and other sub-terrace caves developed as flank margin caves, in the seaward portion of freshwater lenses during such ‘suboptimal’ highstands. Glacioeustacy-induced fluctuations of the groundwater table may have resulted in shifts from vadose (with deposition of well-developed speleothems to phreatic/epiphreatic conditions in these caves. At Kuumbi, Late Pleistocene (pre-20,000 cal. BP ceiling collapse initiated colluvial deposition near-entrance and opened the cave to large plants and animals, including humans. A phase of terminal Pleistocene human occupation ca. 18,500-17,000 cal. BP resulted in the deposition of a dense assemblage of Achatina spp. landsnails, alongside marine molluscs and mammal remains (including zebra, buffalo and other taxa now extinct on Zanzibar. The Holocene part of the cave stratigraphy near-entrance records phases of abandonment and intensified late Holocene human use.

  2. Plio-Pleistocene magnetostratigraphy of the Turkana basin, Kenya (United States)

    Lepre, C. J.; Quinn, R.; Feibel, C. S.; Brown, F. H.; Kent, D. V.


    Archaeological and fossil sites from the Turkana basin provide a unique record of important human evolutionary junctures, which have been linked to terrestrial environmental change as a consequence of late Cenozoic climate phenomenon. However, because of low geochronological resolution, spatial discontinuities, and the episodic nature of sedimentation in the half-graben basins of the East African Rift System, it has been difficult to directly connect the terrestrial sites with marine archives of Pliocene and Pleistocene climate. For the purpose of addressing these issues, a magnetic polarity stratigraphy and a corresponding geochronology are presented for 12 sampling sites spanning about 400 m of continental sediments that crop out in eastern (Areas 118 and 130 of the Karari ridge, Areas 102 and 104 of the Koobi Fora ridge, Areas 107 and 123 of Bara Hasuma) and western (Kokiselei, Naiyena Engol, Kalochoro, Lomekwi, South Turkwel, and Kanapoi) parts of the Turkana basin. Characteristic magnetizations isolated through thermal demagnetization experiments on mudstone specimens pass reversal tests and are indistinguishable in mean direction regardless if samples were collected from ancient fluvial floodplain or lacustrine strata of correlative stratigraphic intervals. The sequence of the composite paleomagnetic reversal stratigraphy consists of 15 magnetozones that vary from less than a meter to tens of meters thick and can be unambiguously correlated within limits of the previously established tephrochronology to the Gilbert through Matuyama portion of the Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale dated to about 4.0-1.5 Ma. Sedimentation rates through lacustrine intervals (e.g., 22-29 cm/kyr) are comparable with high-fidelity marine cores. This factor coupled with copious amounts of magnetic mineral detritus from basin-bounding rift volcanics probably contributes to a high natural remanent magnetization of the sediments and the recording of temporally brief magnetozones (e

  3. Changes of 2H and 18O enrichment of meteoric water and Pleistocene glaciation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harmon, R.S.; Schwarcz, H.P.


    Isotopic data on fluid inclusions and host speleothems are presented which support the hypothesis that the deltaD-delta 18 O relationship for modern meteoric waters may have changed during the Pleistocene glacial periods in response to increased ocean surface air humidity. Palaeotemperatures for five areas of east-central North America and Bermuda, calculated assuming the present deltaDdelta 18 O meteoric water relationship for fluid inclusion waters, are observed to be too low during late Pleistocene glacial periods (in some instances falling below O 0 C) while interglacial palaeotemperatures are largely equivalent to those in the areas at present. As speleothem deposition cannot occur at subzero temperatures, a possible solution to this dilemma is a shift in the intercept of the meteoric water relationship. (U.K.)

  4. Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere

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    Erle C. Ellis


    Full Text Available Abstract Human use of land is a major cause of the global environmental changes that define the Anthropocene. Archaeological and paleoecological evidence confirm that human populations and their use of land transformed ecosystems at sites around the world by the late Pleistocene and historical models indicate this transformation may have reached globally significant levels more than 3000 years ago. Yet these data in themselves remain insufficient to conclusively date the emergence of land use as a global force transforming the biosphere, with plausible dates ranging from the late Pleistocene to AD 1800. Conclusive empirical dating of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere will require unprecedented levels of investment in sustained interdisciplinary collaboration and the development of a geospatial cyberinfrastructure to collate and integrate the field observations of archaeologists, paleoecologists, paleoenvironmental scientists, environmental historians, geoscientists, geographers and other human and environmental scientists globally from the Pleistocene to the present. Existing field observations may yet prove insufficient in terms of their spatial and temporal coverage, but by assessing these observations within a spatially explicit statistically robust global framework, major observational gaps can be identified, stimulating data gathering in underrepresented regions and time periods. Like the Anthropocene itself, building scientific understanding of the human role in shaping the biosphere requires both sustained effort and leveraging the most powerful social systems and technologies ever developed on this planet.

  5. On the origin of modern humans: Asian perspectives. (United States)

    Bae, Christopher J; Douka, Katerina; Petraglia, Michael D


    The traditional "out of Africa" model, which posits a dispersal of modern Homo sapiens across Eurasia as a single wave at ~60,000 years ago and the subsequent replacement of all indigenous populations, is in need of revision. Recent discoveries from archaeology, hominin paleontology, geochronology, genetics, and paleoenvironmental studies have contributed to a better understanding of the Late Pleistocene record in Asia. Important findings highlighted here include growing evidence for multiple dispersals predating 60,000 years ago in regions such as southern and eastern Asia. Modern humans moving into Asia met Neandertals, Denisovans, mid-Pleistocene Homo , and possibly H. floresiensis , with some degree of interbreeding occurring. These early human dispersals, which left at least some genetic traces in modern populations, indicate that later replacements were not wholesale. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  6. First trimester pregnancy-associated plasma protein A and human chorionic gonadotropin-beta in early and late pre-eclampsia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karahasanovic, Azra; Sørensen, Steen; Nilas, Lisbeth


    Abstract Background: The aim of this study was to compare pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) and the β-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCGβ) measured in maternal plasma at the first trimester screening, in women who later developed early or late pre-eclampsia (PE) to women...... with normal pregnancies. Methods: In the study were included 161 cases with PE and 88 controls with uncomplicated pregnancies. Plasma PAPP-A and hCGβ were measured between gestational age (GA) 8+2 and 14+0, and cases with early and late onset PE were compared with controls. Results: Median of hCGβ (Mo...

  7. Ecospaces occupied by Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in insular Southeast Asia in the Pleistocene (United States)

    Hertler, Christine; Haupt, Susanne; Volmer, Rebekka; Bruch, Angela


    Hominins migrated to the islands of the Sunda Shelf multiple times. At least two immigration events are evident, an early immigration of Homo erectus in the late Early Pleistocene and a second immigration of Homo sapiens during the Late Pleistocene. Regional environments changed considerably in the Pleistocene. Expansion patterns among hominins are at least co-determined by their ecologies and environmental change. We examine these expansion patterns on the basis of habitat reconstructions. Mammalian communities provide a geographically extensive record and permit to assess hominin ecospaces. Although chronological resolution is low, they represent the most complete record of habitat changes associated with hominin expansion patterns. In order to reconstruct and compare hominin ecospaces on a quantitative scale, we set up a reference sample consisting of mammalian communities of 117 national parks in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The diversity of such communities is assessed by ecological profiling of specialized herbivore taxa. Moreover, datasets on climate and vegetation correlate with the diversity structure of such specialized herbivore communities. Reconstructing the diversity structure of communities at key sites in Pleistocene Southeast Asia permits to infer features of the climatic and vegetation framework associated with different hominin taxa. Our results show that Homo erectus and Homo sapiens did not occupy similar ecospaces. The ecospace of Homo erectus is characterized by comparatively low diversity among frugivorous and folivorous taxa, while obligate grazers are part of the assemblages. Specialized herbivore communities with such a diversity structure occur at present in East Africa, while they are absent in Southeast Asia. In the reference sample, this type of ecospace corresponds to seasonal wetlands. Although Homo sapiens still inhabits this type of environment in Southeast Asia, his ecospace is wider. Homo sapiens is associated with

  8. Pleistocene aridification cycles shaped the contemporary genetic architecture of Southern African baboons.

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    Riashna Sithaldeen

    Full Text Available Plio-Pleistocene environmental change influenced the evolutionary history of many animal lineages in Africa, highlighting key roles for both climate and tectonics in the evolution of Africa's faunal diversity. Here, we explore diversification in the southern African chacma baboon Papio ursinus sensu lato and reveal a dominant role for increasingly arid landscapes during past glacial cycles in shaping contemporary genetic structure. Recent work on baboons (Papio spp. supports complex lineage structuring with a dominant pulse of diversification occurring 1-2Ma, and yet the link to palaeoenvironmental change remains largely untested. Phylogeographic reconstruction based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data supports a scenario where chacma baboon populations were likely restricted to refugia during periods of regional cooling and drying through the Late Pleistocene. The two lineages of chacma baboon, ursinus and griseipes, are strongly geographically structured, and demographic reconstruction together with spatial analysis of genetic variation point to possible climate-driven isolating events where baboons may have retreated to more optimum conditions during cooler, drier periods. Our analysis highlights a period of continuous population growth beginning in the Middle to Late Pleistocene in both the ursinus and the PG2 griseipes lineages. All three clades identified in the study then enter a state of declining population size (Nef through to the Holocene; this is particularly marked in the last 20,000 years, most likely coincident with the Last Glacial Maximum. The pattern recovered here conforms to expectations based on the dynamic regional climate trends in southern Africa through the Pleistocene and provides further support for complex patterns of diversification in the region's biodiversity.

  9. How Far into Europe Did Pikas (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) Go during the Pleistocene? New Evidence from Central Iberia (United States)

    Laplana, César; Sevilla, Paloma; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Arriaza, Mari Carmen; Baquedano, Enrique; Pérez-González, Alfredo


    This paper reports the first find of pika remains in the Iberian Peninsula, at a site in central Spain. A fragmented mandible of Ochotona cf. pusilla was unearthed from Layer 3 (deposited some 63.4±5.5 ka ago as determined by thermoluminescence) of the Buena Pinta Cave. This record establishes new limits for the genus geographic distribution during the Pleistocene, shifting the previous edge of its known range southwest by some 500 km. It also supports the idea that, even though Europe’s alpine mountain ranges represented a barrier that prevented the dispersal into the south to this and other taxa of small mammals from central and eastern Europe, they were crossed or circumvented at the coldest time intervals of the end of the Middle Pleistocene and of the Late Pleistocene. During those periods both the reduction of the forest cover and the emersion of large areas of the continental shelf due to the drop of the sea level probably provided these species a way to surpass this barrier. The pika mandible was found accompanying the remains of other small mammals adapted to cold climates, indicating the presence of steppe environments in central Iberia during the Late Pleistocene. PMID:26535576

  10. Early to Late Endosome Trafficking Controls Secretion and Zymogen Activation in Rodent and Human Pancreatic Acinar Cells. (United States)

    Messenger, Scott W; Thomas, Diana Dh; Cooley, Michelle M; Jones, Elaina K; Falkowski, Michelle A; August, Benjamin K; Fernandez, Luis A; Gorelick, Fred S; Groblewski, Guy E


    Pancreatic acinar cells have an expanded apical endosomal system, the physiological and pathophysiological significance of which is still emerging. Phosphatidylinositol-3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P 2 ) is an essential phospholipid generated by PIKfyve, which phosphorylates phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI(3)P). PI(3,5)P 2 is necessary for maturation of early endosomes (EE) to late endosomes (LE). Inhibition of EE to LE trafficking enhances anterograde endosomal trafficking and secretion at the plasma membrane by default through a recycling endosome (RE) intermediate. We assessed the effects of modulating PIKfyve activity on apical trafficking and pancreatitis responses in pancreatic acinar cells. Inhibition of EE to LE trafficking was achieved using pharmacological inhibitors of PIKfyve, expression of dominant negative PIKfyve K1877E, or constitutively active Rab5-GTP Q79L. Anterograde endosomal trafficking was manipulated by expression of constitutively active and dominant negative Rab11a mutants. The effects of these agents on secretion, endolysosomal exocytosis of lysosome associated membrane protein (LAMP1), and trypsinogen activation in response to high-dose CCK-8, bile acids and cigarette toxin was determined. PIKfyve inhibition increased basal and stimulated secretion. Adenoviral overexpression of PIKfyve decreased secretion leading to cellular death. Expression of Rab5-GTP Q79L or Rab11a-GTP Q70L enhanced secretion. Conversely, dominant-negative Rab11a-GDP S25N reduced secretion. High-dose CCK inhibited endolysosomal exocytosis that was reversed by PIKfyve inhibition. PIKfyve inhibition blocked intracellular trypsin accumulation and cellular damage responses to high CCK-8, tobacco toxin, and bile salts in both rodent and human acini. These data demonstrate that EE-LE trafficking acutely controls acinar secretion and the intracellular activation of zymogens leading to the pathogenicity of acute pancreatitis.

  11. Human management and landscape changes at Palaikastro (Eastern Crete) from the Late Neolithic to the Early Minoan period (United States)

    Cañellas-Boltà, N.; Riera-Mora, S.; Orengo, H. A.; Livarda, A.; Knappett, C.


    On the east Mediterranean island of Crete, a hierarchical society centred on large palatial complexes emerges during the Bronze Age. The economic basis for this significant social change has long been debated, particularly concerning the role of olive cultivation in the island's agricultural system. With the aim of studying vegetation changes and human management to understand the landscape history from Late Neolithic to Bronze Age, two palaeoenvironmental records have been studied at Kouremenos marsh, near the site of Palaikastro (Eastern Crete). Pollen, NPP and charcoal particles analyses evidenced seven phases of landscape change, resulting from different agricultural and pastoral practices and the use of fire probably to manage vegetation. Moreover, the Kouremenos records show the importance of the olive tree in the area. They reflect a clear trend for its increasing use and exploitation from 3600 cal yr BC (Final Neolithic) to the Early Minoan period, that is coeval with an opening of the landscape. The increase of Olea pollen was due to the expansion of the tree and its management using pruning and mechanical cleaning. The onset of olive expansion at c. 3600 cal yr BC places Crete among the first locales in the eastern Mediterranean in the management of this tree. Between c. 2780 and 2525 cal yr BC the landscape was largely occupied by olive and grasslands, coinciding with an increase in grazing practices. The high Olea pollen percentages (40-45%) suggest an intensive and large-scale exploitation of the olive tree. The results suggest that a complex and organized landscape with complementary land uses and activities was already in place since the Final Neolithic. The notable expansion of olive trees suggests the relevance of olive exploitation in the socio-economic development of Minoan towns of eastern Crete. Other crops, such as cereals and vine, and activities such as grazing have also played an important role in the configuration of the past landscape.

  12. Late Holocene forest dynamics in the Gulf of Gaeta (central Mediterranean) in relation to NAO variability and human impact (United States)

    Di Rita, Federico; Lirer, Fabrizio; Bonomo, Sergio; Cascella, Antonio; Ferraro, Luciana; Florindo, Fabio; Insinga, Donatella Domenica; Lurcock, Pontus Conrad; Margaritelli, Giulia; Petrosino, Paola; Rettori, Roberto; Vallefuoco, Mattia; Magri, Donatella


    A new high-resolution pollen record, spanning the last five millennia, is presented from the Gulf of Gaeta (Tyrrhenian Sea, central Italy), with the aim of verifying if any vegetation change occurred in the central Mediterranean region in relation to specific well-known global and/or regional climate events, including the 4.2 ka event, the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and the Little Ice Age (LIA), and to detect possible vegetation changes related to still under-investigated climate signals, for example the so-called "Bond 2" cold event around 2.8 ka BP. The vegetation dynamics of the Gaeta record shows a recurrent pattern of forest increase and decline punctuating the mid- and late Holocene. When the timing of these patterns is compared with the climate proxy data available from the same core (planktonic foraminifera assemblages and oxygen stable isotope record) and with the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) index, it clearly appears that the main driver for the forest fluctuations is climate, which may even overshadow the effects of human activity. We have found a clear correspondence between phases with negative NAO index and forest declines. In particular, around 4200 cal BP, a drop in AP (Arboreal Pollen) confirms the clearance recorded in many sites in Italy south of 43°N. Around 2800 cal BP, a vegetation change towards open conditions is found at a time when the NAO index clearly shows negative values. Between 800 and 1000 AD, a remarkable forest decline, coeval with a decrease in the frequencies of both Castanea and Olea, matches a shift in the oxygen isotope record towards positive values, indicating cooler temperatures, and a negative NAO. Between 1400-1850 AD, in the time period chronologically corresponding to the LIA (Little Ice Age), the Gaeta record shows a clear decline of the forest cover, particularly evident after 1550 AD, once again in correspondence with negative NAO index.

  13. Palaeodemography of the Atapuerca-SH Middle Pleistocene hominid sample. (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Nicolás, M E


    We report here on the palaeodemographic analysis of the hominid sample recovered to date from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene cave site in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). The analysis of the mandibular, maxillary, and dental remains has made it possible to estimate that a minimum of 32 individuals, who probably belonged to the same biological population, are represented in the current SH human hypodigm. The remains of nine-individuals are assigned to males, and nine to females, suggesting that a 1:1 sex ratio characterizes this hominid sample. The survivorship curve shows a low representation of infants and children, a high mortality among the adolescents and prime-age adults, and a low older adult mortality. Longevity was probably no greater than 40 years. This mortality pattern (adolescents and adults); which in some aspects resembles that observed in Neandertals, is quite different from those reported for recent foraging human groups. The adult age-at-death distribution of the SH hominid sample appears to be neither the consequence of underaging the older adults, nor of differential preservation or of the recognition of skeletal remains. Thus if we accept that they had a life history pattern similar to that of modern humans there would appear to be a clear contradiction between the demographic distribution and the demographic viability of the population represented by the SH hominid fossils. The possible representational bias of the SH hominid sample, as well as some aspects of the reproductive biology of the Pleistocene populations are also discussed.

  14. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory (United States)

    Harington, C. R.


    Unglaciated parts of the Yukon constitute one of the most important areas in North America for yielding Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Nearly 30 vertebrate faunal localities are reviewed spanning a period of about 1.6 Ma (million years ago) to the close of the Pleistocene some 10 000 BP (radiocarbon years before present, taken as 1950). The vertebrate fossils represent at least 8 species of fishes, 1 amphibian, 41 species of birds and 83 species of mammals. Dominant among the large mammals are: steppe bison ( Bison priscus), horse ( Equus sp.), woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) - signature species of the Mammoth Steppe fauna ( Fig. 1), which was widespread from the British Isles, through northern Europe, and Siberia to Alaska, Yukon and adjacent Northwest Territories. The Yukon faunas extend from Herschel Island in the north to Revenue Creek in the south and from the Alaskan border in the west to Ketza River in the east. The Yukon holds evidence of the earliest-known people in North America. Artifacts made from bison, mammoth and caribou bones from Bluefish Caves, Old Crow Basin and Dawson City areas show that people had a substantial knowledge of making and using bone tools at least by 25 000 BP, and possibly as early as 40 000 BP. A suggested chronological sequence of Yukon Pleistocene vertebrates ( Table 1) facilitates comparison of selected faunas and indicates the known duration of various taxa.

  15. Changing depositional environments during the Late Quatrnary along the western continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Thamban, M.

    variations on a shallow core off Cochin, suggests that the average sedimentation rates were very high (~6 13.2 cm/kyr) and varied widely during the Holocene and the late Pleistocene. Grain size measurements reveal that the clay content varied with the Late...

  16. Revision of the early Middle Pleistocene bears (Ursidae, Mammalia) of Central Europe, with special respect to possible co-occurrence of spelaeoid and arctoid lineages

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wagner, J.; Čermák, Stanislav


    Roč. 87, č. 3 (2012), s. 461-496 ISSN 1214-1119 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Ursus deningeri * U. arctos, * Late Biharian * Early Toringian * Middle Pleistocene Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.141, year: 2012

  17. Overview of the Plio-Pleistocene geology of Rhodes, Greece. Lithology, calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy, and sampling of the Kallithea Bay section

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Erik; Rasmussen, Tine Lander; Hastrup, Annette


    -water deposits are assigned to the Lindos Bay clay. Calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy shows that the age of the marine sequence is early Pleistocene. The brackish water sediments are difficult to date, but they are probably of late Pliocene age. Sixty-nine samples representing all environments were...

  18. ANÁLISIS FUNCIONALES EN ARTEFACTOS LÍTICOS DE GRUPOS CAZADORES-RECOLECTORES EN REGIONES TROPICALES DURANTE LA TRANSICIÓN PLEISTOCENO FINAL-HOLOCENO TEMPRANO: EL ABRIGO SANTA MARTA, CHIAPAS, MÉXICO (Functional Analysis of Lithic Artifacts of Hunter-Gatherer Groups in Tropical Regions During the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Transition: Santa Marta's Shelter, Chiapas, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Pérez Martínez


    Full Text Available Los análisis funcionales vieron la luz en la década de los sesenta con la publicación de la Tecnología Prehistórica de Semenov (1964, desde entonces se ha realizado un gran número de investigaciones para dilucidar actividades de subsistencia a partir de la funcionalidad de los artefactos. Desafortunadamente, en México pocos han sido los trabajos enfocados a este tipo de análisis (Elizalde y Mandujano 2000; Lewenstein 1990; Mirambell 1964. En el presente estudio se analizaron microscópicamente 36 artefactos líticos con el objetivo de caracterizar los micropulidos e inferir la funcionalidad de estos conjuntos asociados a grupos cazadores-recolectores procedentes de contextos de la transición Pleistoceno-Holoceno (13130-12671 cal. AP. ENGLISH: Use-wear studies began in the 1960s with Semenov’s publication entitled Prehistoric Technology (1964. Since then, a great number of investigations have been carried out to elucidate subsistence activities based on the functionality of the artifacts. Unfortunately, in Mexico few studies have focused on this type of analysis (Elizalde & Mandujano 2000; Lewenstein 1990; Mirambell 1964. In the present study, 36 lithic artifacts associated with hunter-gatherer groups from Pleistocene-Holocene transition contexts (13130–12671 cal. AP were analyzed microscopically with the aim of characterizing micropolishes and inferring functionality.

  19. Plio-Pleistocene climate sensitivity evaluated using high-resolution CO2 records (United States)

    Martínez-Botí, M. A.; Foster, G. L.; Chalk, T. B.; Rohling, E. J.; Sexton, P. F.; Lunt, D. J.; Pancost, R. D.; Badger, M. P. S.; Schmidt, D. N.


    Theory and climate modelling suggest that the sensitivity of Earth's climate to changes in radiative forcing could depend on the background climate. However, palaeoclimate data have thus far been insufficient to provide a conclusive test of this prediction. Here we present atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reconstructions based on multi-site boron-isotope records from the late Pliocene epoch (3.3 to 2.3 million years ago). We find that Earth's climate sensitivity to CO2-based radiative forcing (Earth system sensitivity) was half as strong during the warm Pliocene as during the cold late Pleistocene epoch (0.8 to 0.01 million years ago). We attribute this difference to the radiative impacts of continental ice-volume changes (the ice-albedo feedback) during the late Pleistocene, because equilibrium climate sensitivity is identical for the two intervals when we account for such impacts using sea-level reconstructions. We conclude that, on a global scale, no unexpected climate feedbacks operated during the warm Pliocene, and that predictions of equilibrium climate sensitivity (excluding long-term ice-albedo feedbacks) for our Pliocene-like future (with CO2 levels up to maximum Pliocene levels of 450 parts per million) are well described by the currently accepted range of an increase of 1.5 K to 4.5 K per doubling of CO2.

  20. Plio-Pleistocene climate sensitivity evaluated using high-resolution CO2 records. (United States)

    Martínez-Botí, M A; Foster, G L; Chalk, T B; Rohling, E J; Sexton, P F; Lunt, D J; Pancost, R D; Badger, M P S; Schmidt, D N


    Theory and climate modelling suggest that the sensitivity of Earth's climate to changes in radiative forcing could depend on the background climate. However, palaeoclimate data have thus far been insufficient to provide a conclusive test of this prediction. Here we present atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reconstructions based on multi-site boron-isotope records from the late Pliocene epoch (3.3 to 2.3 million years ago). We find that Earth's climate sensitivity to CO2-based radiative forcing (Earth system sensitivity) was half as strong during the warm Pliocene as during the cold late Pleistocene epoch (0.8 to 0.01 million years ago). We attribute this difference to the radiative impacts of continental ice-volume changes (the ice-albedo feedback) during the late Pleistocene, because equilibrium climate sensitivity is identical for the two intervals when we account for such impacts using sea-level reconstructions. We conclude that, on a global scale, no unexpected climate feedbacks operated during the warm Pliocene, and that predictions of equilibrium climate sensitivity (excluding long-term ice-albedo feedbacks) for our Pliocene-like future (with CO2 levels up to maximum Pliocene levels of 450 parts per million) are well described by the currently accepted range of an increase of 1.5 K to 4.5 K per doubling of CO2.

  1. Serum IgE and IgG4 against muscle larva excretory-secretory products during the early and late phases of human trichinellosis. (United States)

    Calcagno, Marcela A; Forastiero, María A; Saracino, María P; Vila, Cecilia C; Venturiello, Stella M


    In human trichinellosis, the relevance of the presence and persistence of specific serum IgE and IgG4 during the early and late phases of infection is still controversial.The aim of this work was to determine the percentage of human sera presenting IgE and IgG4 against Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae excretory-secretory products as well as their levels during the early and late phases of the infection. The antigen recognition pattern by serum total immunoglobulins (IgGAM), IgE, and IgG4 was assessed over time. Serum samples during early and late phases were analyzed by ELISA and immunoelectrotransfer blot (IETB).Results showed that (a)-IgE and IgG4 are present at constant levels in both phases; (b)-IgE recognized the glycoproteins of ~ 45 and ~ 55 kDa and IgG4 only the ~ 45 kDa; (c)-in the late phase, the percentage of specific IgE positive sera was higher than that of specific IgG4 by IETB; while in serum samples taken during the early phase, no differences were found between both isotypes; (d)-both isotypes displayed different glycoprotein recognition patterns: the pattern corresponding to IgE was coincident with that of IgGAM, comprising seven glycoproteins (ranging from ~ 116 to ~ 29 kDa), whereas IgG4 revealed four glycoproteins (ranging from ~ 97 to ~ 45 kDa), showing a different sera recognition percentage depending on the phase studied.In conclusion, IgE and IgG4 cannot be considered exclusive isotypes of neither the early nor the late phase of infection and they are as useful as the detection of total antibodies in the early diagnosis.

  2. Late quaternary evolution of the Orinoco Delta, Venezuela (United States)

    Warne, A.G.; Guevara, E.H.; Aslan, A.


    The modern Orinoco Delta is the latest of a series of stacked deltas that have infilled the Eastern Venezuelan Basin (EVB) since the Oligocene. During the late Pleistocene sea-level lowstand (20,000 to 16,000 yrs BP), bedrock control points at the position of the present delta apex prevented the river channel from incising as deeply as many other major river systems. Shallow seismic data indicate that the late Pleistocene Orinoco incised into the present continental shelf, where it formed a braided-river complex that transported sediment to a series of shelf-edge deltas. As sea level rose from 16,000 to 9,500 yrs BP, the Orinoco shoreline shifted rapidly landward, causing shallow-marine waves and currents to form a widespread transgressive sand unit. Decelerating sea-level rise and a warmer, wetter climate during the early Holocene (9,500 to 6,000 yrs BP) induced delta development within the relatively quiet-water environment of the EVB embayment. Sea level approached its present stand in the middle Holocene (6,000 to 3,000 yrs BP), and the Orinoco coast prograded, broadening the delta plain and infilling the EVB embayment. Significant quantities of Amazon sediment began to be transported to the Orinoco coast by littoral currents. Continued progradation in the late Holocene caused the constriction at Boca de Serpientes to alter nearshore and shelf hydrodynamics and subdivide the submarine delta into two distinct areas: the Atlantic shelf and the Gulf of Paria. The increased influence of littoral currents along the coast promoted mudcape development. Because most of the water and sediment were transported across the delta plain through the Rio Grande distributary in the southern delta, much of the central and northwestern delta plain became sediment starved, promoting widespread accumulation of peat deposits. Human impacts on the delta are mostly associated with the Volca??n Dam on Can??o Manamo. However, human activities have had relatively little effect on the

  3. Pleistocene climatic changes drive diversification across a tropical savanna. (United States)

    Potter, Sally; Xue, Alexander T; Bragg, Jason G; Rosauer, Dan F; Roycroft, Emily J; Moritz, Craig


    Spatial responses of species to past climate change depend on both intrinsic traits (climatic niche breadth, dispersal rates) and the scale of climatic fluctuations across the landscape. New capabilities in generating and analysing population genomic data, along with spatial modelling, have unleashed our capacity to infer how past climate changes have shaped populations, and by extension, complex communities. Combining these approaches, we uncover lineage diversity across four codistributed lizards from the Australian Monsoonal Tropics and explore how varying climatic tolerances interact with regional climate history to generate common vs. disparate responses to late Pleistocene change. We find more divergent spatial structuring and temporal demographic responses in the drier Kimberley region compared to the more mesic and consistently suitable Top End. We hypothesize that, in general, the effects of species' traits on sensitivity to climate fluctuation will be more evident in climatically marginal regions. If true, this points to the need in climatically marginal areas to craft more species-(or trait)-specific strategies for persistence under future climate change. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. New radiocarbon dates for terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene settlements in West Turkana, northern Kenya (United States)

    Beyin, Amanuel; Prendergast, Mary E.; Grillo, Katherine M.; Wang, Hong


    The Turkana Basin in northern Kenya is located in an environmentally sensitive region along the eastern African Rift system. Lake Turkana's sensitivity to fluctuations in precipitation makes this an ideal place to study prehistoric human adaptations during key climatic transitions. Here we present eleven radiocarbon dates from two recently excavated sites in West Turkana, Kokito 01 and Kokito 02. The sites span the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, a time of fluctuating lake levels and novel cultural responses within the region. Several scenarios are laid out for the interpretation of site chronologies, and these are discussed with reference to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene chronological record for the region. Given the paucity of well-dated sites from this timespan in the Turkana Basin, the new radiocarbon dates are an important step toward establishing human settlement history and associated cultural developments in the region.

  5. Possible interbreeding in late Italian Neanderthals? New data from the Mezzena jaw (Monti Lessini, Verona, Italy.

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    Silvana Condemi

    Full Text Available In this article we examine the mandible of Riparo Mezzena a Middle Paleolithic rockshelter in the Monti Lessini (NE Italy, Verona found in 1957 in association with Charentian Mousterian lithic assemblages. Mitochondrial DNA analysis performed on this jaw and on other cranial fragments found at the same stratigraphic level has led to the identification of the only genetically typed Neanderthal of the Italian peninsula and has confirmed through direct dating that it belongs to a late Neanderthal. Our aim here is to re-evaluate the taxonomic affinities of the Mezzena mandible in a wide comparative framework using both comparative morphology and geometric morphometrics. The comparative sample includes mid-Pleistocene fossils, Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans. This study of the Mezzena jaw shows that the chin region is similar to that of other late Neanderthals which display a much more modern morphology with an incipient mental trigone (e.g. Spy 1, La Ferrassie, Saint-Césaire. In our view, this change in morphology among late Neanderthals supports the hypothesis of anatomical change of late Neanderthals and the hypothesis of a certain degree of interbreeding with AMHs that, as the dating shows, was already present in the European territory. Our observations on the chin of the Mezzena mandible lead us to support a non abrupt phylogenetic transition for this period in Europe.

  6. Dark humic alluvial paleosols in Central and Southern Mexico: Micromorphological indicators of Late Pleistocene megafauna habitats Paleosuelos aluviales con humus oscuro en el Centro y Sur de México: indicadores micromorfológicos de los hábitats de la megafauna del Pleistoceno tardío Paleosolos aluviais com húmus escuro no Centro e Sul do México: indicadores micromorfológicos dos habitats da megafauna do Pleistocénico tardio

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    Rosa E. Tovar


    Full Text Available During the Late Pleistocene, Mexico had a richer fauna than today with many different forms of megafauna that are now extinct. However, the ecosystems they inhabited and the particular ecological niches that they occupied are still poorly understood. Most of the findings of Pleistocene megafauna have been in alluvial deposits that present rich opportunities for paleoecological studies using paleopedological records. Floodplain paleosols commonly are poorly developed. However, micromorphological analysis provides information about the grade of development of the soil at a microscale, discriminating between genetic and sedimentary processes; thus helping in the identification of the environmental setting in which they formed. We analyzed the micromorphology of six pedogenetic units in the sequences of Santa Cruz Nuevo and Axamilpa, in the south of Puebla, and Huexoyucan, in the state of Tlaxcala. These pedosequences correspond to the second half of marine isotopic stage 3 (MIS3, MIS2 and the early Holocene. All studied units are characterized by strong pigmentation with dark humus. The micromorphological analysis of MIS3 paleosols reveals aquatic conditions with evidence of freshwater biota and microlamination as well as pedogenetic features of hydrogenic carbonate precipitation and redoximorphic processes. The dark paleosols of MIS2 and the early Holocene demonstrate signs of stronger coprogenic aggregation, weathering and fewer gleyic features. Comparison with modern soils shows that the latter were formed under better-drained, aerated conditions that exclude redoximorphic processes. We conclude that the dark colored Pleistocene paleosol units are indicative of different paleo-landscapes: wetlands in the MIS3 and moist meadows in MIS2 – early Holocene. The swampy ecosystems could play an important role as a megafauna habitat.En el Pleistoceno Tardío, México tenía una diversidad faunística más rica que en la actualidad, con diferentes

  7. Relationship between geohydrology and Upper Pleistocene-Holocene evolution of the eastern region of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina (United States)

    Capítulo, Leandro Rodrigues; Kruse, Eduardo E.


    The Upper Pleistocene-Holocene geological evolution, which is characterized by its landscape-forming energy and is related to geological and geomorphological complexity, has an impact on the groundwater dynamics of coastal aquifers. The geological configuration of a sector of the east coast of the Province of Buenos Aires was analyzed, as well as its connection with the geological and geomorphological history of the region during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, and its influence on the regional and local geohydrological behaviour. This analysis was based on the application of the concept of hydrofacies. Boreholes were drilled and sampled (with depths of up to 40 m), and vertical electrical sounding, electrical tomography and pumping tests were undertaken. The description of the cutting samples by means of a stereo microscope, the interpretation of satellite images, and the construction of lithological and hydrogeological profiles and flow charts were carried out in the laboratory, and then integrated in a GIS. The identification of the lithological units and their distribution in the area allowed the construction of an evolutionary geological model for the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Three aquifer units can be recognized: one of Late Pleistocene age (hydrofacies E) and the other two of Holocene age (hydrofacies A and C); their hydraulic connection depends on the occurrence and thickness variation of the aquitard units (hydrofacies B and D). The approach adopted allows the examination of the possibilities for groundwater exploitation and constitutes an applied conceptual framework to be taken into consideration when developing conceptual and numerical models at the local and regional scales.

  8. The CD3-zeta chimeric antigen receptor overcomes TCR Hypo-responsiveness of human terminal late-stage T cells.

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    Gunter Rappl

    Full Text Available Adoptive therapy of malignant diseases with tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells showed remarkable efficacy in recent trials. Repetitive T cell receptor (TCR engagement of target antigen, however, inevitably ends up in hypo-responsive cells with terminally differentiated KLRG-1(+ CD57(+ CD7(- phenotype limiting their therapeutic efficacy. We here revealed that hypo-responsiveness of CMV-specific late-stage CD8(+ T cells is due to reduced TCR synapse formation compared to younger cells. Membrane anchoring of TCR components contributes to T cell hypo-responsiveness since dislocation of galectin-3 from the synapse by swainsonine restored both TCR synapse formation and T cell response. Transgenic expression of a CD3-zeta signaling chimeric antigen receptor (CAR recovered hypo-responsive T cells to full effector functions indicating that the defect is restricted to TCR membrane components while synapse formation of the transgenic CAR was not blocked. CAR engineered late-stage T cells released cytokines and mediated redirected cytotoxicity as efficiently as younger effector T cells. Our data provide a rationale for TCR independent, CAR mediated activation in the adoptive cell therapy to avoid hypo-responsiveness of late-stage T cells upon repetitive antigen encounter.

  9. Randomized Controlled Trial on Effect of Intermittent Early Versus Late Kangaroo Mother Care on Human Milk Feeding in Low-Birth-Weight Neonates. (United States)

    Jayaraman, Dhaarani; Mukhopadhyay, Kanya; Bhalla, Anil Kumar; Dhaliwal, Lakhbir Kaur


    Breastfeeding at discharge among sick low-birth-weight (LBW) infants is low despite counseling and intervention like kangaroo mother care (KMC). Research aim: The aim was to study the effects of early initiation of KMC on exclusive human milk feeding, growth, mortality, and morbidities in LBW neonates compared with late initiation of KMC during the hospital stay and postdischarge. A randomized controlled trial was conducted in level 2 and 3 areas of a tertiary care neonatal unit over 15 months. Inborn neonates weighing 1 to 1.8 kg and hemodynamically stable were randomized to receive either early KMC, initiated within the first 4 days of life, or late KMC (off respiratory support and intravenous fluids). Follow-up was until 1 month postdischarge. Outcomes were proportion of infants achieving exclusive human milk feeding and direct breastfeeding, growth, mortality and morbidities during hospital stay, and postdischarge feeding and KMC practices until 1 month. The early KMC group ( n = 80) achieved significantly higher exclusive human milk feeding (86% vs. 45%, p milk feeding (73% vs. 36%, p milk feeding and direct breastfeeding in LBW infants.

  10. Pliocene –Pleistocene geomorphological evolution of the Adriatic side of Central Italy

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    Gentili Bernardino


    Full Text Available This work is a significant contribution to knowledge of the Quaternary and pre-Quaternary morphogenesis of a wide sector of central Italy, from the Apennine chain to the Adriatic Sea. The goal is achieved through a careful analysis and interpretation of stratigraphic and tectonic data relating to marine and continental sediments and, mostly, through the study of relict limbs of ancient landscapes (erosional surfaces shaped by prevailing planation processes. The most important scientific datum is the definition of the time span in which the modelling of the oldest morphological element (the “summit relict surface” occurred: it started during Messinian in the westernmost portion and after a significant phase during middle-late Pliocene, ended in the early Pleistocene. During the middle and late Pleistocene, the rapid tectonic uplift of the area and the climate fluctuations favoured the deepening of the hydrographic network and the genesis of three orders of fluvial terraces, thus completing the fundamental features of the landscape. The subsequent Holocene evolution reshaped the minor elements, but not the basic ones.

  11. Precipitation change and its effects on prehistorical human activities in the Gonghe Basin, Northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau during middle and late Holocene (United States)

    Hou, Xiaoqing; Hou, Guangliang; Wang, Fangfang; Wang, Qingbo


    Northeastern Qinghai-tibet Plateau is considered as the ideal region for study of the climate change during the Holocene. Based on the meteorological data, the surface & fossil pollen data, this paper reconstructed the precipitation series of the region since middle Holocene with the GIS and MAT techniques, and discussed its relationship with prehistorical human activities. The results indicate that there are four major climatic phases: (I) Middle Holocene Humid Phase (6300-5000 aBP), with the primitive millet-farming first imported into the region; (II) Late Middle Holocene Sub-humid Phase (5000-3900 aBP), with the millet-farming spread rapidly within the region; (III) Late Holocene Fluctuation Phase (3900-2900 aBP), with the mean annual precipitation dropped down to lower than 240 mm, and a production mode-shift to a combination of cropping and husbandry; (IV) Late Holocene Stationary Phase (2900-0 aBP), with a precipitation alike the modern time, and a steady farming-pastoral economic pattern.

  12. Charred wood remains in the natufian sequence of el-Wad terrace (Israel): New insights into the climatic, environmental and cultural changes at the end of the Pleistocene (United States)

    Caracuta, Valentina; Weinstein-Evron, Mina; Yeshurun, Reuven; Kaufman, Daniel; Tsatskin, Alexander; Boaretto, Elisabetta


    The major social and economic changes associated with the rise of a sedentary lifestyle and the gradual transition to food production in the southern Levant are often considered to have been triggered by climate changes at the end of the Pleistocene (∼20,000-11,000 years BP). This explanation, however, is biased by the scarcity of high-resolution climate records directly associated with human activity and the lack of refined palaeoecological studies from multi-stratified sites in the area. Here, we present the results of an anthracological analysis, carried out on charcoals collected along a continuous column of archaeological sediments in the Natufian site of el-Wad Terrace (Mount Carmel, Israel). We also present the carbon isotopes analysis of 14C-dated archaeological remains of Amygdalus sp. The analyses of charcoal shows the predominance of an oak forest including Quercus calliprinos and ithaburensis around the site during the Early Natufian building phase (∼14,600-13,700 cal BP), and the values of Δ13C point to a high rainfall rate. This period is followed by a marked decrease in the local rainfall between ∼13,700 and 12,000 cal BP). The reduction, culturally associated with the latest Early Natufian and the Late Natufian, is independently recorded by the speleothems of the region: Soreq Cave and Jerusalem Cave. This period incorporates an increase in drought tolerant species such as Amygdalus sp. Thermo-Mediterranean species, such as Olea europaea and Ceratonia siliqua, as well as Pistacia palaestina, which dominate the modern landscape, become established in the Holocene. We conclude that the Natufian settlement at el-Wad Terrace flourished in the context of oak forests, and subsequently occupation intensity decreased in concurrence to the drying trend. This shift does not correspond to the cultural typology (i.e. Early Natufian vs. Late Natufian). Human response to climate change at the terminal Pleistocene Levant was multifaceted and localized. Its

  13. On the Paleobiogeography of Pleistocenic Italian Mammals / Osservazioni sulla paleobiogeografia dei mammiferi del Pleistocene italiano

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    Lucia Caloi


    Full Text Available Abstract In this paper the main Italian Pleistocene mammalofaunas are examined and a chronological sequence of the main deposits is proposed. Centers of spreading, times of first appearence in Italy and ranges through the peninsula of the more representative species are indicated, as far as possible. The insular faunas and the different degrees of endemism they show, are particularly discussed. Riassunto Vengono esaminate sinteticamente le principali faune a mammiferi del Pleistocene d'Italia e viene proposta una successione cronologica per i principali giacimenti. Per le specie più rappresentative vengono indicati, per quanto possibile, le aree di provenienza, il momento della comparsa e la loro diffusione nella penisola. Particolare attenzione viene posta alle forme insulari ed al loro carattere endemico.

  14. A quasi-lentiviral green fluorescent protein reporter exhibits nuclear export features of late human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transcripts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graf, Marcus; Ludwig, Christine; Kehlenbeck, Sylvia; Jungert, Kerstin; Wagner, Ralf


    We have previously shown that Rev-dependent expression of HIV-1 Gag from CMV immediate early promoter critically depends on the AU-rich codon bias of the gag gene. Here, we demonstrate that adaptation of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene to HIV codon bias is sufficient to turn this hivGFP RNA into a quasi-lentiviral message following the rules of late lentiviral gene expression. Accordingly, GFP expression was significantly decreased in transfected cells strictly correlating with reduced RNA levels. In the presence of the HIV 5' major splice donor, the hivGFP RNAs were stabilized in the nucleus and efficiently exported to the cytoplasm following fusion of the 3' Rev-responsive element (RRE) and coexpression of HIV-1 Rev. This Rev-dependent translocation was specifically inhibited by leptomycin B suggesting export via the CRM1-dependent pathway used by late lentiviral transcripts. In conclusion, this quasi-lentiviral reporter system may provide a new platform for developing sensitive Rev screening assays


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    Full Text Available The interdisciplinary study of two deep cores drilled in Pleistocene basin fill at Northern margin of Po Plain, has been integrated with qualitative and quantitative malacological analysis. The potential of quantitative malacological analysis, to refine results obtained from interdisciplinary studies, is here highlighted. The evolution of malacological assemblages has been recorded and correlated to the general regressive trend recognized all over the Po Basin. Lower Pleistocene marine deposits, found at core base (Jaramillo Subchron and older, were gradually replaced by transitional and continental deposits since latest early Pleistocene. Area was eventually covered by continental conglomerate deposits (“Ceppo” facies during middle-late Pleistocene. Within this general trend, regional significance of a major unconformity (“r” surface, related to onset of Pleistocene glacial cycle, is confirmed. However, as evidenced by malacology, the roughly synchronous onset of coarse clastic progradation did not result in a synchronous shift from marine to transitional and continental settings all over the study area, as an effect of inherited topography and other local factors. During marine sedimentation, fossil record allowed us to recognize a transgressive event, reliably correlated to Marine Isotope Stage 35. 

  16. Late Budgets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Asger Lau; Lassen, David Dreyer; Nielsen, Lasse Holbøll Westh

    are negative rather than positive; and when there is divided government. We test the hypotheses of the model using a unique data set of late budgets for US state governments, based on dates of budget approval collected from news reports and a survey of state budget o¢ cers for the period 1988...

  17. A palaeoenvironmental record of natural and human change from the Auckland Isthmus, New Zealand, during the Late Holocene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horrocks, M.; Deng, Y.; Nichol, S.L.; Shane, P.A.; Ogden, J.


    A multi-proxy analysis of a sediment core from Waiatarua, Auckland Isthmus, adds to an environmental history from the local wetland spanning the Late Glacial to modern times. Several distal tephra were recorded in the core: 8.5 ka Rotoma (reworked), 6.1 ka Tuhua (primary and reworked), most likely the 1.8 ka Taupo (the latter is previously unreported for the Auckland Isthmus), and one unidentified, possibly 665 yr BP Kaharoa. Pollen and diatom analyses of the core show that during the period c. 6000-c. 4800 yr BP, the site was a lake fringed with Cyperaceae/Leptospermum swamp. The lake became progressively shallower after c. 4800 yr BP, probably due to hydroseral infilling. Surrounding the lake was forest dominated by Dacrydium, Prumnopitys, Metrosideros, and Nestegis. Transition to the Polynesian era appears unclear because the site probably endured a hiatus due to destruction of peat by burning in European times. (author). 39 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs

  18. "Pleistocene Park" - A Glacial Ecosystem in a Warming