martes, 1 de abril de 2014

Early humans and sabre-tooths co-existed 300,000 years ago

Scientists of the Lower Saxony Heritage Authority and of the University of Tübingen excavating at the Schöningen open-cast coal mine in north-central Germany have discovered the remains of a sabre-toothed cat preserved in a layer some 300,000 years old – the same stratum in which wooden spears were found, indicating that early humans also inhabited the area, which at that time was the bank of a shallow lake.

This big cat had sabre-teeth more than 10cm in length. Image: Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege
The discovery sheds new light on the relationship between early humans and beasts of prey, as it is highly likely that humans were confronted by sabre-toothed cats at the Schöningen lakeside. If this is the case then the spears (up to 2.3m long) would have been for defence as well as for hunting – a vital tool for human survival in Europe 300,000 years ago.

Officials from the Lower Saxony heritage authority and archaeologists from the Universities of Tübingen and Leiden uncovered a first tooth of a young adult homotherium latidens in October 2012. Measuring more than a metre at the shoulder and weighing some 200kg, the sabre-tooth had razor-sharp claws and deadly jaws with upper-jaw canines more than 10cm long. [...] (B&W3)

Actualización 03-04-14.  El tigre dientes de sable, competidor y amenaza para las poblaciones humanas del pleistoceno medio europeo  (B&W1)
Científicos alemanes han publicado el hallazgo de unos restos de tigre dientes de sable que fueron descubiertos en la superficie minera de Schöningen, en niveles de más de 300.000 años de antigüedad.  La zona era en aquel momento la orilla de un lago poco profundo a la que acudían los seres humanos para dar caza a manadas de herbívoros, en especial caballos, como se deduce de los numerosos ...

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Actualización. El tigre dientes de sable, competidor y amenaza para las poblaciones humanas del pleistoceno medio europeo