Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Friday, August 3, 2018

Windows of Opportunity for the early peopling of America over the last 800 Ky

Windows for the crossing of the Beringia landbridge into America from Asia have existed many times before the latest one (at the end of the last Ice Age) during which supposedly modern humans finally entered America around 16,000 years ago.

Animals have crossed to and fro between Asia and America (horses, black bears, caribou and camels went west into Asia while bison, mammoths, moose and elk moved east into America) during the last 8 million years. So why couldn't our more distant human relatives (H. habilis, H. erectus, Neanderthal or Denisovan) do the same thing?

The following chart from History of Earth's Climate 5. - Cenozoic II - Pleistocene at, shows how the sea level rose and dropped over tha last 800,000 years. As you can see, during the interglacial periods -like the current one- ice melted and the sea levels rose (zero meter is the present sea level), but when the ice caps grew during the ice ages and glaciers advanced, water was moved from sea to continental ice sheets and therefore sea level dropped by over 120 meters or approx. 360 feet. More than enough to dry out Beringia and allow the land bridge to link America and Asia.

The red arrows show the dates these bridges formed: 140, 340, 630 and 720 thousand years ago. And the blue arrow shows the most recent event, the that is the "accepted" date for the entry of humans into America.

Actually the arrows point at the "lowest" sea levels but to cross Beringia only a drop of 60 meters is needed so there were plenty more "windows" and these lasted for quite a long time (see this map for an undersea level contour of Beringia).

sea level chart ice ages

Sea Level variations over the last 800 ky

The fact is that humans existed 140 kya, and perhaps even 340 kya. Neanderthals lived between 630 and 140 kya. Densiovans are a mystery but we may assume the same dates as those of the Neanderthals. Homo erectus on any date earlier than 340 kya.

So we should consider these dates as "windows of opportunity" for the first humans to reach America.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2018 by Austin Whittall © 

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