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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

America peopled 130,000 years ago

Some very good news: atlastsome scientific evidence supporting an early =(130000 years ago) peopling of America; read more read more·

This is the link to the paper in Nature: Link to paper. And this is the abstract (I highlighted the Bold text):

"The earliest dispersal of humans into North America is a contentious subject, and proposed early sites are required to meet the following criteria for acceptance: (1) archaeological evidence is found in a clearly defined and undisturbed geologic context; (2) age is determined by reliable radiometric dating; (3) multiple lines of evidence from interdisciplinary studies provide consistent results; and (4) unquestionable artefacts are found in primary context1, 2. Here we describe the Cerutti Mastodon (CM) site, an archaeological site from the early late Pleistocene epoch, where in situ hammerstones and stone anvils occur in spatio-temporal association with fragmentary remains of a single mastodon (Mammut americanum). The CM site contains spiral-fractured bone and molar fragments, indicating that breakage occured while fresh. Several of these fragments also preserve evidence of percussion. The occurrence and distribution of bone, molar and stone refits suggest that breakage occurred at the site of burial. Five large cobbles (hammerstones and anvils) in the CM bone bed display use-wear and impact marks, and are hydraulically anomalous relative to the low-energy context of the enclosing sandy silt stratum. 230Th/U radiometric analysis of multiple bone specimens using diffusion–adsorption–decay dating models indicates a burial date of 130.7 ± 9.4 thousand years ago. These findings confirm the presence of an unidentified species of Homo at the CM site during the last interglacial period (MIS 5e; early late Pleistocene), indicating that humans with manual dexterity and the experiential knowledge to use hammerstones and anvils processed mastodon limb bones for marrow extraction and/or raw material for tool production. Systematic proboscidean bone reduction, evident at the CM site, fits within a broader pattern of Palaeolithic bone percussion technology in Africa3, 4, 5, 6, Eurasia7, 8, 9 and North America10, 11, 12. The CM site is, to our knowledge, the oldest in situ, well-documented archaeological site in North America and, as such, substantially revises the timing of arrival of Homo into the Americas."

A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA Steven R. Holen Thomas A. Deméré Daniel C. Fisher Richard Fullagar James B. Paces George T. Jefferson Jared M. Beeton Richard A. Cerutti Adam N. Rountrey Lawrence Vescera Kathleen A. Holen. Nature 544, 479–483 (27 April 2017) doi:10.1038/nature22065

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2017 by Austin Whittall © 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fake news on Bigfoot - just look at the photo!

I couldn't help sharing this "article" with you, which supposedly shows a bigfoot in its phot. A hoax, no doubt. This kind of unprofessional articles harms the cause of those who try to be serious and scientific.

The image is so crude and the hoax is so evident, that it is embarrassing.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2017 by Austin Whittall © 

Denisovans, Inuit and Native Americans

An article, which you can read here Arctic Inuit, Native American cold adaptations may originate from extinct hominids from Dec. 2016, tells us something about the Inuit, Amerindians and Denisovans or some other now extinct archaic hominid... (the original paper is here).

Two genes, TBX15 and WARS2 seem to be critical in how the body deals with fat in cold climates to generat heat. The article points out the following:

" The Inuit DNA sequence in this region matches very well with the Denisovan genome, and it is highly differentiated from other present-day human sequences, though we can't discard the possibility that the variant was introduced from another archaic group whose genomes we haven't sampled yet," said Fernando Racimo, lead author of the study.
The authors found that the variant is present at low-to-intermediate frequencies throughout Eurasia, and at especially high frequencies in the Inuits and Native American populations, but almost absent in Africa. TBX15 is a gene known to affect the human body's response to cold, and is associated with a number of traits related to body fat distribution. The authors speculate that the archaic variant may have been beneficial to modern humans during their expansion throughout Siberia and across Beringia, into the Americas.

Allow me to suggest another option: the archaic variant evolved in Homo erectus in high latitude Asia, they had reached this part of the world at least 1 million years ago. They hunted big game (mammoths and hairy rhino lived there and did so for millions of years). What would stop them from following the heards into America? Thanks to this adaptation they could. And this is why, their descent, the Amerindians carry it. Later after Homo sapiens evolved in America, it back migrated into Siberia and Eurasia and reached -though diluted- Africa when it was peopled by modern H. sapiens from Asia and America.

This explains the cline from a peak in America to a low in Africa. As you moved into hotter regions it became less of an advantadge (actualy a fatty layer in a hot climate is a disadvantage).

Archaic Adaptive Introgression in TBX15/WARS2 Fernando Racimo David Gokhman Matteo Fumagalli Amy Ko Torben Hansen Ida Moltke Anders Albrechtsen Liran Carmel Emilia Huerta-Sánchez Rasmus Nielsen Mol Biol Evol (2017) 34 (3): 509-524. DOI: Published: 22 December 2016

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2017 by Austin Whittall © 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Early man in Northern Yukon 300,000 years ago

This paper dating back to the 1980s: Stratigraphic, Sedimentological and Faunal Evidence for the Occurrence of Pre-Sangamonian artifacts in Northern Yukon by Jopling, AV, WN Irving, and BF Beebe. 1981.Arctic 34 (1): 3-33, reports evidence of ancient human presence in Yukon - Alaska. An excerpt from the paper is very interesting:

"... It is interesting that these early human inhabitants predate the extinction in Europe and western Asia of most or all populations of Homo sapiens neandertalensis. Indeed, if Unit 1 is of Illinoian = Riss age, these artefacts probably are older than Mousterian cultures and Neandertal Man. Elsewhere, Irving (1978a, b) has commented on a plausible relationship of these early cultures to the Early Palaeolithic of the Far East, ar elationship anticipated by Chard (e.g. 1963) and more recently by Rouse (19801, although terminologies differ. Bryan (1978) has published an unusual human calotte from Brazil which beckons renewed attention in this connection. In a recent announcement Chia et al. (1979) describe a large collection of vertebrate fossils and stone artefacts found near Hsuchiayao in Yangkao County, Shansi, China. They attribute the entire collection to an age comparable with that of the Riss (Illinoian) glaciation. The associated human skeletal remains are said to be intermediate between Homo erectus and Homo neandertalensis (sic). Elsewhere Medvedev (1979) appears to have documented the northward progress ofHomo sp. as far as the Aldan Plateau in Siberia, 200 000 or more years ago. We must now, therefore, entertain seriously the possibility that a variant of Homo erectus reached the Western Hemisphere, as recently suggested by Yoshizaki (pers. comm., 1981). If true, this must profoundly affect both studies of the origin of Homo sapiens and studies of New World populations..."

For map lovers, This map shows the site.

1981 was ages ago!!! I was in my 20s!!, the world was quite different, wasn't it? No internet, cellphones, WiFi, I was programming in Fortran in University! The so called good old days... like another life ago!

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2017 by Austin Whittall © 
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Copyright © 2009-2018 by Austin Victor Whittall.
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