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What was life like for mammoths 17,000 years ago? Scientists reveal their secrets | technology – News Collective



Researchers have tracked the astonishing flight of a woolly mammoth in the North Pole, which in its 28 years of life covered enough Alaska to circle the Earth nearly twice.

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In a work published in SciencesScientists – from Austria, China and the United States – They collected unprecedented details of his life by analyzing a fossil 17,000 Years from the University of Alaska Museum in the North. By generating and studying isotopic data for mammoth tusks, they were able to correlate its movements and diet with isotopic maps of the region.

So far, few details are known about the life and movements of the woolly mammoth, and The study provides the first evidence that they traveled long distances.

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“It’s not clear if it was a seasonal migrant, but it covered a lot of land – aUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Matthew Waller, lead author and co-author of the article, noted in a statement.. He visited many parts of Alaska at some point in his life, Which is surprising when you consider the size of this area.”

Researchers at the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility, which is directed by Waller, sliced ​​the two-meter-long canine lengthwise and created about 400,000 microscopic data points using lasers and other techniques.

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Matt Waller, director of the Stable Isotope Facility in Alaska, kneels among a group of some mammoth tusks at the University of Alaska Museum in the North. (Photo: JR ANCHETA/University of Alaska Fairbanks/AFP)

Their detailed isotopic analyzes are made possible by the way mammoth tusks grow. Mammoths added new layers daily throughout their lives. When the tusks were segmented lengthwise for sampling, these growth bands looked like stacked ice cream cones, providing a chronological record of a mammoth’s entire life.

From the moment they are born to the day they die, they have a diary written on their fangs — Pat Druckenmiller, paleontologist and director of the North UA Museum, explains.. Mother Nature does not usually provide such comforting records and perpetual life of an individual.

Scientists knew the mammoth died on Alaska’s North Slope, above the Arctic Circle, where its remains were excavated by a team including UA’s Dan Mann and Pam Groves, who are among the study’s co-authors.

The researchers reconstructed the mammoth’s journey to that point by analyzing the isotopic signatures on its canine for the elements strontium and oxygen, which were compared to maps that predicted isotopic variations across Alaska. The researchers created the maps by analyzing the teeth of hundreds of small rodents from across Alaska preserved in the museum’s collections. Animals travel relatively small distances during their lives and They represent the local isotope signals.

Using that set of local data, they mapped isotopic variance across Alaska, providing a baseline for tracking mammoth movements. After taking into account geographical barriers and the average distance traveled each week, the researchers used a new spatial modeling method Keep track of the possible routes the animal has taken during its life.

Close-up of cleft mammoth tusks at a stable isotope facility in Alaska, with blue staining used to detect growth streaks, while sampling along tusks using lasers and other techniques, allowing isotope analysis that provides a record of mammoth life. . (Photo: JR Anchita/University of Alaska Fairbanks/AFP)

Ancient DNA preserved in the mammoth remains allowed the team to identify it as a male related to the last group of its kind that lived on mainland Alaska. These details provided more information about the animal’s life and behaviour, said Beth Shapiro, who led the study’s DNA component.

For example, the abrupt change in his isotopic signature, environment, and movements around the age of 15 probably coincided with The mammoth was expelled from his herd, reflecting a pattern observed in some current male elephants.

“Knowing that it was male gave us a better biological context in which we could interpret isotopic data”, Shapiro, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, says.

The isotopes also provided clues to the causes of the animal’s death. Nitrogen isotopes increased during the last winter of their life, a sign that may be a hallmark of starvation in mammals.

“It’s amazing what we’ve been able to see and do with this data,” It highlights co-author Clement Patai, a researcher at the University of Ottawa who led the modeling work in collaboration with Amy Willis of the University of Washington.

Today’s lessons?

Finding more about the life of the extinct species satisfies more than curiosity, says Waller, a professor at UAF’s School of Fisheries and Oceans and the Nordic Institute of Engineering. These details may be surprisingly relevant today, as many species have adapted their movement patterns and ranges to climate change.

“The Arctic is going through many changes, and we can use the past to see how the future will unfold for current and future species –Averma Waller-. Trying to solve this detective story is an example of how our planet and Ecosystems react to environmental change“.

Either because of genetic diversity or scarcity of resources, Patai said, “this species obviously needs a very large space” to live.

But at the time of the transition between the Ice Age and the Interglacial period, when they became extinct, “The area was reduced because more forests grew” and “Humans exerted such strong pressure in southern Alaska that the mammoths probably stopped coming.”

Understanding the factors that led to their extinction can help protect other currently threatened megafauna species, such as caribou and elephants.

With climate change and humans restricting larger species to parks and reserves, “Do we want our children to see elephants in 1,000 years as we see mammoths today?” asks Patai.


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The regional authority said Thursday that miners searching for gold in Colombia have found the fossil remains of a mastodon that disappeared at least 10,000 years ago.

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SpaceX Crew Dragon cupola provides awe-inspiring view of the Earth from space –



Holy Molly.


Give a few seconds (or a minute or two if needed) to startle and gaze at the Earth’s scenery from the recently launched SpaceX Crew Dragon above.

on Wednesday, As part of the Inspiration4 mission, four civilians were blown up in a three-day orbital stay.Tied to the SpaceX Crew Dragon with one of the upgrades: Cupola. The transparent dome at the top of the Dragon Capsule provides the Inspiration 4 crew with the best views of the Earth that up-and-coming astronauts can dream of. This is the first time a cupola has been installed on a dragon. Dragons typically carry astronauts and cargo to the ISS, with docking ports at the top instead of windows.

A short video posted to the SpaceX Twitter account hours after the launch shows the cupola’s transparent dome against the Earth, which is a pale blue marble.

As the Crew Dragon orbits from a height of 585 kilometers (more than 360 miles), our planet is exposed to the sun and slowly roams around the orbs.

Inspiration 4’s crew (commander Jared Isaacman, doctor’s assistant, childhood cancer survivor Haley Arseno, aerospace engineer Chris Sembroski, African-American geology professor Sian Proctor) are in orbit for three days. Ride and stare at the cupola and the earth.

And did you say that the cupola is right next to the dragon’s toilet? Yeah, the view of the earth should be visible from the crew dragon’s bathroom. Isaacman told insiders Toilets are one of the few places where you can separate yourself from others with privacy curtains and have the best toilet windows of mankind. “When people inevitably have to use the bathroom, they will see one view of hell,” he said.

Astronauts who have been to space often talk about a phenomenon called the “overview effect.” Looking at the planet from above, the idea is that the way we think about the planet and the mass of humankind that depends on it will change. There may be a lot of revelation at the end of the Inspiration 4 journey, as I don’t know if they thought of it while sitting in the can.

The mission is the first mission to take off from the Florida coast on Wednesday night and be launched with four civilians. It is expected to return to Earth on Saturday and land in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX Crew Dragon cupola provides awe-inspiring view of the Earth from space Source link SpaceX Crew Dragon cupola provides awe-inspiring view of the Earth from space

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Oldest human footprints in North America found in New Mexico – Al Jazeera English



Fossilised footprints dating 23,000 years push back the known date the continent was colonised by thousands of years.

Footprints dating back 23,000 years have been discovered in the United States, suggesting humans settled North America long before the end of the last Ice Age, according to researchers.

The findings announced on Thursday push back the date at which the continent was colonised by its first inhabitants by thousands of years.

The footprints were left in mud on the banks of a long-since dried up lake, which is now part of a New Mexico desert.

Sediment filled the indentations and hardened into rock, protecting evidence of our ancient relatives, and giving scientists a detailed insight into their lives.

The first footprints were found in a dry lake bed in White Sands National Park in 2009. Scientists at the United States Geological Survey recently analysed seeds stuck in the footprints to determine their approximate age, ranging from 22,800 to 21,130 years ago.

“Many tracks appear to be those of teenagers and children; large adult footprints are less frequent,” write the authors of the study published in the American journal Science.

“One hypothesis for this is the division of labour, in which adults are involved in skilled tasks whereas ‘fetching and carrying’ are delegated to teenagers.

“Children accompany the teenagers, and collectively they leave a higher number of footprints.”

Researchers also found tracks left by mammoths, prehistoric wolves, and even giant sloths, which appear to have been approximately at the same time as the humans visited the lake.

Historic findings

The Americas were the last continent to be reached by humanity.

For decades, the most commonly accepted theory has been that settlers came to North America from eastern Siberia across a land bridge – the present-day Bering Strait.

From Alaska, they headed south to kinder climes.

Archaeological evidence, including spearheads used to kill mammoths, has long suggested a 13,500-year-old settlement associated with so-called Clovis culture – named after a town in New Mexico.

This was considered the continent’s first civilisation, and the forerunner of groups that became known as Native Americans.

However, the notion of Clovis culture has been challenged over the past 20 years, with new discoveries that have pushed back the age of the first settlements.

Generally, even this pushed-back estimate of the age of the first settlements had not been more than 16,000 years, after the end of the so-called “last glacial maximum” – the period when ice sheets were at their most widespread.

This episode, which lasted until about 20,000 years ago, is crucial because it is believed that with ice covering much of the northern parts of the continent, human migration from Asia into North America and beyond would have been very difficult.

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Oldest human footprints in North America found in New Mexico – CTV News



Fossilized footprints discovered in New Mexico indicate that early humans were walking across North America around 23,000 years ago, researchers reported Thursday.

The first footprints were found in a dry lake bed in White Sands National Park in 2009. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey recently analyzed seeds stuck in the footprints to determine their approximate age, ranging from around 22,800 and 21,130 years ago.

The findings may shed light on a mystery that has long intrigued scientists: When did people first arrive in the Americas, after dispersing from Africa and Asia?

Most scientists believe ancient migration came by way of a now-submerged land bridge that connected Asia to Alaska. Based on various evidence — including stone tools, fossil bones and genetic analysis — other researchers have offered a range of possible dates for human arrival in the Americas, from 13,000 to 26,000 years ago or more.

The current study provides a more solid baseline for when humans definitely were in North America, although they could have arrived even earlier, the authors say. Fossil footprints are more indisputable and direct evidence than “cultural artifacts, modified bones, or other more conventional fossils,” they wrote in the journal Science, which published the study Thursday.

“What we present here is evidence of a firm time and location,” they said.

Based on the size of the footprints, researchers believe that at least some were made by children and teenagers who lived during the last ice age.

David Bustos, the park’s resource program manager, spotted the first footprints in ancient wetlands in 2009. He and others found more in the park over the years.

“We knew they were old, but we had no way to date the prints before we discovered some with (seeds) on top,” he said Thursday.

Made of fine silt and clay, the footprints are fragile, so the researchers had to work quickly to gather samples, Bustos said.

“The only way we can save them is to record them — to take a lot of photos and make 3D models,” he said.

Earlier excavations in White Sands National Park have uncovered fossilized tracks left by a saber-toothed cat, dire wolf, Columbian mammoth and other ice age animals.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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