Ancient bird bones redate human activity in Madagascar by 6,000 years

Analysis of bones, from what was once the world’s largest bird, has unconcealed that humans arrived on the tropical island of Madagascar quite six,000 years before antecedently thought—according to a study printed nowadays, twelve Gregorian calendar month 2018, within the journal Science Advances.

A team of scientists junction rectifier by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) discovered that ancient bones from the extinct Madagascan elephant birds (Aepyornis and Mullerornis) show cut marks and depression fractures in keeping with looking and butchery by prehistoric humans. mistreatment carbon-14 dating techniques, the team were then ready to confirm once these big birds had been killed, reassessing once humans 1st reached Madagascar.

Archaeological Digs

Previous analysis on primate bones and archeological artefacts recommended that humans 1st arrived in Madagascar two,400-4,000 years agone. However, the new study provides proof of human presence on Madagascar as way back as ten,500 years ago—making these changed ratite bird bones the earliest better-known proof of humans on the island.

Lead author Dr. James Hansford from ZSL’s Institute of zoological science said: “We already recognize that Madagascar’s megafauna—elephant birds, hippos, big tortoises and big lemurs—became extinct but one,000 years agone. There square measure variety of theories concerning why this occurred, however the extent of human involvement hasn’t been clear.

Ancient bird bones redate human activity in Madagascar by 6,000 years

Ancient bird bones redate human action in Madagascar by six,000 years
This chop mark would are created with an oversized sharp tool. The clear line of the cut with no continued cracks indicate the mark was created on contemporary bone and shredded into totally different cuts of meat. Credit: ZSL
“Our analysis provides proof of human action in Madagascar quite six,000 years before antecedently suspected—which demonstrates that a radically totally different extinction theory is needed to know the large variety loss that has occurred on the island. Humans appear to possess coexisted with elephant birds and different now-extinct species for over nine,000 years, apparently with restricted negative impact on variety for many of this era, that offers new insights for conservation nowadays.”

Ancient bird bones redate human action in Madagascar by six,000 years
Illustration of a Vorompatra (Elephant bird) skeleton. Credit: Alain Rasolo, life creator, Madagascar
Co-author faculty member Patricia Wright from Stony Brook University said: “This new discovery turns our plan of the primary human arrivals on its head. we all know that at the top of the period, once humans were solely mistreatment stone tools, there have been a bunch of humans that arrived on Madagascar. we have a tendency to don’t recognize the origin of those individuals and will not till we discover any archeological proof, however we all know there’s no proof of their genes in trendy populations. The question remains—who these individuals were? And once and why did they disappear?”

The bones of the elephant birds studied by this project were originally found in 2009 in Christmas watercourse in south-central Madagascar—a fossil ‘bone bed’ containing an expensive concentration of ancient animal remains. This marsh web {site} might are a serious kill site, however any analysis is needed to verify.

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