Posts Tagged ‘Pleistocene horses’

Horse Toe Bones and 14,000 Year Old Human Shit

May 22, 2017

The oldest known evidence of human presence in North America is some pieces of shit excavated from Paisley Cave, Oregon.  Carbon-dating of this feces indicates humans crapped in the cave about 14,350 calendar years ago.  The contents of these turds consists of bison, dog, bird, fish, grass, and sunflower seeds.  One study found the amount of cholesterol and phosphate in the crap points to an animal with a vegetarian rather than an omnivorous diet, and the authors of this paper don’t believe it is human manure.  They suggest the human DNA extracted from the specimens are a result of contamination from people mishandling it.  However, the contents were mostly animal matter, so I don’t understand how the naysayers who authored this paper can come to this conclusion.  Other scientists note the presence of wolf or fox DNA in the crap.  The scientists who are convinced the turds are human believe a wolf or fox pissed on the human shit after people left the latrine.  The turds contain human hair–perhaps the best evidence people were the shitters here.  Dried crap stuck to their ass crack hairs and the hair came off when they wiped with leaves.

Image result for fossil horse toe bones

Horse toe bones were found in Paisley Cave along with 14,000 year old human feces.

Image result for Paisley Cave coprolites

A 14,000 year old human turd found in Paisley Cave, Oregon.

Many vertebrate bones and human artifacts have been discovered in the cave.  (See: https://markgelbart.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/the-paisley-cave-pre-clovis-site/ ).  Paleontologists studied the horse toe bones excavated near the human feces because they wanted to determine which species of horse co-existed with humans in this region then.  They believe with a >99% probability the toe bones belonged to an extinct species known as the Mexican horse (Equus conversidens). Most fossil material of this species has been found in Mexico, hence the name, but it likely occurred all across North America.  The Mexican horse was stocky and stilt-legged.

Paleontologists disagree over the number of horse species that lived in North America during the late Pleistocene.  Some believe there were 2 species, while others think there were more than 14 species.  Genetic evidence supports the proposed smaller number of species.

I have no doubt humans were responsible for the extinction of North American horses through overhunting and disruption of ecosystems.  When Europeans re-introduced horses to North America during the 16th century, horses went wild and thrived everywhere on the continent.  It seems unlikely an environmental change capable of causing horse extinctions occurred for such a short interval some time between 10,000 BP and 1500 AD.  Horses eat grass and coarse vegetation–plant material that never became scarce during any climate phase or change.  Climate change models of extinction don’t work at all for such an adaptable and widespread animal as the horse.

I remember when I first started studying the debate over megafauna extinction.  Opposition to human overkill as a cause of extinction centered around the flimsy argument that there was a lack of archaeological evidence of humans hunting horses in North America.  Since then, irrefutable proof humans hunted horses here has been unearthed at several sites.  Wally’s Beach in Alberta, Canada was the first site where archaeologists agreed evidence humans hunted horses was unmistakable. Bluefish Cave in the Yukon is located north of the former Cordilleran Ice Sheet.  Evidence humans hunted and ate Ice Age horses has also been discovered in this cave, and it dates to as early as 24,000 years ago.  Humans carried horse, caribou, elk, dall sheep, bison, and bird into the cave.  36,000 mammal bones have been excavated from this site.  Wolves, lions, and foxes, in addition to people are responsible for the bone accumulation.  And now, South American archaeologists believe a cave in Argentina holds evidence of human exploitation of horse.  Stone tools are found in association with human-modified bones of horse, hippidion (an exclusively South American species of horse), llama, toxodon, giant armadillo (Eutatus) and ground sloth (Megatherium and Glossotherium).

The evidence humans did hunt megafauna is mounting but will probably never convince old school archaeologists who (I believe) stubbornly refuse to admit they were wrong for so many years.

References:

Bourgeon, L.; A. Burta, T. Higgins

“Earliest Human Presence in North America Dated to the Last Glacial Maximum: New Radio-carbon dates from Bluefish Cave, Yukon”

Plos One January 2017

McHorse, Brianna; Edward Davis, Eric Scott, Dennis Jenkins

“What Species of Horse was Coeval with North America’s Earliest Humans in the Paisley Caves?”

Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology September 2016

Politis, Gustavo; M. Gutierrez, D. Rafus

“The Arrival of Homo Sapiens into the Southern Cone at 14,000 Years Ago”

Plos One September 2016

Sistiaga, A.; F. Berna, R. Laursen, P. Goldberg

“Steroidal Biomarker Analysis of a 14,000 Year Old Putative Human Coprolite from Paisley Cave”

Journal of Archaeological Science 2014

 

The North American Horse Holocaust Act II

July 11, 2012

Horse fossils have been found at most Pleistocene fossil sites, proving they were once common and widespread throughout North America as well as Europe and Asia.  Paleontologists assigned new species names to many late Pleistocene horse fossils.  However, it’s likely the great variation in size within the horse population confused the scientists, and all late Pleistocene horse fossils can be lumped together into just 2 species–horse and donkey.  A DNA analysis of 12,000 year old horse bone from Idaho determined that the late Pleistocene horse was the exact same species as the modern domesticated horse.  Between ~15,000 BP and ~7,000 BP, humans gradually overhunted these beautiful beasts into extinction on the North American continent.  Obviously, climate change could not have been a factor in their extinction across the entire continent because when Europeans reintroduced horses in the 15th century, they thrived everywhere including Florida and Georgia.  We can’t fault the Indians for their extinction.  They had no way of knowing they were roasting the last of the American horses over the campfire.  For millennia the Indians wandered into new territory, wiped out the big game, and moved on, not knowing there were no new territories left with herds of horses.  Act I of the North American horse holocaust is understandable, but there is no excuse for Act II.

The Bureau of Land Management claims there are 38,000 wild horses roaming western lands, though horse advocacy groups insist that number is closer to 10,000.  The BLM is the government agency charged with managing America’s wild horses.  When they determine the range is being overgrazed, they conduct helicopter round-ups.  The horses are driven into crowded corrals and eventually are sold at auction.  Some people keep them as pets and attempt to tame them.  Some of the horses allegedly are sold to meat processors who transport them across the Mexican or Canadian border where they are slaughtered, and the meat is sold to fancy French restaurants.  Horses that remain unsold are euthanized.  Wild horse advocacy groups and humane societies are understandably upset about this.  They accuse the BLM of cruelty, and many believe the ultimate goal of the agency is to annihilate all wild horses, so greedy mining companies and cattle ranchers can have all the public land to themselves.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the wild horse advocates are right.

I think the BLM stands for the Bureau of Lying Morons.  Because activist groups are critical of the BLM’s inhumane and destructive management of wild horses and burros, the BLM has a webpage where they defend their department from some of the accusations.  It’s in the style of a myth vs. fact structure.  As the following photos show, the so-called myths are true and the so-called facts are lies.  George Orwell’s 1984 comes to mind.

Myth #2: Horses are held in crowded “holding pens.”

Fact: This assertion is false.  The BLM’s short-term holding corrals provide ample space to horses along with clean feed and water.

BLM corral.  Looks like a miserable crowded holding pen to me.

Myth #7: Gather of horses by helicopter is inhumane

Fact: This claim is false.  The BLM’s helicopter assisted gathers are conducted humanely…Helicopters start the horses moving in the right direction, and then back off sometimes a quarter to a half mile from the animals to let them travel at their own pace.

Another lie exposed.  This helicopter is practically bumping this herd in the ass.

Myth 8: If left alone, wild horses will limit their own population.

Fact: There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the idea that wild hoses will automatically limit their own population.

The BLM is wrong again.  A recent study found that cougars kill enough horses to control their population.  In some areas of Nevada wild horses make up a greater proportion of cougar diet than any other animal including mule deer.

Myth 5: The BLM removes wild horses to make room for more cattle grazing on public rangeland.

Fact: This claim is totally false.  The removal of wild horses and burros from public rangeland is carried out to ensure rangeland health.

I don’t have a photo for this one, but the logic behind the BLM’s defense defies logic.  The BLM allows an average of 8.3 million cattle on public lands every month.  Compare this with 10,000-38,000 horses.  Which is overgrazing the rangeland–millions of cattle or thousands of horses?

Myth 11: Wild horses are native to the U.S.

Fact: This claim is false.  The disappearance of the horse from the Western hemisphere for 10,000 years shows that today America’s wild horses should not be considered native.

The fossil evidence proves wild horses are native to North America.  Man is the reason they were driven to extinction once.  It seems a travesty for man to drive this beautiful animal into extinction in the wild again.

A child could explain why the BLM is a wicked agency.  They allow stripmining and they mistreat animals.  It’s as simple as that.  And a child could explain why the politicians who fund the BLM are evil.  Yet, adults vote for them.  This makes the American people the villain in my opinion.

A strip mine on land owned by U.S. taxpayers.  The company that destroyed this mountaintop and stream in Arizona leased the land for $5 an acre.

President Obama could end the North American horse holocaust with an executive order.  But he is a bastard who doesn’t give a shit about the environment.  The only thing he has cared about since the day he got elected was getting re-elected.

Here’s the Horse-killer in Chief. I hate this bastard.  His environmental policies have been worse than George W. Bush’s.  I didn’t think this would be possible when I voted for him in 2008.  Environmentalists have no reason to vote in the upcoming election.  A choice between the democrats and the republicans is like a choice between shit and vomit.  It’s the pigs vs. the pussies.