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#140312 02/27/05 10:04 AM
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In an article in our local newspaper, there was a distinction made between the American wooly mammoth and the mastodon. In a nutshell, very mature mammoth males had tusks that grew gradually toward one another and eventually into a crisscross. Not so for the mastodons. Also, mastodons, not relatives of current day elephants as in the case of mammoths, had rounded rather than flat molars; mammoths had flat-topped molars.


#140313 02/27/05 12:18 PM
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mastodons … had rounded rather than flat molars.

Mastodon means breast tooth. Did the article say where they fit in, if not relatives of elephants?


#140314 02/27/05 04:59 PM
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Nope, no mention of where the mastodons might have fit in. Just mention that mammoths did fit into the line of current day elephants. Both mammoths and mastodons, according to the article, were in North America at some point.


#140315 02/28/05 01:05 PM
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Mastodons diverged from the order Proboscidea before the radiation of Elephantidae and so are, at best, distant cousins to the group.

Proboscidea's first "classified" representative was a small island mammal about the size of a county fair hog with a prehensile nose. After migrating to the mainlands the order grew large to be big and fat and worthy of their expansive new accommodations.

The mastodons were an early outgroup of the Proboscidea line which led to the latter day mammoths and elephants.
The only fossil record known of mastodons is of the American mastodon (mammut americanum)... I think.

One of the last mammoth species to exist on Earth were the pigmy elephants who lived on an island about seven miles off the coast of California. These Island elephants grew down to be about the size of a fair-sized county hog and then they went extinct.

Shame, they would have probably made great yard pets.



#140316 02/28/05 03:25 PM
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In reply to:

Shame, they would have probably made great yard pets.


...not to mention water sprinklers.


#140317 02/28/05 07:00 PM
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Here's a link from Dr. Bill to some images of mastodon molars:

http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/larson/mastodon_tooth.html

Thanks, Bill.


#140318 03/05/05 01:26 PM
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Shhh! Don't look! I'm hiding between the Mastodons and the Mammoths. Maybe I won't be spotted down here in Animal Safari so I'll try to answer the question that I asked over in “Information & Announcements” namely,
"When did man leave the continent of Africa and populate the rest of the World".

Shhh! Be quiet and don't make a fuss. You people here are my friends.
For you I'll show a causal relationship between mankind’s exodus from Africa and the horny mastodons and woolly mammoths. Listen closely...

Birds do not fly north for the winter they fly south.

Here is a schematic for the last 250,000 years.

~~cold~~~~~~ [hot]~~~~~ cold~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [hot]~~~~~~~~cold~~~~~~~~~ [hot]
_____________xxxx________X_________________xxxx__________________________xxxx
______220,000 ago___190,000 ago__________110,000 ago_______________________Today


X = new date of the Ethiopian sculls


[Conclusion]

Mankind is fixed in Africa with no artifacts by the new dating of the Ethiopian scullcaps. Men and beasts only migrate to cold regions during interglacial periods of world warmth.

Since it is obvious that man was already out of Africa during the interglacial period that we are currently enjoying, it follows that Modern Man and the Neaderthals left Africa during the previous interglacial which dates back to about 110,000 to 100,000 years ago as bold men followed vast herds of mammoths and bison and mastodons and beasts to a waiting Garden of Eden - a bountiful green, new and empty ecological niche.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, these early adventurers got caught up north when the last Ice Age struck and were there when the deep cold set in without relent and lasted a hundred thousand years until recent times.



#140319 03/07/05 03:29 PM
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Remains May Be of Oldest Walking Hominid

Mon Mar 7, 8:04 AM ET Science - AP
_______________________________________By ANTHONY MITCHELL


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - A team of U.S. and Ethiopian scientists has discovered the fossilized remains of what they believe is humankind's first walking ancestor, a hominid that lived in the wooded grasslands of the Horn of Africa nearly 4 million years ago.

The bones were discovered in February at a new site called Mille, in the northeastern Afar region of Ethiopia, said Bruce Latimer, director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio. They are estimated to be 3.8-4 million years old.

The fossils include a complete tibia from the lower part of the leg, parts of a thighbone, ribs, vertebrae, a collarbone, pelvis and a complete shoulder blade, or scapula. There also is an ankle bone which, with the tibia, proves the creature walked upright, said Latimer, co-leader of the team that discovered the fossils.

The bones are the latest in a growing collection of early human fragments that help explain the evolutionary history of man.
"Right now we can say this is the world's oldest bipedal (an animal walking on two feet) and what makes this significant is because what makes us human is walking upright," Latimer said. "This new discovery will give us a picture of how walking upright occurred."

The findings have not been reviewed by outside scientists or published in a scientific journal.

Leslie Aiello, an anthropologist and head of the Graduate School at University College in London said, however, that the new finds could be significant.

"It sounds like a significant find, ... particularly if they have a partial skeleton because it allows you to speculate on biomechanics," Aiello, who was not part of the discovery team, told The Associated Press by telephone from Britain.

Paleontologists previously discovered in Ethiopia the remains of Ardipithecus ramidus, a transitional creature with significant ape characteristics dating as far back as 4.5 million years. There is some dispute over whether it walked upright on two legs, Latimer and Aiello said.

Scientists know little about A. ramidus. A few skeletal fragments suggest it was even smaller than Australopithecus afarensis, the 3.2 million-year-old species widely known by the nearly complete "Lucy" fossil, which measures about 4 feet tall.

Scientists are yet to classify the new find, which they believe falls between A. ramidus and A. afarensis. The fossils would help "join the dots" between the two hominids, said Yohannes Haile-Selassie, an Ethiopian scientist and curator at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History as well a co-leader of the discovery team.

"This discovery will tell us much about how our 4-million-year-old ancestors walked, how tall they were and what they looked like," he said. "It opens the door on a poorly known time period and (the fossils) are important in that they will help us understand the early phases of human evolution before Lucy."


The specimen is the only the fourth partial skeleton ever to be discovered that is older than 3 million years. It was found after two months of excavation at Mille, 37 miles from the famous Lucy discovery.


"It is a once in a lifetime find," Latimer said.

************************************************************








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