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  • May 26, 2010
  • 08:15 AM

Whales, Dolphins, and Human Rights

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

The perspective that whales, dolphins, and other such marine mammals should be afforded "human rights" has surfaced again.

I thought I'd revisit a post I wrote about this several months ago, from the archives, when this first hit the news after the AAAS conference in San Diego. So here's a modified, updated version of the original post.

The blogosphere is all a-twitter with talk of the recent commentary in Science that dolphins should be considered people. Well, sort of people. Non-human people.

On the heels of the incident at SeaWorld in Florida in which a trainer was killed by one of the killer whales, this is especially an important issue to consider.

Frequent commenter Daniel Bassett writes at his blog, Fishschooled:
The first argument of course is the extreme intelligence of dolphins. They (1) have larger brains than humans, (2) have a brain to body weight ratio greater than great apes, and (3) they are the second most encephalized beings on the planet. Encephalisation is the folding of the brain and increases volume and surface area, which has been shown to correlate with intelligence. But intelligence is just one part of the argument. The neocortex of dolphins is very advanced and allows them to problem solve and be self aware, and even have a form of intellect or rational thought. They also have spindle neurons that are involved in emotions, social cognition, and the ability to sense what others are thinking.

Thomas White, a philosopher at Loyola Marymount University, argues that these characteristics makes the dolphin a person, but a non-human person. They are alive, aware of their environment, have emotions, have distinct personalities, exhibit self control, and treat others with respect or ethical consideration. White argues that dolphins tick off all the boxes of what it is to be human. Research on intelligence is still in it's infancy with a lot to discover. But, based on these ideas can we justify putting dolphins in places like Seaworld for our own amusement?

Figure 1: A non-human person? Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

Grimm, D. (2010) Is a Dolphin a Person?. Science, 327(5969), 1070-1071. DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5969.1070-c  

Marino, L. (2004) Dolphin cognition. Current Biology, 14(21). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2004.10.010  

  • May 25, 2010
  • 03:34 PM

Evolution of Darwin: Hollywood Style

by avi_wener in American Biotechnologist

According to popular thought, Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species was heavily influenced by his grandfather Erasmus Darwin (1). The impact that a grandparent can have upon an impressionable child should never be underestimated. To what extent do you think that Dana Carvey was influenced by his grandfather?

Dana Carvey is “DARWIN” – watch more funny [...]... Read more »

  • May 25, 2010
  • 09:13 AM

New Study: 'Celebrity Endorsements' Sway Chimps, Too

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Human beings give their attention readily to people who already have it. It doesn't matter if a guy won fame for his action movies, people will listen to his advice on carbon sequestration, and go out an buy his brand of shoe. That's not logical, but it does follow a predictable rule, which is that being famous, "cool" and/or prestigious gives you ready access to the minds of others. That bias may have evolved a very long time ago, according to this paper in the journal PLoS One last week. Prestige, it reports, sways chimpanzees the same way it does people.
The authors—Victoria Horner, Darby Proctor, Kristin E. Bonnie, Andrew Whiten and Frans de Waal—taught a novel game to members of two chimpanzee troops that live at the Yerkes Primate Research Center near Atlanta. In one troop, Georgia, a high-ranking female, was taught to put plastic tokens into a polka-dotted receptacle to win a treat; the same routine, except with a striped receptacle, was taught to Tara, an ape nobody, who was low on the totem pole of social rank. (Chimp troops, like military units or Condé Nast magazines, operate with a very clear, harshly enforced pecking order.) In the other group, the learners were high-ranking Ericka and low-ranking Julianne.
As each one went through her routine, others watched and soon learned it. Many decided to get in on the action. Practically, there was no difference between imitating Georgia and imitating Tara, as the tasks and reward were identical. But the chimps much preferred to follow the high-ranking Georgia: 70 percent of the tokens they collected went into her bin. The difference between high and low status was even more marked in the second group, where 90 percent of the tokens went where Ericka was putting hers.
In a social animal, the authors conclude, learning depends on prestige. Among chimps in the wild, they write, innovations probably won't spread unless they have the equivalent of a celebrity endorsement—that is, unless they are introduced by someone high in rank.
So perhaps celebrity influence isn't a peculiarity of our times, but rather a trick evolution has played on us. For eons, imitating the "cool" guy was probably a very good bet for a social primate, because "cool" meant he was doing something right (being the best tracker, being the son of the top female) and therefore getting more food, sex and protection than the average schlub.
Civilization makes fine distinctions between kinds of prestige—we don't expect Nobel-winning physicists to be good at basketball, or Tiger Woods to play like Sonny Rollins—but elsewhere in the mind, all prestige is still the same.
That might explain why "cool" isn't a quality the authorities can control (a fact that greatly irritates the sort of people who put themselves in charge of others' morals). In her fascinating book Outcasts, for instance, Ruth Mellinkoff quotes a sermon preached in Germany in 1272: "You are not satisfied that almighty God has given you a choice of colors such as red, blue, white, green, yellow, and black for your clothing. No, in your arrogance you have cut your clothes into pieces—here putting red in the white, there yellow in the green, another is striped; this one motley, that dark brown ... This arrogance never ends, for as soon as someone discovers a new fashion, all of you must try it!"
At the time, it was soldiers who slashed up their sleeves and wore multiple patches—"pied" clothing, like the "Pied Piper" sported. In other words, while respectable burghers talked up examples of responsibility and piety, their children were more impressed by the medieval European equivalent of "gangstas."
Chimps live with a single social hierarchy, but people live with two. One is civilization's official pecking order, which values the mathlete valedictorian more highly than the studly dropout. The other pecking order gives top status to whoever is getting attention, sex and other goodies right now—never mind how. As most of us remember from high school, this intuitive hierarchy is hard to resist. If you had to choose, who would you follow around collecting tokens to win a banana—Angelina Jolie or Carol W. Greider?
Horner, V., Proctor, D., Bonnie, K., Whiten, A., & de Waal, F. (2010). Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees PLoS ONE, 5 (5) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625
... Read more »

Horner, V., Proctor, D., Bonnie, K., Whiten, A., & de Waal, F. (2010) Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees. PLoS ONE, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625  

  • May 25, 2010
  • 08:32 AM

ResearchBlogCast #7: Why would we ever cooperate?

by Dave Munger in News

Cooperation is seen not only in humans, but in societies formed by organisms from ants to baboons. But in many cases, it’s difficult to figure out why any individual would want to cooperate. Wouldn’t it be easier just to take what you want without doing any work? While cooperation is good for the group, why [...]... Read more »

  • May 24, 2010
  • 06:10 PM

Is a Little Bullying—Offline and Online—Good for You?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Following my discussion on bullying and cyberbullying, the NYT featured an article discussing the ways "antagonistic relationships can often enhance social and emotional development more than they impede it." The article suggests that when someone dislikes you, "it may be adaptive to dislike them back." This two part post will explore the following questions:Are there documented benefits to

... Read more »

  • May 22, 2010
  • 01:37 AM

The f-word on the move

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Installment #7 in the mini-series on multilingual signage
When I lived in Basel in Switzerland, my then-preschool child was just learning to make sense of the alphabet and to sound out words – a development I obviously encouraged as much as I could by seizing every literacy opportunity. Generally speaking, pretty much everything can be a [...]... Read more »

Jørgensen, J. (2008) Urban Wall Languaging. International Journal of Multilingualism, 5(3), 237-252. DOI: 10.1080/14790710802390186  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 05:37 PM

Hunters and the Hunted

by Laelaps in Laelaps

A Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer), photographed at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Outside of the trash-grubbing black bears I occasionally come across when driving to hikes in northern New Jersey, I never encounter large predators near my home. The imposing carnivores which once roamed the "garden state" were extirpated long ago. This is a very unusual thing. For the majority of the past six million years or so hominins have lived alongside, and have regularly been hunted by, an array of large carnivorous animals, but humans have not been entirely helpless. Rather than a one-sided war, our relationship with large predators is a deeply-rooted and complex exchange in which we have eventually come to fret over the survival of the animals we have traditionally feared.

The contents of a cave in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain emphasize the long-running tensions between our species and large carnivores. Described in the Journal of Archaeological Science by Ruth Blasco, Jordi Rosell, Juan Luis Arsuaga, José M. Bermúdez de Castro, and Eudald Carbonell, the Middle-Pleistocene-age level TD10-1 of the Gran Dolina cave preserves a moment in time in which the hunted may have become the hunters. Along with stone tools, level TD10-1 contains the remains of bears, wolves, horses, elk, bison, lions, and other animals. Many of the herbivore bones bear cutmarks made by stone tools, but, interestingly enough, so do a lion fingerbone and rib. The additional presence of a lion lower arm bone (a radius) fractured as if it was slammed against something or whacked with a stone hammer suggests that the humans occupying the cave ate just about everything on the lion that was edible, from meat to marrow, and after they left small carnivores entered the cave to gnaw on the scraps still clinging to the carcass.

Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • May 19, 2010
  • 11:34 AM

The Landscape of Obesity: considerations of race as a factor

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

SciCurious has written a review of an interesting paper suggesting a correlation between obesity and city vs. non-city life. As usual, the review by Sci is excellent, but I have a comment or two to add.

Having read the review and then the paper, I had to ask if it might be possible to conclude based on the data presentation that "race" (and thus "genetics") underlies the observed effect. This is because of this graph: Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • May 19, 2010
  • 07:51 AM

Does Oral Sex Confer An Evolutionary Advantage? Evidence From Bats

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Regular readers of this blog know that while I think studying animal cognition, behavior, and communication is (sometimes) fun and (always) interesting, the real importance - the why should I care about this - is because by understanding animals, we can attempt to learn more about ourselves.

I've written about this before. Here are the relevant excerpts:
When human adults show complex, possibly culture-specific skills, they emerge from a set of psychological (and thus neural) mechanisms which have two properties:
(1) they evolved early in the timecourse of evolution and are shared with other animals, and,
(2) they emerge early in human development, and can be found in infants and children, as well as adults.

Three questions necessitate a comparative evolutionary approach (or, minimally, are enriched by such an approach):
(1) Is a given trait unique to humans?
(2) Does the acquisition of a given trait depend on uniquely human abilities?
(3) What functional problem does a given trait solve, and did it evolve for this particular function?

That the first question necessitates a comparative approach should be obvious. If comparative data indicate that even only one other species possesses the trait in question, then the question shifts a bit, and we have to determine whether the trait is homologous (depending on the same mechanisms), or homoplastic (depending on distinct mechanisms that presumably evolved independently). How can we distinguish homology from homoplasy? We look for signatures, or common features. For example, face processing in humans shows behavioral signatures (e.g. degradation when faces are inverted) and neural signatures (localized cortical activations). Those same features have been found in various monkey species that have been tested in face processing tasks, and this provides one piece of evidence for homology.

The third question distinguishes among the original function of a trait and the way it is currently used. Language, for example, allows us to recombine a finite set of elements in essentially infinite patterns to create meaning. Did this capacity evolve to facilitate communication, or for some other purpose? Assume that chimpanzees, for example, do not show evidence of this mechanism in their communication, but DO exhibit this mechanism for arithmetic computation. This might suggest that this ability evolved for number, and was then "re-purposed" by humans for communication. Of course, it is also possible that this capacity evolved independently in chimpanzees and in humans, but this seems less likely given the relatedness of our two species.

I used cognitive examples above, but of course these questions and methods of investigation apply to behavior more generally (especially since cognition and behavior are only different by virtue of different levels of analysis).

If oral sex offends you, the time to click away is now. Otherwise, read on. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

Tan M, Jones G, Zhu G, Ye J, Hong T, Zhou S, Zhang S, & Zhang L. (2009) Fellatio by fruit bats prolongs copulation time. PLoS ONE, 4(10). PMID: 19862320  

  • May 19, 2010
  • 12:48 AM

Atlatls to Bows: A Very Strange Atlatl from Washington State

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Sometime in the early 1950s a wooden object was dredged from the mouth of the Skagit River, north of Seattle.  It ended up in the possession of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Johnson, residents of the nearby town of La Conner.  In 1952 the Johnsons showed it to two local archaeologists, Herbert Taylor of Western Washington [...]... Read more »

Taylor, H., & Caldwell, W. (1954) Carved Atlatl from Northwest Coast. American Antiquity, 19(3), 279. DOI: 10.2307/277136  

  • May 18, 2010
  • 12:10 PM

Time-Space Compression in the Digital Realm

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

My work on time in the digital realm is coming slowly but surely. At the moment I'm thinking of multiple temporalities and the ways in which we occupy these dimensions while adhering to standardized time. Birth (2007) explores these issues with an article that deals with the conflicts that can arise out of a meeting of biology, clock, sun, and sociality. Birth raises a point in particular that

... Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Punishing Cheaters Promotes the Evolution of Cooperation

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

   Could punishing bad behavior be the origin                  of human cooperation?Humans are one of the most cooperative species on the planet. Our ability to coordinate behavior and work collaboratively with others has allowed us to create the natural world's largest and most densely populated societies, outside of deep sea microbial mats and a few Hymenoptera mega-colonies.

A key problem when trying to understand the evolution of cooperation has been the issue of cheaters. Individuals in a social group, whether that group is composed of bacteria, cichlids, chimpanzees, or people, often benefit when cooperating with others who reciprocate the favor. But what about those individuals who take advantage of the generosity of others and provide nothing in return? These individuals could well thrive thanks to the group as a whole and end up with greater fitness than everyone else because they didn't have to pay the costs associated with cooperating. For decades the idea that cheaters may in fact prosper has been the greatest difficulty in understanding cooperation as an evolved trait.

However, new research suggests that cooperation is a viable evolutionary strategy when individuals within the group collectively punish cheaters who don't pull their weight. Robert Boyd, Herbert Gintis, and Samuel Bowles have just published a paper in the journal Science with a model showing how, so long as enough individuals work together to punish violators, each cooperative individual in the group can experience enhanced fitness as a result. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • May 18, 2010
  • 03:10 AM

Atlatls to Bows: A Very Strange Atlatl from California

by teofilo in Gambler's House

In November of 1793 a British naval expedition commanded by Captain George Vancouver arrived at the small Spanish settlement of Santa Barbara on the coast of California.  Vancouver’s primary mission was to explore and map the poorly understood northwest coast of North America, building on the more preliminary information provided earlier by Captain James Cook.  [...]... Read more »

  • May 17, 2010
  • 03:01 PM

ResearchBlogCast #6: Emotional Intelligence and Bullying, In Person and Online

by Dave Munger in News

Cyber-bullying is a growing problem, but it’s so new that there’s not much research about it. So Krystal D’Costa begins her work studying cyber-bullying by considering what goes into real-world bullying.
Each week, Kevin Zelnio, Razib Khan, and I choose one or more journal articles to discuss in podcast form. This week, while Kevin is on [...]... Read more »

  • May 16, 2010
  • 06:08 PM

Genetics of High Altitude Life

by in

Almost every biological anthropology text-book I’ve ever looked at has described the adaptations of human populations to the environments they occupy. Examples they give are the short stalky Inuit adapted to conserving heat in cold environments, the long lanky East African nomads adapted to far distant travels, and the barrel chested Peruvian and Tibetans living [...]... Read more »

Simonson TS, Yang Y, Huff CD, Yun H, Qin G, Witherspoon DJ, Bai Z, Lorenzo FR, Xing J, Jorde LB.... (2010) Genetic Evidence for High-Altitude Adaptation in Tibet. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 20466884  

  • May 16, 2010
  • 09:02 AM

Of Brains and Faces

by zinjanthropus in A Primate of Modern Aspect

A new paper in the Journal of Human Evolution discusses the effect of both brain size and facial size on the basicranium. I am excited to see it because it talks about an old hypothesis by one of my favorite Great Anatomists, Josef Biegert. The basicranium is basically the bottom of your skull. When you [...]... Read more »

Bastir, M., Rosas, A., Stringer, C., Manuel Cuétara, J., Kruszynski, R., Weber, G., Ross, C., & Ravosa, M. (2010) Effects of brain and facial size on basicranial form in human and primate evolution. Journal of Human Evolution, 58(5), 424-431. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.03.001  

  • May 14, 2010
  • 04:55 AM

Planets and Anomalies in the Antikythera Mechanism

by Alun in AlunSalt

Mathematicians have a concept, Omega, that is defined as something so huge that any attempt to define it actually defines something smaller. In a similar vein I reckon that any attempt to describe the ingenuity of the Antikythera Mechanism actually ends up describing something less ingenious instead. More research on the device has been published [...]... Read more »

Evans, J., Carman, C.C., & Thorndike, A.S. (2010) Solar Anomaly and Planetary Displays in the Antikythera Mechanism. Journal for the History of Astronomy, 41(1), 1-39. info:/

  • May 12, 2010
  • 03:12 PM

What is it? - 37 million year old fossil primate puzzles paleontologists

by Laelaps in Laelaps

In the Fayum desert of northern Egypt, not too far from the banks of the Nile, the vestiges of ancient forests are preserved in the sand-covered strata. The fossils are ghosts of a vanished oasis in which prehistoric cousins of modern elephants wallowed in lush wetlands and a host of ancient primates scrambled through the trees, and despite being known as one of the world's best fossil sites for over a century paleontologists are continuing to discovery new species from the desert rock. The trouble is that not all these new species are easily classified.
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

Seiffert, E., Simons, E., Boyer, D., Perry, J., Ryan, T., & Sallam, H. (2010) A fossil primate of uncertain affinities from the earliest late Eocene of Egypt. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001393107  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 06:38 PM


by Julien Riel-Salvatore in A Very Remote Period Indeed

By now, unless you live under a rock, you should have heard the news: New genetic studies indicate that Neanderthals and modern humans likely interbred: Among the findings, published in the May 7 issue of Science, is evidence that shortly after early modern humans migrated out of Africa, some of them interbred with Neanderthals, leaving bits of Neanderthal DNA sequences scattered through the genomes of present-day non-Africans. "We can now say that, in all probability, there was gene flow from Neanderthals to modern humans," said the paper's first author, Richard E. (Ed) Green of the University of California, Santa Cruz. The results of the study have been published in two papers in the last issue of Science (Green et al. 2010, Burbano et al. 2010 - both free access), where you can also find a free online feature. that provides some context to the public unfamiliar with genetics and/or Neanderthals To get a better idea of the significance and the nuts and bolts of this new work, you must, must go over to John Hawks' blog for a very thorough discussion. I largely agree with his take on the reports and what they mean, but as I've argued elsewhere, we need to reconcile the genetics with the fossil, and especially the archaeological records. Just as there was a great deal of well-founded skepticism by some about 'X woman' a few weeks ago (something which I've been meaning to write about and hopefully will get to relatively soon), people need to come to grips with all of the available data, as opposed to considering one line of evidence as trumping all others. In other words, it's not because some people wear lab coats that their data by definition trump all other!In practical terms, I think this means that you will see a lot of people more sympathetic to a replacement position start arguing just that, that you need to reconcile these new genetic data with previous data that seemed to strongly support such a position (just how strongly is debatable, but besides the point here). Specifically, I think you'll see these people focus on caveats of genetic studies like they never have before, and latch on to less parsimonious explanations of the genetics as 'something that needs to be considered seriously' (in this case, though, the alternative interpretation is so much less parsimonious as to be untenable). Fundamentally, of course, there's nothing wrong with that; in fact, it's something I've argued for repeatedly both on this blog and in press (link to a free pdf on the Uluzzian). The key difference is that if people on both ends of the spectrum will (hopefully) begin playing by the same general rules.Now, does this mean that it's time to do the Neanderthal victory dance (to quote Hawks) and to begin re-imagining the caves of Late Pleistocene Europe throbbing to the sweet rhythms of Barry White and Marvin Gaye? Well yes and no. Yes, there is no some fairly conclusive evidence that Neanderthals and modern humans interbred and yielded fertile offspring - this means that, from a purely biological standpoint, the two were part of the same species, Homo sapiens. But no, it does not directly answer the question of how and why Neanderthals ultimately disappeared. And also, NO!, "Let's get it on" is not now a sufficient way of thinking about the relationships between Neanderthals and early modern humans!That said, in my opinion, the two papers papers (Greene et al. 2010; Burbano et al. 2010) have the potential to considerably change how Neanderthals are discussed, both in terms of how people approach the data and how the data is interpreted, which are slightly different things. First, the people, namely researchers involved in modern human origins research. For one thing, as I mentioned above, you're likely going to hear much more frequent calls to consider all the evidence available and how it agrees/disagrees. On the other, in order to best incorporate all the relevant data in interpretations, the debate should shift away from 'one size fits all' interpretations to interpretations that are more regional in scale. Whether or not any of this actually happens is another story, but these papers definitely have the potential of serving as game changers in the modern human origins debate.What I find most exciting about the Green et al. (2010) study is that it provides a strong boost for the importance of archaeological evidence plays in understanding the process by which Neanderthals disappear. Quite simply, this is because the genetic data and the skeletal evidence (Trinkaus 2007) now both converge to show some significant degree of biological interaction between the two homminin populations. The thing is, genetics and physical anthropology informing us about the fact that such interaction took place, but they tell us comparatively in terms of how these interactions played out. This is where archaeology comes in, since it's the only way we have of getting at the various types of interactions Neanderthals and modern humans might have had and to remove the preconceptions implicitly imposed by the notion that they were two distinct species.In practical terms, we should now thankfully be moving away from models that see Neanderthals as fundamentally different from 'us'. This means that there is little reason to continue depending on interaction models that see Neanderthals as merely 'copying without understanding' whatever different behaviors early Eurasian modern humans might have displayed. An extension of that is that if Neanderthals and modern humans interacted enough for the former to have contributed between 1-4% of the genetic material of people of non-African extraction today, the two groups must have been able to interact in a sustained manner, which rules out a scenario whereby rape plays a preponderant role (and plays on prevalent ideas of Neanderthals as the savage/dangerous other). This also has implications about communication between the two groups, by which I mean that they likely were able to speak to one another, as already suggested by both genetic and indirect evidence anyway.Perhaps most interestingly is that the degree of genetic contribution of Neanderthals to modern human genetics also sheds some light about how intense the interactions might have been, and also what some of the demographic parameters of thee encounters might have been. The numbers do point to some kind of demographic imbalance, though it must also be remembered that genes, like culture, can sometimes diffuse into an area much in advance of the arrival of a new population (Eswaran 2002, Eswaran et al. 2005). In other words, modern human genes might have made their way into Neanderthal areas by virtue of Neanderthal-hybrid interactions as opposed to necessarily only through Neanderthal-modern interactions. What this means for how 'hybrids' might have been perceived or integrated in either population is open to debate, but is a debate that might well shift to the center of ongoing debates about the nature of interactions between prehistoric humans populations.ReferencesBurbano, H., Hodges, E., Green, R., Briggs, A., Krause, J., Meyer, M.,... Read more »

Burbano, H., Hodges, E., Green, R., Briggs, A., Krause, J., Meyer, M., Good, J., Maricic, T., Johnson, P., Xuan, Z.... (2010) Targeted Investigation of the Neandertal Genome by Array-Based Sequence Capture. Science, 328(5979), 723-725. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188046  

ESWARAN, V., HARPENDING, H., & ROGERS, A. (2005) Genomics refutes an exclusively African origin of humans. Journal of Human Evolution, 49(1), 1-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2005.02.006  

Green, R., Krause, J., Briggs, A., Maricic, T., Stenzel, U., Kircher, M., Patterson, N., Li, H., Zhai, W., Fritz, M.... (2010) A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome. Science, 328(5979), 710-722. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188021  

  • May 11, 2010
  • 12:21 AM

Atlatls to Bows: Loopy

by teofilo in Gambler's House

Intact atlatls are rarely found, but when they are it’s usually in the Southwest or the Great Basin, arid regions with good preservation conditions for perishable materials like wood and leather.  Some, but not all, of the examples that have been found in these areas have pieces of leather attached as apparent finger loops to [...]... Read more »

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