Humans Lived In North America 130,000 Years Ago, Study Claims - New York Times

There's an archaeological storm a-brewin' over some broken mastodon bones in California. No known carnivore, extant nor extinct, could break a mastodon's leg unaided. Most natural processes are unlikely, leaving open the possibility of a tool-using creature in North America millennia before the first immigrants braved the Bering Strait. Carl Zimmer has the rest of the provocative details, noting the frustrating absence of hominid remains. That shouldn't be an issue after Jason Daley learned how Scientists Extracted DNA From Ancient Humans Out Of Cave Dirt. Should an enterprising paleoanthropologist get lucky with this technique, perhaps some of our smaller cousins might've been the first Americans. Turns out Homo Naledi Is Only 250,000 Years Old and Colin Barras explains why that matters. In short, small brains with overdeveloped language centers similar to our own. With those breakthroughs in mind, Micah Hanks reminds us of those celebrated hobbitses (my precious...) and Why Homo Floresiensis Should Help Encourage Open-Mindedness In Anthropology. Their mere existence challenges the status quo, raising tough questions mainstream scientists can't simply handwave away. (CS)

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