Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just In: Reports of Gompotheres Ghost Lineage...from 13,500 years ago?!

(image source: Karen Carr)
Sometime during 2007, a rancher in the northern Mexican state of Sonora took a visitor to see large bones he had found in an arroyo, or creek bed. The visitor was Guadalupe Sanchez, who works for Mexico’s INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia). It turns out that the bones were not the only item that piqued Guadalupe’s interest; several stone implements were found in association with them. What makes this discovery so very special and highly interesting is the kind of animal the bones belonged to and the nature of the stone tools.

After two years of hushed up investigations, the scientists recently announced that these bones represent two juvenile gomphotheres and the tools belong to the so-called Clovis tradition, a topic which has been the subject of earlier blog entries . The focus here is not on who came first, Clovis or others (that argument has been settled anyway), but rather on the implications of the find of the Gomphothere bones together with Paleoindian tools like those of the Clovis tradition. That is what is drawing the attention of a lot of North American archaeologists these days. In a nutshell, what we have here is described as “the first documentation that there was some sort of human interaction with gomphotheres in North America.”


No time to comment, but gomphotheres in nearly the fscking Holocene?!


I wonder if this will hold up?

Hat tip: Beyond Bones.


Anonymous said...

We already have Cuvieronus, a Late Pleistocene gomphothere from South America and the southernmost regions of North America (Florida, Mexico, etc.). Gomphotheres interacting with humans isn't that out there.

Raymond said...

Agreed Anonymous...

*Cuvieronius* and both species of *Stegomastodon* were present all the way up until 10,000 to 9,000 ya. *Stegomastodon* may have survived as recently as 1,600 ya.

There is also *Mammut*, that weird off which may have been around as recently as 4,000 years ago.

If this something along the lines of *Rhynchotherium*,though... "squee"!

Anonymous said...

Though Mammut isn't really a gomphothere, its a mastodon. Somewhere between "true elephants" and gomphotheres in the elephant family tree. But all the same, it was showing that the New World was home to some really freaky proboscideans that had died out long before in Eurasia and Africa.

Anonymous said...

On addition note, the controversial Monte Verde site in Chile is rife with the bones of Cuverionus, in fact it was the association of these bones (and possibly other gomphothere-derived tools and the like) that help make the site so controversial.