Friday, May 13, 2011

Fitch and Polar Neandertals

I was going to post this yesterday, but has been out. Seems to be working again, so here goes nothing:

Science has a nice, personal obit for Walter Fitch. It's well worth reading.

Science also has a report from Slimak et al. on Neandertal tools found in the polar Ural mountains at a site called Byzovaya. This significantly extends the range of Neandertals, but even more importantly, it puts them about a hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle. That's a pretty cold place to live, certainly not the ideal place for a brutish, soulless animal. You'd have to be pretty smart to beat the Arctic cold. Cool stuff. Literally.

Slimak et al. 2011. Late Mousterian Persistence near the Arctic Circle. Science 332:841-845.

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