EARTH: Butchery or Trampling? Controversy Marks Ancient Animal Bones

EARTH: Butchery or Trampling? Controversy Marks Ancient Animal Bones
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11/25/2015
 
Alexandria, VA - As Americans feast for Thanksgiving, scientists are engaged in a debate over what human ancestors feasted on, and when it occurred. EARTH Magazine brings readers this active debate centered around fossilized animal bones and the marks that are on them.

Several years ago, scientists discovered 3.4-million-year-old animal bones  near Dikika, Ethiopia,  that had strange markings on them. Scientists initially reported that the markings were tool marks made by human ancestors who were butchering and eating the protein- and fat-rich animals. If true, the find would push back the active hunting and butchering of animals by 800,000 years in human evolutionary history. Other researchers, however, say that the markings formed when animal carcasses were trampled. Since then, debate has raged, with each study contradicting the previous one. Now, in yet a new study, researchers are using different methods to interpret the marks on bones and their findings indicate the animals were slaughtered by human ancestors for the original paleo diet. Feast on the latest article from EARTH Magazine at: http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/butchery-or-trampling-controversy-m...

EARTH Magazine continues the tradition of ensuring that readers are exposed to the science behind popular headlines. The latest news is available at www.earthmagazine.org or in the November/December print issue, and includes stories on if rivers could be described as dynamic and unpredictable or regular and cyclical over geologic time, the role of Morocco's Lower Fezouata Formation plays in reshaping the fossil evolution record within the Early Phanerozoic, and a feature collecting narratives from people who experienced the Nepal Earthquake. With the holidays around the corner, check out the gift guide for the geoscientists in your life, or consider an annual gift subscription to EARTH Magazine for a relative, school or library. 

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Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH Magazine online at: http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.