Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Clovis People Hunted Another Elephant Ancestor

From the Daily Mail:
An ancestor of the elephant once believed to have disappeared from North America before humans ever arrived there roamed the continent longer than previously thought – and was hunted by early man. 
Archaeologists have discovered artifacts of the prehistoric Clovis culture mingled with the bones of two gomphotheres – an ancient ancestor of the elephant – at an archaeological site in northwestern Mexico. 
The discovery suggests that the Clovis – the earliest widespread group of hunter-gatherers to inhabit North America – likely hunted and ate gomphotheres. 
The members of the Clovis culture were already well-known as hunters of the gomphotheres' cousins, mammoths and mastodons. 
Although humans were known to have hunted gomphotheres in Central America and South America, this is the first time a human-gomphothere connection has been made in North America, says archaeologist Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona, who co-authored a new paper on the findings, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 
... Gomphotheres were smaller than mammoths – about the same size as modern elephants. 

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