Millions of Egyptian mummified dogs discovered


This video says about itself:

Why ancient Egyptians mummified 8 million dogs found in Anubis ‘God of Death’ mass grave

22 June 2015

In ancient Egypt, so many people worshiped Anubis, the jackal-headed god of death, that the catacombs next to his sacred temple once held nearly 8 million mummified puppies and grown dogs, a new study finds.

By James Gerken:

Millions Of Mummified Dogs Discovered In Ancient Egyptian Catacombs

06/22/2015 3:59 pm EDT

Ancient Egyptians are well-known for having worshipped animals, and archaeologists are used to unearthing nonhuman mummies. But a recent investigation in an ancient tomb south of Cairo led to a find of amazing proportions: an estimated 8 million mummified dogs that have been underground for more than 2,000 years.

Researchers from Cardiff University in Wales chronicle their discovery in a study published this month in the journal Antiquity.

The researchers found the remains within the catacombs of a temple dedicated to the jackal-headed god Anubis, in a burial ground called Saqqara. The center passageway is about 568 feet long and side corridors make the tomb up to 459 feet wide, according to Live Science. Many of the mummified canines have disintegrated or been removed by grave robbers.

“It would be quite difficult to easily find complete, nicely wrapped mummies,” Cardiff University archaeology professor and lead researcher Paul Nicholson told CNN. “What you have got is the decayed remains of the mummies.”

The archaeologists examined the number of mummies in a portion of the catacombs and used that count to estimate how many likely filled the tomb.

The tomb, which was likely built in the fourth century B.C., was first discovered in the 19th century, but archaeologists had no idea how many mummies it housed until this latest discovery. Researchers also found the remains of jackals, foxes and several falcons, The Independent reported.

The surrounding area was quite busy in antiquity, according to the researchers. The temples brought economic activity from visitors, merchants and breeders who raised dogs to be mummified for the Anubis temple.

“It would have been a busy place,” Nicholson told Live Science. “A permanent community of people living there supported by the animal cults.”

Cauliflower mushrooms, not anti-dog poison


This video says about itself:

We find a Cauliflower mushroom ! (Sparassis crispa)

18 September 2014

My son was raised in the forests helping wild-craft edible mushrooms. Every year we find at least one Cauliflower – the first ending up in a bread casserole with chanterelles.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands (they put the wrong photo with their new item; not of a cauliflower fungus, but of a coral fungus):

Baked sponges in Huizen turn out to be cauliflower mushrooms

Today, 11:33

The suspect sponges that were recently found among bushes in Huizen turn out to be actually fungi. That is the conclusion of investigations by the police and the Forestry Commission.

The finder guessed that they were baked sponges and that they were intended to kill dogs.

According to the Forestry Commission in Huizen, these are innocent fungi which normally grow deep in the forest. They are harmless to dogs because the animals do not like eating the fungi. …

The past few days came from different towns alerts about baked sponges supposedly deposited by people who hate dogs.

The sponges are baked in fat and smell good for dogs and cats. But once inside the stomachs of the animals they will expand and they can be lethal.

Except in Huizen sponges were also found in Almere, Hengelo, The Hague, Leiden and Saendelft. It is still unclear whether the sponges in these other places will also prove to be cauliflower mushrooms.

‘Hunting dogs made Neanderthals extinct’


This video says about itself:

Neanderthal: Episode 1 – Evolution History Documentary

16 August 2014

Discovery Channel presents Neanderthal, a two-part, two-hour production documenting the experiences of a small clan of Neanderthals living in the Dordogne region of France at one of the most important junctures in human evolution.

Neanderthal is the story of the rise and demise of one the most successful human species ever to have walked the earth. A species that thrived – until modern man came along. Produced as a compelling drama following the lives of one group of Neanderthals, the special draws on cutting-edge scientific research that challenges the stereotype of the brutish savage.

The Observer: “Easily the year’s most exciting TV science programme… handled with such panache it’s impossible not to be drawn into the tribe’s strange, grim existence.”

This video is the sequel.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Humans eradicated Neanderthal rivals thanks to early dogs bred from wolves

Humans bred wolves to help them hunt in Europe 40,000 years ago

Ben Tufft

Sunday 01 March 2015

Humans were able to eradicate their Neanderthal rivals in Europe thanks to early dogs bred from wolves, according to a prominent American anthropologist.

Dogs were used by humans to gain a competitive edge in hunting that led to the extinction of Neanderthals on the continent 40,000 years ago, Professor Pat Shipman of Pennsylvania State University claims.

“We formed an alliance with the wolf and that would have been the end for the Neanderthal,” Prof Shipman told The Observer.

Her theory challenges the conventional academic wisdom that wolves were only domesticated a mere 10,000 years ago, coinciding with the rise of agriculture.

The professor believes that wolves were bred by humans as early as 70,000 years ago, when humans first came to Europe from Africa – leading to the domestic dogs we know today.

The theory would solve the mystery of why the dominant Neanderthals in Europe died out a few thousand years after the arrival of humans on the continent, despite having lived in the region for more than 200,000 years.

Prof Shipman argues that the alliance with the wolf, along with superior weapons and hunting skills, enabled humans to outwit their Neanderthal rivals and become the dominant species.

“Early wolf-dogs would have tracked and harassed animals like elk and bison and would have hounded them until they tired. Then humans would have killed them with spears or bows and arrows,” Prof Shipman said.

“This meant the dogs did not need to approach these large cornered animals to finish them off – often the most dangerous part of a hunt – while humans didn’t have to expend energy in tracking and wearing down prey.

“Dogs would have done that. Then we shared the meat. It was a win-win situation,” she added.

A study published last year found that modern humans and Neanderthals lived alongside each other in Europe for 4,000 years, exchanging culture and genes.

In Asia humans and Neanderthals could have lived side by side for up to 20,000 years, as anatomically modern humans colonised the continent long before reaching Europe.

The last Neanderthals in Europe are thought to have died out in modern-day Belgium, where they lived in caves as their numbers dwindled.

Most scientists believe that Neanderthals quickly died out after the arrival of Homo sapiens to Europe, owing to competition for resources and possibly violent conflict.

Will California coyote-killing contests stop?


This video from the USA is called Living With Wildlife: Coyotes.

From Associated Press in the USA:

California Coyote-Killing Contests Could Be Banned In First-In-Nation Move

December 3, 2014 12:03 AM

FRESNO, Calif. – Organized coyote hunts that award prizes to the top marksman have sparked a culture clash in California between wildlife advocates who value the animals as an essential part of the landscape and people who view coyotes as wily varmints to be hunted down to protect livestock.

The derbies award shooters who bag the tallest pile of coyote carcasses with up to $500 or prizes such as belt buckles, camouflage hunting gear and rifles. On Wednesday, the California Fish and Game Commission will consider banning prize hunts for coyotes as well as foxes and bobcats, which also are legal to kill year round in unlimited numbers.

The ban would be the first in the nation, according to Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote, which petitioned the state to end coyote hunts for prizes.

The hunts are a cruel throwback to the days before dog- and cock-fighting were banned, said Fox. “We should also ban wildlife-killing contests for the same reasons,” she said. “It’s immoral, reprehensible and something that should be part of our history books.” …

Coyote hunting happens in most states across the country with no bag limit, but Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity said prize hunts are most common in the western states. In Idaho, environmentalists blocked a wolf and coyote derby from happening next month on vast wilderness areas controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. …

Coyote advocates called on the commission to ban prize hunts on grounds they do not reflect good sportsmanship. Arguing there’s no proof the hunts prevent livestock losses, they say coyotes play an important role in nature, feeding on rodents and dead animals.

The call for a ban was spurred in part by the fear that coyote hunters could mistakenly kill gray wolves, which this year were listed as endangered in California. Gray wolves were hunted to extinction almost a century ago in California, but in the past three years, a GPS-outfitted wolf known as OR-7 has been crossing from Oregon into Northern California.

Tapeworm discovery in prehistoric domestic dog


Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm

From the Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 50, October 2014, Pages 51–62:

Multicomponent analyses of a hydatid cyst from an Early Neolithic hunter–fisher–gatherer from Lake Baikal, Siberia

Highlights:

Echinococcus granulosus infection in an 8000-year-old forager from Siberia.

Differential diagnosis of egg-like, multi-chambered ovoid calcifications.

Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes of a parasitic hydatid cyst.

Abstract:

Calcified biological objects are occasionally found at archaeological sites and can be challenging to identify. This paper undertakes the differential diagnosis of what we suggest is an Echinococcus granulosus hydatid cyst from an 8000-year-old mortuary site called Shamanka II in the Lake Baikal region of Siberia. Echinococcus is a parasitic tapeworm that needs two hosts to complete its life cycle: herbivores and humans are intermediate hosts, and carnivores such as dogs, wolves, and foxes are definitive hosts.

In the intermediate host the Echinococcus egg hatches in the digestive system, penetrates the intestine, and is carried via the bloodstream to an organ, where it settles and turns into an ovoid calcified structure called a hydatid cyst. For this object, identification was based on macroscopic, radiographic, and stable isotope analysis. High-resolution computed tomography scanning was used to visualize the interior structure of the object, which is morphologically consistent with the E. granulosus species (called cystic Echinococcus).

Stable isotope analysis of the extracted mineral and protein components of the object narrowed down the range of species from which it could come. The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of the object’s protein, and stable carbon isotope ratio of the mineral, closely match those of the likely human host. Additionally, the δ13C protein-to-mineral spacing is very low, which fits expectations for a parasitic organism. To our knowledge this is the first isotopic characterization of a hydatid cyst and this method may be useful for future studies. The hydatid cyst most likely came from a probable female adult. Two additional hydatid cysts were found in a young adult female from a contemporaneous mortuary site in the same region, Lokomotiv. This manuscript ends with a brief discussion [of] the importance of domesticated dogs in the disease’s occurrence and the health implication of echinococcal infection for these Early Neolithic hunter–fisher–gatherers.