Download Faunal Extinction in an Island Society: Pygmy Hippopotamus by Alan H. Simmons PDF

By Alan H. Simmons

The multidisciplinary learn application at Akrotiri Aetokremnos is critical, in my op- ion, for 3 purposes: empirical and one conceptual. rather except the archaeology, paintings on the website is an immense contribution to island biogeography, in that the Phanourios sample—certainly the simplest from Cyprus and doubtless the simplest at any place within the world—has already supplied, and may proceed to supply, vital ecological and behavioral info on those exciting creatures. Dwarfed island faunas are vital to our knowing of the complicated elements that form traditional choice in ecologically closed environments over the evolutionary long-term. At Aetokremnos, we appear to have the “end” of a protracted series of hippo evolution at the island. With comparative experiences of alternative Cypriot hippo faunas, we should always be capable to pin down the period of preliminary colonization by way of what have been, pres- ably, normal-sized hippos, and—if the opposite websites could be dated—document the dwarfing technique in massive element. Aetokremnos may nonetheless be an important paleontological - cality, even within the absence of facts of a human presence there. whereas examining the textual content of the monograph, a couple of questions strictly on the topic of the paleontology happened to me. One was once how you can version the colonization technique. There appears little doubt that the massive mammals colonized the island by way of swimming to it (because, I assemble, Cyprus has no longer been hooked up to the mainland for about 5–6 m- lion years).

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In either situation, the archaeological remains from such groups, reflecting adaptation to the unique resources available on an island, might be dissimilar to contemporary mainland developments. In summary, if pre-Neolithic sites exist in the Mediterranean, they probably will be in the form of ephemeral, nonarchitectural, occupations. To convincingly document a preNeolithic occupation of any of the Mediterranean islands requires fulfilling a minimal set of data expectations and requirements. Previous claims that have been made do not meet these and are unsubstantiated.

These were mostly flakes and a “few blades and cores” (Baudou and Engelmark 1983:6). Baudou et al. (1985:371) believe that all of this material has been redeposited. Based on geologcal evidence, they argue that the younger erosional phase, which contains the potsherds, dates to Roman or post-Roman times and coincides with what Vita-Finzi (1969:101) and Bintliff (1977:35) have termed a Younger Fill. The underlaying gravel bed, which contains chipped stone, could not be dated with certainty, but they place it in VitaFinzi’s (1969:92) and Bintliffs (1977:35) Older Fill, which is of “paleolithic” age (Baudou and Engelmark 1983:7; Baudou et al.

Coupled with the loss of foot pads—the extinct hippopotami apparently walked on the tips of their toes—these morphological changes in INTRODUCTION AND RESEARCH CONTEXT 29 the lower limbs, resulting in heavier built legs with stouter bones, allowed for greater mobility and access to the mountainous terrain characteristic of the Mediterranean islands (Houtekamer and Sondaar 1979). The dentition changes were in the number and shape of teeth, and, coupled with wear patterns of the jaws, indicate that the molars were adapted to grinding (Reese 1989b:23; Sondaar 1977, 1986:53–54).

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