1 million year old hyena fossils discovered in the Arctic

Yet more evidence of pre-human/industrial rapid climate change in relatively recent times. Like Mammoths and other coeval fauna of the so-called Ice Age, these Arctic animals could not have survived in a frozen wasteland. The evidence of the Arctic permafrost suggests a very rapid and catastrophic change that is remembered in mythology and religions around the world.

Question is, are we on the brink of another such change, and how much role do we humans really play in these events? Will “green schemes and geoengineering combat changes or make them more extreme? Since the “tipping point” for atmospheric CO2 is 6ooppm and we currently have a count of 400ppm, any CO2 reduction will hasten the next Ice Age. At less than 200ppm, vegetation becomes stunted and trees begin to die off. That’s why we have greenhouses that have CO2 counts of 1200ppm to grow bigger fruits and veges. Spot the agenda?

Anyhow, here’s the Nat Geo article via SOTT with their pertinent comments included: MH

John Pickrell
National Geographic
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:00 UTC

Hyena
© Julius T. Csotonyi
Hyena fossils from the extinct genus Chasmaporthetes, seen here in an illustration, have been found in the Arctic for the first time. The discovery helps explain how animals that evolved in Eurasia made it into North America during the Pleistocene.

Two fossil teeth found in northwestern Canada confirm that hyenas once lived in the bleak and frigid conditions of the Arctic, possibly hunting and scavenging caribou and mammoth across the steppe-tundra about a million years ago.

Discovered on the banks of the Old Crow River in the 1970s, the newly described fossils are the most northerly evidence for hyenas yet found, researchers report today in the journal Open Quaternary. Until now, the northernmost hyena fossils in North America came from Kansas, about 2,500 miles south of the Yukon Territory finds.

The newfound fossils belong to animals in the extinct genus Chasmaporthetes, which lived between 800,000 and 1.4 million years ago. During this time, conditions in the Arctic may have been even harsher than they are today, with near permanent snow and ice throughout the year.

“These new fossils add to [the] geographical and biological range that hyenas could have,” says lead author Jack Tseng, a paleontologist at the University at Buffalo in New York. The discovery also adds to evidence that ancient hyenas made it from their evolutionary home in Eurasia to North America via the Bering land bridge, crossing this northern span despite the frigid conditions.

“We have proof that hyenas were up there, and at least they are capable of being found there. Maybe they travelled through and died, but they were going through that area,” Tseng says.

Shaggy predator

The four hyena species alive today are mostly restricted to Africaand are adapted to lower elevation savannas and relatively warmer, drier environments. But paleontologists know of about 70 species of prehistoric hyenas found all across the Northern Hemisphere.

Comment: And so isn’t it more likely that, rather than this being some kind of ‘arctic’ hyena, it was the climate that was different?

SOTT.net

“If you only look at living species, you are examining less than 10 percent of hyena diversity,” Tseng says.

Chasmaporthetes had long legs compared to modern hyenas and was likely a faster runner and a better pursuit predator, Tseng says. As well as scavenging carcasses and cracking through bones with its powerful teeth and jaws, the animal may have hunted Arctic animals, including caribou, horses, and maybe even mammoth.

“We are not saying they were hunting down adult mammoth-that would be a feat for any carnivore,” Tseng says. “But young and even juvenile [African] elephants are within the ability of spotted hyenas to take down. I see that as a good analogue to interpret how Chasmaporthetes would have hunted.”

The team also thinks it’s possible these Arctic hyenas had dense fur similar to that on mammoths or woolly rhinos, and that the hyenas might have undergone changes in coat color with the seasons, akin to what’s seen today in Arctic hares and foxes.

Comment: There’s good reason we don’t see rhinos nor elephants in the arctic nowadays, because the climate is too harsh and there’s simply not enough food sources for them to survive.

SOTT.net

“It’s not that far-fetched to imagine these Arctic hyenas were shaggy and even had these coat changes, with a paler coat in winter, so they can be successful at hunting in the snow,” Tseng says.

Hyena migration

While hyenas evolved in Eurasia, Chasmaporthetes is part of a lineage that made it into North America about five million years ago and spread all the way down to Mexico. These hyenas are though to have survived until around a million years ago, making the new fossil teeth some of the youngest known fossil evidence for hyenas in North America.

Researchers have long assumed hyenas must have passed into North America via the Bering land bridge between Siberia and Alaska, when sea levels were lower, but this is the first hard evidence that hyenas could survive well enough in Arctic environments to make that journey.

“It’s really fun and exciting to see that hyenas were in fact in the Arctic and that they did take this migration route,” says Larisa DeSantis, an expert on fossil carnivores at Vanderbilt University who was not involved in the research. “It confirms what people had long thought … that these hyenas had come through Beringia and the land bridge to make it into more southern regions of North America.”

“We’re finding Pleistocene carnivores farther north than they’ve ever been found before,” adds Ashley Reynolds, a paleontologist at the University of Toronto who recently documented the first evidence for the saber-tooth cat Smilodon in Canada.

“Carnivores are very important parts of an ecosystem,” she says, “but they’re often rare in the fossil record, so every new find is important.”

The authors at SOTT.net Comment:


Comment:

As Pierre Lescaudron writes in Of Flash Frozen Mammoths and Cosmic Catastrophes:

Mammoths remains are usually found piled up withother animals, like tiger, antelope, camel, horse, reindeer, giant beaver, giant ox, musk sheep, musk ox, donkey, badger, ibex, woolly rhinoceros, fox, giant bison, lynx, leopard, wolverine, hare, lion, elk, giant wolf, ground squirrel, cave hyena, bear, and many types of birds. Most of those animals could not survive the arctic climate. This is an extra indication that woolly mammoths were not polar creatures.

French prehistorian Henry Neuville conducted the most detailed study of mammoth skin and hair. At the end of his thorough analysis, he wrote the following:

“It appears to me impossible to find, in the anatomical examination of the skin and [hair], any argument in favor of adaptation to the cold.”

– H. Neuville, On the Extinction of the Mammoth, Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution, 1919, p. 332.

Last, but not least, the mammoth’s diet argues against the creature existing in a polar climate. How could the woolly mammoth sustain its vegetarian diet of hundreds of pounds of daily intake in an arctic region devoid of vegetation for most of the year? How could woolly mammoths find the gallons of water that they had to drink everyday?

To make things worse, the woolly mammoth lived during the ice age, when temperatures were colder than today. Mammoths could not have survived the harsh northern Siberia climate of today, even less so 13,000 years ago when the Siberian climate should have been significantly colder.

The evidence above strongly suggests that the woolly mammoth was not a polar creature but a temperate one. Consequently, at the beginning of the Younger Dryas, 13,000 years ago, Siberia was not an arctic region but a temperate one.

About the author

    Martin Harris

    I have a lovely partner and 3 very active youngsters. We live in the earthquake ravaged Eastern Suburbs of Christchurch, New Zealand. I began commenting/posting on Uncensored back in early 2012 looking for discussion and answers on the cause and agendas relating to our quakes. I have always maintained an interest in ancient mysteries, UFOs, hidden agendas, geoengineering and secret societies and keep a close eye on current world events. Since 2013 I have been an active member of theCONTrail.com community, being granted admin status and publishing many blogs and discussion threads. At this time I'm now helping out with admin and moderation duties here at Uncensored where my online "life" began.


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