Early human history was written with stone tools. James Pokines, a forensic anthropologist at the Boston University School of Medicine, and his colleagues uncovered several 250,000-year-old blades and hand axes, with bits of rhinoceros, horse and camel on them, in Jordan. “We know they were butchering them or processing the carcass,” Pokines said. “But is it proof that they killed all of the species here? Probably not. They could have scavenged them all, but we don’t know.” The findings, which were published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, may be the oldest evidence of protein residue on stone tools.
Conjoined turtles are separated in rare event
Marine biologists in southern Italy have separated conjoined twin loggerhead turtles and released the surviving newborn into the Mediterranean Sea. Fulvio Maffucci, marine biologist at Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, said there had been only seven known births of conjoined twin loggerheads in the Mediterranean. He said the fact that one survived was “extraordinary.”
Alaskan village votes to relocate community
Residents of a small Alaskan village voted to relocate their entire community from a barrier island that has been steadily disappearing because of erosion and flooding attributed to climate change. The plan would move the village, Shishmaref, which is 120 miles north of Nome, to one of two sites on the mainland about 5 miles away, officials said. But the village needs an estimated $180 million from a patchwork of sources to complete the move, a 2004 estimate said.
Shishmaref is an Inupiat Eskimo community of about 600 people on Sarichef, an island north of the Bering Strait that is about one-quarter mile wide and 2½-miles long. It has been grappling for decades with the loss of buildings and infrastructure caused by storm surges, and it has shrunk over the past 40 years — more than 200 feet of the shore has been eaten away since 1969, according to a relocation study published in February. Efforts to move the town in 1973 and 2002 were derailed by several issues, including concerns about the long-term viability of alternate sites. As many as 200 million people could be displaced by 2050 because of climate change, said a study for the British government.