A hairy anthropological puzzle

first_imgThe brown hyena – prime suspect in theancient whodunnit. (Image: Richard DuToit, Nature Picture Library) Electron microscope scans of fivefossilised human hairs.(Image: Born Animal – Discovery News) Gladysvale has yielded thousands of fossilsof man and beast, with millions more stillin place. (Image: Gladysvale)Janine ErasmusThe World Heritage Cradle of Humankind site has yielded another important archaeological find, with the discovery of what is very probably strands of ancient human hair in a fossilised piece of hyena dung – dating back to around 200 000 years ago.The strands are the oldest examples of their kind, surpassing the previous oldest known specimens of human hair by 191 000 years. The latter were found on a 9 000-year-old Chinchorro mummy from Arica, Chile.The Chinchorro culture was prevalent in northern Chile and southern Peru between 5 000 and 3 000 BC. Mummies from this epoch are the oldest examples of mummified human remains, much older than even the Egyptian mummies. However, the new find makes the hair from the Chinchorro mummies seem positively youthful.The strands were found in a hyena latrine – typically used by a single animal – embedded within a fossilised clump of dung known as a coprolite. Appearing to the untrained eye to be nothing more than a group of round white rocks, the coprolites each measured roughly 2 cm in diameter.The high calcium content in such biological objects, and the calcium-imbued drip from the cave roof, facilitated the fossilisation and preservation of the hairs. After carefully extracting the delicate specimens with tweezers, researchers placed them under an electron microscope. Scans revealed external wavy scale patterns that are characteristic of primates – these, and the size and shape of the hairs suggest that they are human in origin.The hyena species in question is the brown hyena (Parahyaena brunnea), a canny opportunist that derives most of its nourishment from scavenging, although it has been known to occasionally hunt small mammals.Although they consider it most likely that the animal stumbled upon its last meal, scientists have not ruled out the possibility that a hyena attack was the cause of death. Brown hyenas are found in the area still today.Rich source of fossilsThe exciting discovery was made at Gladysvale Cave in Gauteng, located about 45km north-west of Johannesburg. The cave, which sits in the John Nash Nature Reserve within the boundaries of the Cradle of Humankind, has been a prolific source of fossilised specimens since the first fossil, that of a baboon, was found in 1946.The complex consists of three underground caves containing a substantial amount of breccia – that is, a clastic (fragmentary) rock composed of angular gravel-size fragments in a matrix or cementing material. Sediments in the cave date from as ancient as three million years to as recent as 250 years ago.Since 1946, thousands of fossils have been recovered from the Gladysvale deposits, both inside and outside the cave, including rare remains of hominids. The first hominid remains – two teeth of the early human species Australopithecus africanus – were discovered in 1991.The famous fossils of the Taung Child and Mrs Ples are both fine examples of A. africanus. The good news for the scientific community is that there are still millions of ancient bones in place in the cave, waiting to be unearthed.International collaborationPaleoanthropologist Dr Lucinda Backwell of the School of Geosciences at the University of the Witwatersrand headed the study, together with a team of South African and international colleagues from Switzerland and the UK.Their findings are due to be published shortly in the print version of the Journal of Archaeological Science, but for those who can’t wait, the article has been available on the journal’s website since 31 January 2009.The owner of the hair has not yet been established but, said Backwell, the hyena dung falls within the period of existence in Africa of early species of humans such as Homo heidelbergensis. This period, which spans 195 000 to 257 000 years in the past, also saw the emergence of the first anatomically modern humans.“The hairs could belong to either of them or, of course, to a species not yet recognised,” explained Backwell.Although there are no hairs from early human species to use for comparison, and DNA sampling from the hairs was not possible, there is a plethora of coprolite material in the cave. Further analysis of the fossilised dung may well lead to a better understanding of the environment in which our ancestors lived, and their interactions with the creatures around them.Significant findThe hairs are significant in a number of ways. They represent a soft tissue find from a period, said Backwell, which rarely even yields skeletal material.Furthermore, commented biological anthropologist Pat Shipman of Penn State, “The hair is an especially exciting find because it raises the possibility that there are other coprolites with other hairs, which would give us a new and quite accurate means of looking at the composition of ancient animal communities.”Hyenas search for food in their immediate surroundings, she added, so at that time a human lived, or at least died, close to Gladysvale cave.This also raises the possibility that at that time humans were preyed upon or scavenged by hyenas, or that they competed with them for food resources.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related storiesUnearthing our human ancestors Ancient arrows a clue to the pastTracing the origins of humankindUseful linksBernard Price Institute for Palaeontological ResearchWits University School of GeosciencesDiscovery ChannelHyena – African Wildlife FoundationBrown hyena – IUCN specialist groupGladysvaleMaropeng – Cradle of HumankindCradle of HumankindTransvaal Museum of Natural HistoryJournal of Archaeological ScienceSmithsonian Institution – Human Origins programmeUnesco – Cradle of Humankindlast_img read more

Wilmington OBITUARIES Week of October 7 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are the obituaries published on Wilmington Apple during the week of October 7, 2018:Lived In Wilmington At Time Of Passing:Donald E. Peak, 80Previously Lived In Wilmington:Jeanne Chesley Ashworth, 80Worked In/Volunteered In/Connected To Wilmington:NoneLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington OBITUARIES (Week of August 11, 2019)In “Obituaries”Wilmington OBITUARIES (Week of August 4, 2019)In “Obituaries”Wilmington OBITUARIES (Week of July 14, 2019)In “Obituaries”last_img read more

Karan Oberoi rape case Complainant says goons attacked her told to withdraw

first_imgKaran OberoiInstagramThe lady astrologer, who accused actor Karan Oberoi of raping her, now claimed that some unknown people attacked her on Saturday morning, putting pressure on her to withdraw the case.According to Spotboye, the woman claimed that she was attacked by two bike-borne men while she was jogging at Lokhandwala back road. She further said that the miscreants threw water on her and a chit with a message – “take the case back”.While she reportedly suffered minor injuries, the astrologer expressed concern that the goons could use some chemical on her next time. She has reportedly filed an FIR at Oshiwara police station. Meanwhile, police has started investigating the matter, and are checking CCTV footage of the area.If these claims by the lady is true, it might turn even worse for Karan. The actor was arrested after the astrologer filed a case against him, alleging that he not only raped her, but also filed her obscene video to extort money.She in her complaint stated that Karan had raped her on pretext of marrying her. The two were in a relationship since 2016, as claimed by the lady. Recently, the actor had applied for bail, but it was rejected, and he had been sent to 14-days judicial custody.Earlier, Karan’s sister had come up in his support, narrating a completely different picture. She had stated that the lady was forcing Karan to marry her, while they never had any relationship. She had also stated that the allegations were baseless, and the two never had any physical relationship.last_img read more

Quess Corp IPO Thomas Cook subsidiary allocates 56 million shares to anchor

first_imgQuess Corp Ltd., a subsidiary of Thomas Cook (India), which has come out with an initial public offering (IPO), has informed the stock exchanges in a statement that it has allocated 5.6 million equity shares to anchor investors at Rs. 317 per share, the upper end of the price band.”The IPO Committee of the company at their meeting held on June 28, 2016, in consultation with the Book Running Lead Managers to the Offer, has finalised allocation of 5,678,234 equity shares to anchor investors at anchor investor allocation price of Rs. 317 per equity share (including share premium of Rs. 307 per equity share,” Quess Corp said in a regulatory filing to the exchanges on Tuesday.Some of the prominent investors include Kuwait Investment Authority, HDFC MF, DSP Blackrock MF, Nomura Bank, Reliance MF, SBI MF and Morgan Stanley Mauritius. The company is coming out with an initial public offering (IPO) of 1.26 crore shares at a price band of Rs. 301 to 317 per share to raise about Rs. 400 crore. The issue opens on June 29 and closes on July 1.The fresh issue will constitute 10 percent of the post-issue paid-up equity share capital of the company. At the upper end of the price band, the pre-issue price-to-earnings (P/E) works out to 40.6x its FY2016 earnings.The share price of Thomas Cook (India) was up 1.25 percent and trading at Rs. 216.60 on the BSE at around 11.27 a.m. on Wednesday.The share allocation details to the 15 institutional investors are listed below:last_img read more

READ Full text of Modi govts proposal to revoke Article 370

first_imgUnion Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah.Home Minister Amit Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha that Article 370, which accords special status to Jammu & Kashmir, will be revoked from the day of President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent.Full text of government’s proposal on revoking Article 370 [READ]MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE (Legislative Department)NOTIFICATION New Delhi, the 5th August, 2019 G.S.R .551(E).- the following Order made by the President is published for general information:- THE CONSTITUTION (APPLICATION TO JAMMU AND KASHMIR) ORDER, 2019 C.O. 272 In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 370 of the Constitution, the President, with the concurrence of the Government of State of Jammu and Kashmir, is pleased to make the following Order:- 1. (1) This Order may be called the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019. (2) It shall come into force at once, and shall thereupon supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 as amended from time to time. 2. All the provisions of the Constitution, as amended from time to time, shall apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the exceptions and modifications subject to which they shall so apply shall be as follows:- To article 367, there shall be added the following clause, namely:- “(4) For the purposes of this Constitution as it applies in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir- (a) references to this Constitution or to the provisions thereof shall be construed as references to the Constitution or the provisions thereof as applied in relation to the said State; (b) references to the person for the time being recognized by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadar-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office, shall be construed as references to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir; (c) references to the Government of the said State shall be construed as including references to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of his Council of Ministers; and (d) in proviso to clause (3) of article 370 of this Constitution, the expression “Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2)” shall read “Legislative Assembly of the State”.” RAM NATH KOVIND, President.last_img read more

AL leaders violated electoral codes in Gazipur

first_imgAL leader Talukder Abdul Khalek who has recently been elected mayor of Khulna City Corporation joined the AL mayoral candidate`s electioneering violating the electoral code of conduct. The photo was taken at Salna in Gazipur. Photo : Prothom AloRuling Bangladesh Awami League candidate and its campaigners violated electoral codes of conduct in Gazipur, alleged opposition BNP leaders.Gazipur City Corporation goes to polls Tuesday (26 June) and the election commission had asked outsiders not to enter city corporation areas since Saturday 12:00am.One of the outsiders who joined the AL mayoral candidate’s electioneering despite such restriction, was AL leader Talukder Abdul Khalek who was recently elected mayor of Khulna City Corporation amid massive allegations of rigging, manipulation, intimidation and arrest of the opposition activists. Facing criticism, he left the area.The AL’s organising secretary Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel was seen holding meeting and addressing a press conference on Sunday. Nowfel later left Gazipur expressing regret.The AL candidate, Jahangir Alam, held a press conference ahead of the poll. It was attended by former BGMEA president and mayoral candidate for Dhaka North City Corporation Atikul Islam and Sramik League leader Roy Ramesh Chandra.However, the leaders left the area as soon as they came to know about the restriction.When asked, AL mayoral candidate Jahangir Alam said, “There will be no further violation of electoral codes as I was the most vigilant against outsiders’ movement in the area.”The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has complained about the AL leaders entry into Gazipur from outside, according to returning officer Rakibuddin Mondal.“We warned the Awami League candidate verbally,” he added.The AL leaders are, however, optimistic about victory in the GCC polls as they think people will vote for the AL following their win in Khulna polls.Many of them believe that postponement of the city polls earlier acted as boon in disguise for the Awami League.It might not have been possible to win had the voting taken place on 15 May, said several AL leaders on condition of anonymity.The AL candidate for GCC polls visits all over the city for electioneering. Addressing several street rallies and press conference, Jahangir Alam focussed on the government’s development works.Denying the allegations of the BNP candidate Hasan Uddin Sarker, he claimed that the BNP was carrying out such ‘baseless propaganda’ as they lacked public support.The AL leaders also claimed that that Gazipur saw no major development activities during the tenure of BNP-backed first mayor MA Manna, elected in 2013.Mannan was imprisoned for 22 months after the election. He spent significant amount of time in Dhaka for his treatment.last_img