Guyett wrote: »
I'll keep a look out for fossils of them here... however as I'm mapping out late Cretaceous and very early Triassic I doubt I'll find any of them.
Rubecula wrote: »
Any possibility of a new Ibex clone by the way. A majestic mountain creature like that deserves every chance in my own opinion.
(What species would be a mother for it?)
Adam Khor wrote: »
(How, I don´t know... wouldn´t an already low genetic diversity mean cloning would be useless anyways?)
Galvasean wrote: »
More than likely, any such clones would be restricted to zoos etc. as I don't see re-population on any large scale being feasible.
Most of the Bat Cave fauna consists of taxa that are extant and are still native to the region. Others, such as the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), yellow-cheeked vole (Microtis xanthognathus), northern bog lemming (Synaptomys borealis), and fisher (Martes pennanti) are boreal forest taxa whose ranges are far north of the site, suggesting a colder climate at the time of deposition. Extinct taxa include giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus), dire wolf (Canis dirus), and flat-headed peccary (Platygonus compressus); the latter being not only the most abundantly represented taxon and the subject of the present study, but also the only ungulate reported from the site.
The flat-headed peccary (Platygonus compressus) was first discovered in 1806 and described in the mid-19th century (Le Conte, 1848). It was the most common North American peccary species during the late Pleistocene and had a wide distribution, ranging from east to west coast and from Canada to Mexico.
A larger sample of intact P. compressus mandibles is necessary to better assess sexual dimorphism within this taxon. The maturation of individuals was assessed using tooth eruption sequence and occlusal wear patterns for all tooth-bearing mandibular elements and isolated lower dentition, which has demonstrated that all age groups are represented within the sample from unborn fetal to ∼nine-year-old individuals. These age groups are distinctive and non-overlapping, separated developmentally from one another by nine to 12 months. This suggests that P. compressus engaged in seasonal breeding behaviors, at least in the BC locality and perhaps other parts of the northern temperate zone.
This finding supports the suggestions made by previous authors (Schubert & Mead, 2012; Kurtén & Anderson, 1980) that caves were ecologically important to this species and offers insight into other P. compressus cave assemblages. At the time of deposition, the BC site appears to have served as a seasonal, communal shelter for local peccaries, most likely during winter. Demographic assessment of the BC peccary population suggests that subadults and younger adults comprised the bulk of the population and individuals five and older gradually became less abundant. Further taphonomic observations, which will be discussed in a future paper, suggest that dire wolves (Canis dirus) hunted or scavenged P. compressus inside the cave shelter.
Rubecula wrote: »
what about Aurochs ?
Approximately 2.6 million years ago, pigs roamed all around Europe. In this continent, they were represented exclusively by Sus strozzi, a very large species related to those we find today in southeast Asia, such as the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons), endemic to some Philippine islands and now endangered.
Surprisingly, this species dissappeared suddenly around 1.8 million years ago. For over 600.000 years, pigs were absent in Europe despite hundreds of thousands of vertebrate remains having been excavated all across the continent. This is what paleontologists know as the "suid gap".
Equally surprising, around 1.1 million years ago, pigs return to Europe. Until now, it was believed that the species that reconquered the continent was already today's wild boar (Sus scrofa, the wild ancestor of today's domesticated pig). What happened then to Sus strozzi? Where were all the pigs during those 600.000 years?
Now, an article published in the Quaternary Science Reviews magazine by researchers of the Institut Catala de Paleontologia Miguel Crusafont, along with Italian and French paleontologists, describe remains excavated in two fossil sites which help iluminate the mystey.
The findings confirm the presence of Sus strozzi from 1.1 million years to 800.000 years ago; in other words, the species returned and then became extinct in Europe much later than believed, only then being definitely replaced by today's wild boar.
As for where Sus strozzi was hiding all that time (a period of about 600.000 to 700.000 years), the authors suggets two hypothesis. One remote possibility but still worthy of consideration is that quite simply, not enough digging has been done to find their fossils. But the most likely scenario is that indeed, Sus strozzi left. "We believe at some point this species took refuge somewhere in south east Asia to later recolonize Europe about 1.1 million years ago. This may have been due to the dissappearance of wet, forested habitats and their replacement by open, drier environments at about the same time.