H. neanderthalensis – H. sapiens Interbreeding?

The BBC reports that the question has come up again as to whether early modern humans and Neanderthals, whose occupation of Europe overlapped, interbred. This new speculation is based on radiocarbon dating and re-examination of 30,000 year old skeletal material from a cave site in Romania. The bones (cranium shown above) are said to show …

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Ah, synchronicity! The press release on “terror birds” that I posted on last week came just as Darren Naish was finishing a literature review of phorusrhacids. You can read the first of a series of posts on these big critters over here at Darren’s Tetrapod Zoology.

A Horseman

I couldn’t think of a single contemporary “hook” for use of this photograph, but I like it so much I just had to put it up. This is my grandfather, Travis Reid, in a picture taken in Jonesboro, Arkansas. From his appearance and its placement in the album, I believe this was taken in the …

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Patrick sent me this item: a foxhound pack in England is flying a hybrid eagle at foxes. IF– very big “if”– the bird is very well- trained and, above all, the dogs are accustomed to it, this could work– after all, hounds, eagles, and horses work together every winter in Asia. But most likely this …

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“Sun Head”

The petroglyphs Reid blogged about below put me in mind of the “Sun Head” figure at the Tamgaly site in Kazakhstan, below. Could it be a shaman figure? According to a Kazakh brochure, other figures might be as well. “Unique representations of ‘magic personages’ can be found, dressed up in animal skins with wolf tails …

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Around the web

Peculiar writes to me: “This one sounds like the first chapter of a pretty good thriller: “Disgraced South Korean stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk said on Tuesday he spent part of private donations for research to pay the Russian mafia for mammoth tissues to clone extinct elephant species.” He adds: “I like this line too, …

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French guns again

For fans of French design, like, for instance, my 16 gauge Manufrance Ideal: here is an even prettier one, a twelve. It is available if you want it, from Kirby Hoyt.


Here is one that will resonate with all writers and editors, courtesy of my agent Bill Bowers: I have a spelling checker,It came on my PC.It plainly marques for my revueMistakes I cannot sea.I’ve run this poem threw it,I’m sure your please to no.Its letter perfect in it’s weigh.My checker tolled me sew.

New England Autumn

Annie D’s friend ‘Batwrangler’sent me this haunted image of a New Hampshire buck. Somehow it makes me nostalgic.

Big Bird

The LA Times carries the LA County Natural History Museum’s announcement of the discovery of the largest fossil bird every found. There was no species name listed in the story, but the fossil skull, discovered in Patagonia, is related to an extinct group of birds known as phorusrhacids – “terror birds.” He has been dated …

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