New Data on Turkey Domestication

Yesterday’s LA Times had a most interesting piece on turkey domestication based on new DNA data. Apparently turkeys were domesticated independently twice, once in Mesoamerica and once in what is now the American Southwest. One of the archaeologists not involved with the study who is quoted in the article points out that the turkeys domesticated in the Southwest were originally more prized for their feathers than as a meat source, and appear to have been raised for ritualistic purposes. A post I put up here long ago, discusses how the Anasazi often placed sacrificed turkeys in kivas as part of a ceremony relating to the kiva’s abandonment. Only much later did turkeys become important as a source of food for them.

A few years ago in Santa Barbara, I attended a lecture given by Brian Kemp, one of the co-authors of this study, on his research on Native American mitochondrial DNA and its use in tracing prehistoric migrations. Brian is a very sharp fellow and it’s interesting to see him branching out into avian DNA work for this study.

New Arrival

My daughter Lauren and her husband Zach are pleased to announce the arrival of their first child and our first grandchild, Isabella Rosalie Wilson, born last Monday in Long Beach, CA. Isabella was 8 lb 14 oz and 22 inches long with dark curly hair. Mom and baby are doing fine.

Connie and I are out here on the coast on a mixed business and baby viewing trip. I’ll be back in Denver later this week.

STILL another Mauser

Years ago, more flush and thinking that anyone who called himself “.275 Rigby” should have one, I gave Jonathan Hanson my Rigby 7 X 57 (on a Mauser 98 action).

Jonathan has done well with it, and I have never regretted it, but I have never, as has been documented here, found a 7 X 57 to match.

Until last Saturday when I went into Ron Peterson’s gun store in Albuquerque with credit, intending to present a wish list including “best 7 x 57 I can afford.”

My friend Travis Boggus, BEFORE I could present him with the list, came out of the back waving a prewar Obendorff Mauser, all original but for a Leupold scope, with express sights, barrel- band swivel, all the bells and whistles, original butt plate. But for the Germanic double set triggers and cheek piece, it is a CLONE of the Rigby.

I’m keeping this one.


Rebecca has “the best job ever” in part because she works in the perfect office.

Holly reviews Rebecca.

Karen Myers has a splendid portfolio of their Uhlan, one of our tazi relatives, romping with their basset bleu de Gascogne in the Virginia snow.

She also sent a link to this story on the subway- riding feral dogs of Moscow.

Her husband David Zincavagesent a link to this Telegraph story about the possible “re- creation” of the Aurochs. The Germans tried years ago but couldn’t get the size; maybe we will have better luck this time.

Annie D sends an octopus building a house.

Walter Hingley sends a link to an article indicating that the picture of the Pleistocene extinctions in North America grows more complicated, not simpler. Humans? Meteors? What and when?

Write what you love.

The- Place- That- Used- To- Be- England suggests “food security” is best ensured by abandoning local agriculture and buying all your food from overseas.

Poacher couture— or as Jonathan Hanson puts it, “Ralph Lauren meets Brian Plummer. !!

Resume blogging..

Been a long winter and everything– Irb’s accident, heavy snow and darkness (good for the land but not for the “SAD” mood): possible new project work; NO movement on other projects; even arthritis: all have contributed to a lack of things to say and desire to blog.

But lengthening days, recovering dogs, conditioning hawks (Using OPC to get BB to accept the hood)– MOVEMENT is starting to wake up my mind. So– slowly– blogging resumes.

Thanks to Cat for minding the store and much more, and Sy Montgomery for among myriad things for reading my archives and saying the whole project remains worthwhile.

I will follow with saved- up links (some rather old), discovered blogs, a pic of Irb, and still another Mauser. Be patient, and thanks.

A puppy challenge

I’m done posting images of the captive wildlife I photographed during my tour of captive facilities a few years ago, and I’m back to posting some of the shots from the ranch. This is one of my favorites – we (Jim and I) had to use a broom to safely escort this beautiful porcupine away from the guardian dogs and back into the river bottom. Every litter of pups we raise encounters a porcupine when they are three or four months old, and we end up pulling quills. Once I had a National Public Radio reporter with me on the lambing ground when we came into camp with puppies in various states of hysteria with quills. The reporter was patient as I flopped down on the ground and began pulling quills. His resulting story was excellent.

Wild cat!

Flipping through photos of this captive mountain lion, I laughed when I realized he really looked like a dangerous beast in this photo. I could use this as a stand-alone photo for dramatic effect, right? But the truth is this shot was taken at the peak of this tom’s yawn, as you can see from the photos below, which show the action just before the dramatic photo.