The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 1

Terra Preta

In the Brazilian Amazon, the soil is poor. So farmers resort to slashing and burning trees to enrich the soil. It's common wisdom that the natives have always practiced slash and burn techniques. But beneath the rainforest, small patches…
The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 2

Elk, Bunchgrass, and Weeds

A story about winter forage for the Rocky Mountain elk of Montana. During the summer, elk use a variety of habitats at different elevations. But winter snow cover limits their food, primarily to bunchgrasses found in valleys -- valleys that…
The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 9

Under the fins skin - silky shark fins

A sign in a Hong Kong market announces the catch of the day: silky shark fins. At an exorbitant price, they are the key ingredient in the popular shark-fin soup and a key item for fishermen to bring to shore. But is the silky shark fin in the…
The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 3

Pulsars Discovered

Imagine you're an astronomy student gathering data, and suddenly your radio telescope receives regular signals from deep space. It happened to Jocelyn Bell in 1967. This is for Wednesday, November 28. On today's date in 1967, a new kind…
The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 4

The Gilboa Forest

Flash floods are hardly unheard of in the Catskills. Our mountains commonly stand in the way of weather patterns, forcing rising air masses to generate sudden thunderstorms. A heavy downpour, in the upper, narrower valleys of the higher Catskills,…
The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 5

Do You Whistle At Your Birds?

It's six-o'clock and I hear a rattling sound outside my kitchen window. Nerve impulse from ear to brain make an instant identity match with the Baltimore oriole. He's announced his arrival at my nectar feeder, giving a few clear notes of…
Hot Springs (December, 1992) Hot springs well up in several places along the Rio Grande near Boquillas, their water temperature typically around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The source heating the rocks ins unknown. The best-known spring is the one near the river's edge that J.O. Langford used for his Hot Springs Resort, the first tourist facility in the Big Bend region. While the tourist courts and general store still stand, only the foundation of the bathhouse remains. Photo courtesy of Dr. Gentry Steele

Big Bend National Park: Water and Rocks

You can follow the War Trail of the Comanches today by driving Highway 385. If you do, you'll come to the main entrance to Big Bend National Park. According to Dr. Gentry Steele, Professor of Anthropology at Texas A&M University, "... Big…
Big bend national park ranching

Big Bend National Park: Ranching

Only 150 years ago, Big Bend wasn't as harsh an environment as it is today. That was before ranchers settled the area in the late 1800s. They raised cattle to feed the U.S. soldiers stationed at the forts of southwest Texas. Forts with names…
The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 6

Big Bend National Park: Adaptations

If you hike from the desert floor near Panther Junction up to the Chisos Mountains, you'll notice that the plants change quickly as the elevation increases. Big Bend elevations range from about 2,000 feet along the Rio Grande to over 7,000 feet…
The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 7

Big Bend National Park: Fossils

Big Bend is rich in fossils. Probably the most famous and awesome is that representing a winged creature called a Pterosaur. This extinct dinosaur weighed about 150 pounds and had a 36-foot wing span. In other words, the distance from one wing…
The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 8

Big Bend National Park: Making a Desert

In the past two million years, North America has experienced the coming and going of ice ages. During the ice ages, the Chihuahuan Desert existed only in our modern-day Mexico, in the southernmost part of its current range. Then, about 11,000…
The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories 9

The Origin of Modern Humans: Multiregional and Replacement Theories

Overview: Early Hominids: The first fossils of erect bipeds with our general body shape (called hominids) appear in Central Africa about 6.5 million years ago (mya). Until recently, the hominids were thought to have been limited to East Africa,…