Ice Age Cattle

23 Oct 2016

At ... Ice Age artists depicted an unknown hybrid species of bison and cattle in great detail on cave walls around 15,000 years ago (in the Magdalenian cultural period). Research published in October (2016) Nature Communications, suggests this animal was the ancestor of modern European bison (now largely extinct across its former habitat) - yet the DNA from one to the other differs. Why?

It is thought the modern animal is genetically distinct as a result of going through a bottleneck when few animals survived - presumably the Younger Dryas Boundary event. Can a bottleneck explain the leap from Neanderthal to modern humans - or is that not allowed?

At ... a new species of long necked dinosaur has been unearthed in NE Australia - but did its ancestors trek across Antarctica to get there? This idea is bound up with Plate Tectonics theory and the slow and painful movement of the plates containing continental crust, splitting apart from Pangaea and very gradually moving across the Indian Ocean to crash land on the edge of the Indonesian plate. Various land bridges have been used in models to try and get the dinosaurs from S America to Oz as it has been assumed Antarctica was cold and inhospitable in the period of break up. Other scientists have no problem and say that Antarctica between 250 and 66 million years ago was warm - indeed, both poles were warm they claim. What if the poles were somewhere else - or continental drift was quicker in spurts than the uniformitarian model allows. If so where might the equator have been?