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Mystery in Siberia

10 June 2021

William also sent in this link – www.yahoo.com/news/bdelloid-rotifer-survives-24-000-192518938.html … a microscopic multi celled organism has returned to life after being frozen for 24,000 years in Siberia. It was dug up in the Russian Arctic region. Quite where the figure of 24,000 years comes from is a mystery – as much as the prolonged hibernation. Going back 24,000 years ago leads us to the mid reaches of the Late Glacial Maximum. Why would it live in a frozen landscape prior to 24,000 years ago. Apparently, the date is derived from C14 methodology. Is this evidence of a plateau event once again? Might it be more likely to have been frozen around 18,000 years ago – at the end of the Late Glacial Maximum [or does that stir up a hornets nest]. As far as we know Siberia was not frozen during the LGM. It was no doubt cold – but not frozen. In other words, summer temperatures may have been equitable enough for the organism.

The other mystery of course is how it was able to spark back into life once it was thawed from the permafrost – or dug out of the frozen ground. It is said it was later able to reproduce asexually due to crytobiosis. We are then told these organisms, known as Bdelloid rotifer's, are found in fresh water environments. Here is the rub. Was there a fresh water environment in Siberia at the height of the Late Glacial Maximum – and if so, how come.

At https://phys.org/news/2021-06-pre-columbian-life-understudied-area-sw.html …. a new study has shown, it is thought, that pre-Columbian people were culturally diverse and significantly made changes to the landscape – even in Amazonia. The rainforest, a poster child of global warmers and environmentalists in general, was not pristine prior to the arrival of  Europeans. It was extensively settled, it is alleged, and opened up. Intensive land use, from farming and aquaculture, began as long ago as 1500BC. Soil cores were used to gain the information, burrowing down just five feet deep. One might wonder what they would have found if they had gone even deeper. At the lowest point the environment appears to have been dry but around 3500 years ago a wet phase breaks in with evidence of charcoal, and diatoms suggesting similar. The authors of the study point out that fire is used by humans for cooking, making pottery, and for keeping warm. Why one would need to keep warm tucked up around a fire in the tropics is not explained, but the thinking might be that fire also keeps away unwanted visitors such as jaguars. Without reading the full paper I don't know what other evidence of humans was found by the team but presumably it did exist in order to reach their conclusion. On the other hand the evidence of fire may be assumed to be as a result of human influence, and also that of landscape burning. Other possibilities may not have been explored to any great degree.

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