In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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16 May 2019
Giant Beavers

At ... giant beavers once roamed North America, alongside woolly mammoths and giant sloths. They all disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene. These beavers did not munch and crunch on wood (trees and saplings) but thier diet, instead, consisted of aquatic plants. We might wonder if these aquatic plants were themselves giants in order to accommodate giant diets. It is thought their food source would have disappeared at the end of the Ice Age (as the climate of North America became warmer).

16 May 2019
A Big Crocodile

The story comes from ... the remains of a prehistoric crocodile, known as a Thoracosauros, has been found inside a block of chalk. This was a marine, or sea swimming crocodile, able to forage at the edge of the oceans. One may wonder how the remains of a crocodile ended up encased in chalk if chalk was down down over 60 to 90 million years and more, by the accumulation of the shells of ocean algae on the sea bed.

16 May 2019
Trapped in Amber

Another imponderable. Lots of things get trapped in amber but most are land mased animals and insects - or freshwater (from a wetland environment). One can think of dragonflies for example. Now, a Chinese researcher has found the first known ammonite trapped in amber - and ammonites are deep sea animals. It came from the Myanmar amber bed (in Burma). These amber beds also include sea snails and sea slaters ... all marine species. At ...

16 May 2019
The Quaking and Shrinking Moon

At ... the Moon has earthquakes - and is shrinking. Moonquakes occur because the Moon is tectonically active - and they cause it to wrinkle like a dried grape (a raisin). Its internal parts are thought to be cooling which cause its surface to contract - or that is the explanation. The brittle surface at the crust cracks and forms step like cliffs or scarps.

17 May 2019
Jomon, Neanderthals and Mesolithic

At ... a Japanese DNA study on the bones of a Jomon woman on an island north of Hokkaido has found a genetic signature in common with Koreans, Filipinos, and the indigenous inhabitants of Taiwan. However, she also showed a genetic ability to eat a high fat diet which she shares with people of the Arctic north, including Inuit. Marine mammals are very fatty and numerous bones of them have been found in Jomon contexts.

18 May 2019
More on Sodom

At ... in 1908 a massive blast in Siberia flattened 2000 square kilometres of uninhabited taiga forestry. Curiously, no crater was found. Scientists explained it as a meteor exploding 5 to 10 km above the surface of the Earth. An interdisciplinary team of archaeologists and scientists are now using the 1908 Tunguska event as a model to explain the mysterious ending of a thriving civilisation near the Dead Sea.

18 May 2019

It is calculated the asteroid/comet that struck the Earth at the K/T boundary was about 14 km across. The Chicxulub crater has a diameter of 200 km. See ... the crater is now covered by younger sedimentary material and was not spotted until 1991. Drilling on the crater took place in the 1990s, and again in 2002. It was then decided to do a fuller investigation in 2016 and the cores are now stored at the Univeristy of Bremen in Germany. The impactor created an enormous ring around the outside of the crater - and another ring inside the crater.

18 May 2019

William sent in this link - ... newly discovered fossil footprints force paleontologists to rethink ancient desert inhabitants. The footprints were discovered in a remote part of the Grand Canyon National Park - see for instance ... and ...

19 May 2019
Medieval Peasant Diet

At ... scientists from Bristol University have used chemical analysis of pottery fragments and animals bones to shed some light on what ordinary people ate during the Medieval era in Britain. It included cheese as one might expect and stews (old fashioned pottages) of meat and vegetables (cabbage and leeks in particular). The diet was quite good and not as frugal as one might have thought. Mind you, not much there for them to get fat and uneasy on the pins.

19 May 2019
Ultima Thule again

In the same week Thunderbolts had a post on Ultima Thule we now have a story at ... in January, NASAs New Horizons spacecraft did a flyby of Ultima Thule, a distant object orbing in the outer regions of the solar system. Now, less than six months later, scientists have presented first results from the data sent back