Skip to comments.Fish Swam the Sahara, Bolstering Out of Africa Theory
Posted on 12/29/2010 11:42:33 AM PST by decimon
Fish may have once swum across the Sahara, a finding that could shed light on how humanity made its way out of Africa, researchers said.
The cradle of humanity lies south of the Sahara, which begs the question as to how our species made its way past it. The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world, and would seem a major barrier for any humans striving to migrate off the continent.
Scientists have often focused on the Nile Valley as the corridor by which humans left Africa. However, considerable research efforts have failed to uncover evidence for its consistent use by people leaving the continent, and precisely how watery it has been over time is controversial.
Now it turns out the Sahara might not have been quite as impassable as once thought - not only for humanity, but for fish as well.
"Fish appeared to have swam across the Sahara during its last wet phase sometime between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago," researcher Nick Drake, a geographer at King's College London, told LiveScience. "The Sahara is not a barrier to the migrations of animals and people. Thus it is possible - likely? -that early modern humans did so, and this could explain how we got out of Africa."
Using satellite imagery and digital maps of the landscape, the researchers found the Sahara was once covered by a dense network of rivers, lakes and inland deltas. This large waterway channeled water and animals into and across the Sahara during wet, "green" times. [See digital map of ancient Sahara]
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Only yesterday ping.
They rode on the backs of fish?
The Sahara was once a lush forest, IIRC.
Every once and awhile I feel like quacking. Does that help?
As if the climate of this region would be identical during a major Ice Age.
If the Sahara once contained large bodies of water, couldn’t that be an indication that there was once more water (in liquid form) on the surface of the earth than there is now?
And wouldn’t THAT potentially be an indication that the polar ice caps were SMALLER at that time than they are now?
And wouldn’t THAT be an indication that the earth was WARMER then than it is now?
Could that be POSSIBLE?
That is s common misperception. In fact, Chuck Norris lit a fart in what was once known as the Sahara Forest.
I'm impressed if you remember at all. ;-)
Hello ... ? It’s called the “Flood of Noah” ...
But did they do the backstroke?
Shhh! That’s Biblical! ;)
The place was once a forest. The fossils aren't just those of fishes.
How exactly do climate conditions which persisted some 6 to 10 thousand years ago impact the out of Africa theory? It seems that climate over the last 500,000 years (or perhaps 7mil years) would have to be considered together with the fossil record. Cherry picking doesn’t usually work.
I thought it was the Argonne Forest.
The cradle of humanity lies south of the Sahara, which begs the question as to how our species made its way past it.
Avi Gopher, who led the team, told Agence France-Presse that it calls into question the widely held view that modern humans originated in Africa.
They seem to be looking at the last wet phase as an indicator of conditions in prior wet phases.