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When People Fled Hyenas
ABC News ^ | By Lee Dye

Posted on 11/20/2002 6:43:45 PM PST by VadeRetro

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The idea of a large pack of hyenas operating in the area would probably keep me out of Siberia, even with the otherwise delightful weather.
1 posted on 11/20/2002 6:43:45 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: PatrickHenry; Junior; longshadow; balrog666; Gumlegs; Sabertooth; general_re; Scully; Stultis; ...
Bone-crushing ping.
2 posted on 11/20/2002 6:45:41 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: VadeRetro
I long for the old days.



3 posted on 11/20/2002 6:47:30 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: VadeRetro
Well, here's a question a paleo-anthropologist must consider. Why didn't the hyena's migrate, also, if they liked to eat people?
4 posted on 11/20/2002 6:50:52 PM PST by jimtorr
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To: VadeRetro
It was something. I rather doubt it was hyenas, at least completely. Man had sufficient weapons to defeat anything but the largest and most determined packs.

I think it was probably something else, maybe something we can't ever discover through bone fragments. Maybe a religious taboo, or maybe it was simply tales from travelers saying that Alaska was no paradise. But it was something.

5 posted on 11/20/2002 6:54:49 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Sabertooth
Life was certainly simpler when your main concern was living to see another sundown.
6 posted on 11/20/2002 6:55:04 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: VadeRetro
No, no, no! Nature isn't like that at all! It's benign! Don't you know about Disney cartoons or PETA press releases?
7 posted on 11/20/2002 6:57:38 PM PST by Gumlegs
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To: jimtorr
Why didn't the hyena's migrate, also, if they liked to eat people?

I'm not sure what Turner would say. Maybe Mongolia wasn't zoned for hyenas.

8 posted on 11/20/2002 7:01:03 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: VadeRetro
I recall reading that the main reason we don't find many Gigantopithecus bones, other than mandibles, is because of giant hyenas. Yet both co-existed with Homo erectus, over 100,000 years ago in Indochina.

I'll try and find some info.



9 posted on 11/20/2002 7:02:27 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: VadeRetro
I think the land bridge was approached several times by tribes of creationists, who, being oblivious to facts, routinely got themselves crunched by hyena jaws. Evolution finally saved the day.
This posting has been brought to you by the King of Slime.
10 posted on 11/20/2002 7:03:45 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Sabertooth
There...there..of course ya do hon.=o(
11 posted on 11/20/2002 7:07:48 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: VadeRetro
I spend half my time in Austin and the other half NE of here out in black farmland, where coyotes come right up to me, crazy f*&!ks.

Brought skulls home, their back molars, shoot, their teeth in general are vicious, notably different than dogs.

Being a 5'6, 130 lb. girl who has run across them alone often, I fear them. I'd say 2 could take me down. The guys crossing the Bering were of Mongolian stature, about my size, and if their hyenas were much bigger than the typical 50 lb. coyote, that'd put kinks in my migrating, too.

Thanks for the article. I love pondering the peopling of our continent.

12 posted on 11/20/2002 7:15:23 PM PST by txhurl
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To: VadeRetro
North America was one of the last places on the planet to be populated by humans, and "there has to have been a series of things that kept people out of the New World until very, very late," Turner says.

They were obviously intimidated from immigrating to North America by the fiercely nativist, racist Pat Buchanan.

13 posted on 11/20/2002 7:18:10 PM PST by Castlebar
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To: Dog Gone
I saw a Discovery Channel special that theorized that an enormous Grizzly-type bear is the culprit that munched on humans who crossed the land brodge into N. America. The remains of such a creature have been found.
14 posted on 11/20/2002 7:19:26 PM PST by BushMeister
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To: txflake; All
The hyenas sound scary to me, too. One thing just jumped out and bit me, though.

Farther south, at about the latitude of Mongolia, "there are hundreds and hundreds of [human] archaeological sites that go back 50,000 to 60,000 years ago," he says, but just a few degrees north and the sites are no older than 12,000 years.
12K years ago was near the beginning of the last/current inter-glacial period. If Siberia is cold now, what was it like during the glacial period?

It may not have been just the hyenas. You need it cold enough to keep a lot of ice in the glaciers, exposing the land bridge. But you can't have it so cold that you can't get from Mongolia across Siberia to the land bridge.

15 posted on 11/20/2002 7:25:13 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: VadeRetro
Nice picture of Hillary... :-O
16 posted on 11/20/2002 7:25:29 PM PST by pierrem15
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To: VadeRetro
plus if that's cold, with frozen glaciers as far as the eye can see, would you make a trip across the land bridge not knowing what was on the other side or if there even was another side?

think how incredibly brave or desperate you would have to be to make such a trip.

17 posted on 11/20/2002 7:44:53 PM PST by vbmoneyspender
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To: vbmoneyspender; VadeRetro
Well... I'm probably way wrong, but I understand the bridge is nearly melted at glacial minimums so maximums are the only time to make the jaunt?

I hunt and study arrowheads/artifacts, and I wonder if the strata of the 50-60K yo sites show that projectiles/spears were in use 24K-36K years ago. Supposing there were hyenas, big-ass bears and all patrolling the land bridge, humans might want to migrate there, possibly (correctly!) envisioning warmer climactic conditions. Packs of 40 hyena could only be handled with spears, at a distance, no mano y mano would work.

Put another way, maybe the hold-up was due to lack of throwable weapons and an efficient offensive hunting mentality??

The prospect of 50,000 years of hyena progeny in a single cave awes me. Wow. Wonder if we can find a photo of that.

18 posted on 11/20/2002 8:01:39 PM PST by txhurl
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To: VadeRetro
This article shows early humans and giant hyaenas co-existing in China...
Out of Africa and into Asia

Bernard Wood and Alan Turner

        Few doubt that Africa was the birthplace of the hominid lineage, but there is no equivalent consensus about when hominids first moved out of that continent. Despite the announcement of early dates for a juvenile Homo erectus from Indonesia1, the circumstances surrounding the recovery of many of the fossil hominids from the island will always hinder attempts to date them. Thus the excavation of hominid remains, in combination with crudely fashioned artefacts in what are claimed to be early Pleistocene deposits at Longgupo Cave in central China (Huang and co-workers, page 275 of this issue2), is of major importance. Most notably, the remains lend support to the idea3 that representatives of the hominid lineage were established in mainland Asia as early as about 1.9 million years (Myr) ago.

        Africa has been the focus for research into human evolutionary history for the past three decades, but it was not always thus. A century ago, space in the correspondence column of Nature was regularly claimed to debate the significance of the finds Eugene Dubois had made, eginning in 1891, at Trinil in Indonesia. Although initially allocated to Pithecanthropus erectus, the species distinction of the Trinil hominid has survived but the genus has long since been sunk into Homo.

        Two decades later, excavations were instigated by the Canadian anatomist Davidson Black in the cave deposits at Choukoutien, now called Zhoukoudian, and the first of the series of remains of what became known as ‘Peking Man’ was discovered. Despite being allocated to a new genus and species, their affinities with the hominids from Trinil, and with similar material that was subsequently recovered at Sangiran, also in Indonesia, was evident, and the Chinese remains have also been subsumed within H. erectus. There have been sporadic attempts to demonstrate both that the hominid remains from the Indonesian sites are from more than one species4,5,and that they include specimens that should be allocated to Australopithecus6 or Paranthropus7, and thus to an earlier, more primitive phase of hominid evolution. But none of these claims has survived close scrutiny8. Likewise, until recently there has been little compelling evidence to suggest that any of the Asian hominid sites were yielding hominids more than one million years old3.

        The importance of the material from Longgupo Cave is twofold. Not only does it support an early date for the hominid occupation of Asia, but the morphological details of the admittedly fragmentary fossil evidence also means that it may represent not H. erectus but a more primitive species akin to H. ergaster, thus far known only from Africa.

        Of course, dating the material is crucial to the argument. Longgupo Cave has several lines of evidence, none of them contradictory. Paleomagnetic stratigraphy shows a reversed polarity for most of the sediments, with the hominid fossils and lithic items associated with the lower of two normal events and therefore referred to the Olduvai magnetic event. The magnetic evidence is broadly supported by analysis of tooth enamel from the sediments, using electron spin resonance, which gives a minimum age of 0.75 ± 0.09 Myr based on an early uranium uptake model. It could be argued that the normal magnetic event associated with the material is therefore likely to be Jaramillo, but the associated mammalian fauna is really too archaic and point instead to the earlier Olduvai event. Of particular interest here is the presence of Nestoritherium, a genus of the family Chalicotheriidae, an extinct, bizarre, claw-hoofed member of the Perissodactyla, today represented by tapirs, rhinos and horses.

        The lithic items identified as primitive stone tools do seem to be exotic, and they are notably larger than the rest of the sediments. They look as much like stone tools as anything of this age ever does, and they fall into the category of items in finer sediment deposits that, as Gamble9 has pointed out, tend to categorize genuine archaeological assemblages as opposed to naturally bashed stones. Moreover, the uneroded state of the bone in clay facies channels is consistent with primary deposition rather than intrusive burial. But we are unlikely to be dealing with a site of hominid occupation. The giant hyaena, Pachycrocuta, is a perfectly plausible agent of accumulation10 (it is less likely that the sabre-toothed Homotherium did much bone destroying).

        The authors draw attention to the presence of Gigantopithecus, a large, gorilla-like and presumably herbivorous primate, in the same level as the hominid fossils, and stress that this is the third such co-occurrence at Asian localities over a time span of some 1 Myr. Such co-occurrences are always intriguing, but the evidence of hyaena activity reduces the likelihood that Gigantopithecus was prey to the more advanced hominid. The remaining elements of the mammalian fauna at Longgupo shed little light on the local environment of the site, although both woodland and more open-country taxa seem to be represented.

        The hominid remains -- part of the left side of an adult mandible and an isolated upper incisor -- are meagre pickings froma taxonomic point of view. However, the mandibular fragment includes both the crown and the root of a premolar tooth (P4), and they provide the best evidence about the affinities of the material. The crowns of the P4 teeth of H. erectus are generally relatively simple and the teeth are usually single-rooted, like those of modern humans. In contrast, the Longgupo P4 root is bifid for most of its length. This, and other features of the mandible and the dentition, suggest that the Longgupo hominid may be much more primitive than H. erectus11. This opens up the possibility that the first hominid to leave Africa was at least as primitive as H. ergaster12, and implies that H. erectus may have evolved within Asia and then spread back into Europe and Africa.

        In terms of overall patters of mamalian movement, there is nothing inherently implausible about the age of the material and the implications that it holds for human dispersions from Africa. Hominid remains and lithic items from Dmanisi13 in Georgia point to at least an initial presence at the gates of Europe by around the same time as the age of the Longgupo evidence. And it is clear that a Late Pliocene dispersion across Arabia, probably via the Levant, and perhaps through the Bab-el-Mandab straits, was possible for several mammalian taxa14,15, while the presence of hominids in the Levant itself by 1.4 Myr ago is evident at the Israeli site of ‘Ubeidiya14. The new report from Huang et al. adds weight to other, less well-substantiated claims that hominids travelled even further, and occupied China in the latest Pleistocene some 1.9 Myr ago.


longmap.jpg The evidence from Longgupo Cave in China, described by Huang et al.2 and discussed here, suggests that hominids were established in Asia just after two million years ago. Given the primitive nature of the premolar teeth, it seems that the first hominid to occupy Asia may not have been Homo erectus, but perhaps a variant of H. ergaster or even H. habilis.


Bernard Wood and Alan Turner are in the Department of Human Anatomy and Biology, The University of Liverpool, PO Box 147, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK.

LINK




19 posted on 11/20/2002 8:23:10 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: VadeRetro
oooh...yup, oooooh yup!!! oooooooohyup!!! Don't ever go into the forest at night alone, especially unarmed.
20 posted on 11/20/2002 8:25:25 PM PST by manfromlamancha
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To: VadeRetro
I'm envisioning a Far Side cartoon ......
21 posted on 11/20/2002 8:26:33 PM PST by Rainmist
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To: VadeRetro
Yikes!

A composite image of the skulls of Pachycrocuta and H. erectus, left,shows how the giant hyena may have attacked the face. Beneath is a disgorged piece of an H. erectus thighbone.

 

The pattern of damage on some of the skulls sheds light on how hyenas may have handled them. Bite marks on the brow ridge above the eyes indicate that this protrusion had been grasped and bitten by an animal in the course of chewing off the face. Most animals' facial bones are quite thin, and modern hyenas frequently attack or bite the face first; similarly, their ancient predecessors would likely have discovered this vulnerable region in H. erectus. Practically no such facial bones, whose structure is known to us from discoveries at other sites, have been found in the Longgushan cave.

The rest of the skull is a pretty tough nut to crack, however, even for Pachycrocuta, since it consists of bones half again as thick as those of a modern human, with massive mounds called tori above the eyes and ears and around the back of the skull. Puncture marks and elongated bite marks around the skulls reveal that the hyenas gnawed at and grappled with them, probably in an effort to crack open the cranium and consume the tasty, lipid-rich brain. We concluded that the hyenas probably succeeded best by chewing through the face, gaining a purchase on the bone surrounding the foramen magnum (the opening in the cranium where the spinal cord enters), and then gnawing away until the skull vault cracked apart or the opening was large enough to expose the brain. This is how we believe the skull bases were destroyed - not by the actions of cannibalistic H. erectus.
LINK



22 posted on 11/20/2002 8:32:31 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: VadeRetro
The Bering Land Bridge that the first Americans crossed into the New World from Siberia had been there for thousands of years before those first immigrants arrived, most likely around 12,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence suggests the bridge surfaced repeatedly for at least 40,000 years as seawater became trapped in glaciers during the last Ice Age.

Maybe there were very short periods of time, like at the end of last glaciation, when the Bering Land Bridge existed and there was a path clear of glaciers into the interior of the North American Continent.

23 posted on 11/20/2002 8:37:33 PM PST by Mike Darancette
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To: Sabertooth
For some reason the atmospherics and imagination piques of our scenario here are very fascinating, and I wish I could go back in time to investigate this.

'Course, what was probably really happening was something out of John Carpenter's The Thing, so maybe I don't wanna go.....

24 posted on 11/20/2002 8:40:42 PM PST by txhurl
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To: BushMeister
I saw a Discovery Channel special that theorized that an enormous Grizzly-type bear is the culprit that munched on humans who crossed the land

I saw the same thing. It was the ancestor to the Kodiak, or related to it. It was bigger than a modern horse and could run up to 40 mph. The head, teeth and appetite were, of course, just as impressive.

25 posted on 11/20/2002 8:59:19 PM PST by muleskinner
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To: Thud
ping
26 posted on 11/20/2002 9:00:21 PM PST by Dark Wing
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To: VadeRetro
An excerpt from The World of the American Indian (National Geographic Society), that I mailed you, concering how one might deal with an animal as huge as the hyena Sabertooth has provided pics of:

Boxtraps made of rock, pitfalls dug in snow, and deadfall traps caught larger animals such as foxes, wolves - even a few caribou. To catch a wolf, Eskimos occasionally used what one explored called 'the most fiendish trap ever devised' - sharpened splinters of caribou bone set into ice and smeared with blood and fat. When a wolf licked the bait, it slashed its tongue, and, goaded by the taste of its own fresh blood, kept lapping until it bled to death.

Something that huge, I can't see taking down with ones' hands or even spears, hunting them in a group!

27 posted on 11/20/2002 9:11:35 PM PST by txhurl
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To: Sabertooth
Hyena the size of a bear! Oh, my!
28 posted on 11/21/2002 7:24:09 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: txflake
That, and maybe some kind of poisoning. (Although poisoning's pretty indiscriminate by comparison.)

I wouldn't want to have to handle such critters by low-tech means. Give me something center-fire, accurate, and non-jamming.

29 posted on 11/21/2002 7:26:31 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: thefactor; aculeus; blam
Big Bite Ping
30 posted on 11/21/2002 7:31:50 AM PST by Pharmboy
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To: Sabertooth
Interesting article. The idea of a multi-regional gene pool isn't dead.
31 posted on 11/21/2002 7:33:40 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: VadeRetro
Interesting article...

Follow the link, there's a bigger companion article posted with it.




32 posted on 11/21/2002 8:15:23 AM PST by Sabertooth
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To: blam
Hey, C'mere... You'll like this.
33 posted on 11/21/2002 8:22:56 AM PST by Cogadh na Sith
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To: blam
Ping.......
34 posted on 11/21/2002 8:25:28 AM PST by gnarledmaw
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To: Dog Gone
"I think it was probably something else, maybe something we can't ever discover through bone fragments. Maybe a religious taboo, or maybe it was simply tales from travelers saying that Alaska was no paradise. But it was something."

I like Turner and I like him a lot. However, you're letting him control the argument by agreeing with him on the 14k year date, which I don't.
How did the 80k year old Jomon and the less old Ainu get to Asia? (They came across Siberia, that's how.)

35 posted on 11/21/2002 2:56:27 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
I'm not familiar with either Jomon or Ainu, so I don't have an opinion on that. I don't think there's much doubt than man originated in Africa and that only much later did he make it to the Americas.

Whether that was 14k years ago or not is still subject to debate, and recently it's been a moving target. Regardless, it is only in the very recent past that it occurred, even if it was only 100,000 years ago.

The Bering land bridge is still the only mechanism which can explain a migration. Kon-tiki boats aren't very plausible for that, especially the earlier you get on the timeline.

36 posted on 11/21/2002 3:58:52 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
Calico: A 200,000-Year-Old Site In The Americas?
37 posted on 11/21/2002 4:09:28 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Artifact dating can be tough, especially if there is some question of whether they are even artifacts. But there is little doubt that scientists are often trapped by there preconceived notions of reality and working theories.

There is no reason that I know of that there couldn't have been several distinct waves of human migration to the Americas, preceding Clovis Man by thousands of years. They should have been more thoughtful, though, and left us some bones. ;-)

38 posted on 11/21/2002 4:33:11 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: muleskinner
"enormous Grizzly-type bear is the culprit that munched on humans who crossed the land"

I can see a point in that by looking at modern grizzlies who head to river shallows during salmon spawning season.

Ancient bears could have learned that during the short, warm summer, the land bridge would be ripe with two legged beasts.
39 posted on 11/21/2002 4:48:59 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Dog Gone
The Clovis man..... did not attack prey so much as herd and drive them over deepends, ravines... and even they only date out to 12K y.ago.....in NM.

This is nearly as an exciting evolutionary 'discovery' as T. Rex, and what a movie this would make... 'how to die as nastily as a great white attack but on land with a 40-pack.'

40 posted on 11/21/2002 8:02:34 PM PST by txhurl
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To: blam
How did the 80k year old Jomon and the less old Ainu get to Asia? (They came across Siberia, that's how.)

Maybe that was before the big hyenas showed up.

41 posted on 11/22/2002 11:55:49 AM PST by Cogadh na Sith
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To: VadeRetro
they have been known to drag a human hunter from a tent in Africa and crush his bones like toothpicks.

This happened in Africa within the past couple of years, only it wasn't a hunter that was dragged but a young boy from Baltimore, in Africa on some kind of Safari. I remember reading about it. His mother was on the trip, too, I think. The guides were not allowed to carry guns.

42 posted on 11/22/2002 12:04:54 PM PST by spiffy
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To: vbmoneyspender
plus if that's cold, with frozen glaciers as far as the eye can see, would you make a trip across the land bridge not knowing what was on the other side or if there even was another side?

Yeah, if the hyenas were after me ....

43 posted on 11/22/2002 12:16:13 PM PST by sphinx
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To: blam
I've got a pretty good idea what these dogs looked like:

From www.chowchow.org: Origin of the Chow Chow Scientific research indicates that the Chow Chow originated in China as long as 3,000 years ago, according to some canine historians. On the other hand, some scholars believe that the Chow came first from the Arctic Circle and then migrated to Mongolia, Siberia and China. The American kennel Club's publication The Complete Dog Book (1972) states that the Chow came about through a crossing of the old Mastiff of Tibet and the Samoyed from the northern parts of Siberia. However, other scholars claim that the Chow was the original ancestor of the Samoyed, the Norwegian Elk hound, the Pomeranian and the Keeshond. However, the following datum has been agreed on universally: the Chow as it is known today is easily recognizable in pottery and bas-relief sculpture of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to 220 A.D.); this period was marked by bureaucratic monarchy, a revival of litters and the introduction of Buddhism. It is said to be the era in which modern China was born. Other artifacts indicate that the Chow was a distinct breed in China as early as 1000 B.C., a conservative estimate, certainly.

Chows are very territorial, very protective of their owners and will try to hunt small animals (and kids). They used to be much larger than current AKC breeds and were used in war by the mongols--the Chinese called them 'bear-dogs'. They are the perhaps the oldest domesticated breed and the ancestor to all 'spitz type' dogs.

Chows have tremendously strong jaws, some of the strongest among canines, loose skin and lots of fur--a black tongue to collect heat on a siberian day...

Can you think of better a better domestic animal designed to ward off hyenas?.

Hmmmm, I have 3 chows (well, 2 1/2 really--one is part sneaky neighbor dog). They have all of the above characteristics--I should put on a show about hyenas and turn up the volume and see if they have any instinctual reaction to it....

44 posted on 11/22/2002 3:05:38 PM PST by Cogadh na Sith
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To: chookter
I had a Chow that had a multicolored tongue, pink and dark blue.
45 posted on 11/22/2002 3:12:31 PM PST by blam
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To: VadeRetro; blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 2Jedismom; ...
thanks VadeRetro. Blast from the Past to the ping list.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

46 posted on 10/11/2004 11:15:03 AM PDT by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: blam
If there were big hyenas, these people ate big hyena stew. Our ancestors went after Cave Bears. There were remains found in Italy(?) of a guy who had been mauled by a cave bear while looking for a fur coat.

The nastiest predator in the history of earth is us, if you want pest control give me a guy with a stone ax and a flint tipped spear.

47 posted on 10/11/2004 5:29:54 PM PDT by Little Bill (John F'n Kerry is a self promoting scumbag!)
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To: SunkenCiv

FGS

48 posted on 10/11/2004 7:47:26 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (ABCNNBCBS: An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.)
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To: ForGod'sSake

Eeeee!


49 posted on 10/11/2004 10:48:00 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: Dog Gone

Well it sure wasn't el presidente geo. BOOSH and his border patrol keeping them out...


50 posted on 02/03/2005 10:43:30 PM PST by dzzrtrock ("If you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat" (Ronaldus Magnus))
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