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About this product Product Information So much the same yet so different, the nine Spanish-Speaking nations of South America are united by similar cultural themes yet differentiated by ethnicity and race, degree of European immigration, geographical influences, and temperament. Skye Stephenson weaves the dual threads of Spanish political and religious history, often referred to as the sword and the cross, into a tapestry of cultural insights for these diverse countries: personalisimo, class, gender, identity, dignity, the importance of appearances, and more.
These insights are then applied to the workplace as well as to personal relationships. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. Pre-owned Pre-owned. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best Selling in Nonfiction See all. Permanent Record by Edward Snowden , Hardcover 1. Open Borders Inc. Equus occupied North America for the entire Pleistocene epoch, from about 2. Scientists believe Equus crossed the Bering land bridge around the beginning of the epoch.
Some made it as far as Africa to evolve into the zebras we know today.
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Others moved across Asia, the Middle East and northern Africa, evolving into the onagers and wild asses of today, both well suited to desert environments. Still others spread across Asia, the Middle East and Europe, evolving into the true horse, Equus caballus. North America remained home to Equus species for most of the next 2. On latest evidence, that was just years ago. Their extinction came quickly, as it did for many other large mammals on the continent. Artifacts from the first Americans, known as the Clovis, cast some light on the relationship of these people with the horse.
Biochemical analysis showed that some of the 13,year-old implements were used to butcher ice-age camels and horses. The University of Colorado study was the first to identify protein residue from extinct camels on North American stone tools and only the second to identify horse protein residue on a Clovis-age tool.
A third tool tested positive for sheep and a fourth for bear.
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All 83 artifacts were shipped to anthropology professor Robert Yohe, of the Laboratory of Archaeological Science at California State, Bakersfield, for the protein residue tests. Anthropology professor Douglas Bamforth, who led the study, said the discovery of horse and camel protein on the tools was the clincher for him that the tools were of Clovis origin. The artifacts that showed animal protein residues were each tested three times to ensure accuracy.
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Evidence of early Americans hunting horses had earlier been uncovered by University of Calgary scientists, who discovered the remains of a pony-sized horse while excavating the dry bed of the St Mary Reservoir in southern Alberta. About metres from the skeleton, they found several Clovis spearheads. Protein residue testing and examination confirmed they had been used to hunt horse. So does evidence of horse hunting place humans in the frame as being responsible for horse extinction? The weight of evidence suggests not. One compelling argument centres around the timeline: that the comparatively few humans were unlikely to have played a major part in the demise of a species that was already in decline from climate and vegetation change.
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That said, recent discoveries point to a rather longer overlap during which both horses and humans lived in North America. Some scientists had earlier believed the evidence pointed to horses dying out some years before the arrival of the first humans — a view since disproved by the discovery of horse protein on Clovis tools. However, statistical analysis by Andrew Solow, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, offered a different view on the possible role of humans. He explored the radiocarbon dating of the 24 most recent known ancient horse fossils. His analysis indicated the ancient horses of Alaska could have persisted until perhaps 11, years ago, providing an overlap of several hundred years.
It was, he suggested, impossible to rule out human hunting as a cause or major contributing factor to North American horse extinction. Horses, the evidence now suggests, may have survived in North America until years ago — some years longer than previously thought. The new timeline suggests an overlap with human habitation approaching years. Researchers who removed ancient DNA of horses and mammoths from permanently frozen soil in central Alaskan permafrost dated the material at between and 10, years old. The findings suggested populations of these now-extinct mammals endured longer in the continental interior of North America, challenging the conventional view that these and other large species disappeared about 12, years ago.
It is possible the researchers unearthed the tiny genetic footprint of the last few hundred ancient horses to roam North America.
MacPhee and his colleagues decided that the permafrost around wind-blown Stevens Village, on the banks of the Yukon River, fitted the bill perfectly. Cores collected provided a clear picture of the local Alaskan fauna at the end of the last ice age. The oldest sediments, dated to about 11, years ago, contained remnant DNA of Arctic hare, bison, and moose; all three animals were also found in higher, more recent layers, as would be expected. But one core, deposited between and 10, years ago, confirmed the presence of both mammoth and horse DNA.
To make certain there was no contamination, the team did extensive surface sampling around Stevens Village. No DNA evidence of mammoth, horse, or other extinct species was found in modern samples, a result that supports previous studies which have shown that DNA degrades rapidly when exposed to sunlight and various chemical reactions. His team also developed a statistical model to show that mammoth and horse populations would have dwindled to a few hundred individuals by years ago.
Why then, with such a substantial overlap in human and horse habitation, does the weight of evidence rest elsewhere? The fossil record indicates that major changes in climate and vegetation at the end of the Pleistocene may have been the last nail in the coffin for the horse. Extinction is not a rare event among life on Earth.
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In fact, the vast majority of species that have inhabited the planet are now extinct. While the extinctions around the late Pleistocene saw the end to mammoths, giant sloths, horses and the like in the Americas, the extinction rate of North American mammals actually reached its highest level some six million years ago, resulting in the demise of about 60 genera.
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Several species of horses were driven to extinction at that time. Evidence of climate change and the resulting change of vegetation is considered the most likely cause for horse extinction, but investigations by Johns Hopkins paleobiologist Steven Stanley may have pinned down the cause even more specifically. Stanley, a professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, looked at the findings of other scientists and found evidence that it was the grittier nature of grass that may have caused the demise of equine species.
About 13 million years ago, the 15 or so species of horses in North America were split between those with long teeth and those with shorter teeth. Also at that time, a few new species emerged that had very long teeth. Grasses have a gritty compound called silica, which is contained in sand and is used to make glass. As animals chew grass, the silica wears down their teeth. As grasslands expanded, the horses with long teeth lived longer because they were best adapted to eating grasses instead of leaves.
Living longer enabled them to produce enough offspring to guarantee survival of their species and the evolution of new species. By 11 million years ago, only the horses especially adapted to eating grasses — those with longer teeth — were surviving in North America. The conventional wisdom has suggested that the long-toothed horses disappeared because of expanding grasses.
Meanwhile, other scientists had discovered that, as the climate became dryer and cooler, a different type of grass began to dominate North America.
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Those grasses, known as C4 grasses, which thrive in dryer climates, replaced many of the previously dominant grasses, known as C3 grasses. His hunch proved correct. Stanley found that, on average, C4 grasses contained about three times as many of the silica particles as do C3 grasses. Maybe it lived 10 years on average and produced enough colts to reproduce the species.