[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: What would Hitchcock have thought...?
This might help explain the traditional Native American stories of
giant raptors that carried off folks to their nests, until now
thought to be fanciful tales.
Many stories tell of giant predatory birds that were feared in the
distant past before present-day humans. I found such tales among the
Crow, Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Yakima, and Yaqui of Sonora, Mexico, and
an ancient petroglyph in Arizona appears to depict a giant bird
carrying a struggling human in its beak. (For details and
illustrations by paleo-artist Rick Spears and others, plus the rock
art, see my "Fossil Legends of the First Americans.")
This new discovery in South Africa proves that the idea of giant
birds preying on early humans is not mere myth (birds were bigger
then, and humans smaller). And it supports the controversial notion
that some giant raptor-bird traditions represent ancestral memories
of teratorns and other giant raptors that overlapped with early
humans. The tales could also have been based on discoveries of the
fossil or mummified remains of huge raptor-birds.
The Yaqui story can be traced back to pre-Columbian times, and
appears to conflate ancestral memory supported by more recent fossil
finds. The Yaqui story of "The Monter Bird of Skeleton Mountain"
describes the discovery of the remains of a giant bird that used to
prey on people in very primitive times, when they still lived in
shelters made of sticks. The Yaqui found the giant bird skeleton by
digging a pit on a hillside with rich Pleistocene deposits.
On Jan 13, 2006, at 8:49 AM, Tim Williams wrote:
Dinosaur-related, insofar as one lineage of theropods hunted our
primate ancestors long after the K/T extinction...
(This report has been doing the rounds on the Internet, and this is
just one version).
"Stone Age whodunit is solved
A TWO-million-year-old murder mystery has been solved - and it
reveals that our ancestors were hunted by huge birds of prey.
New research shows that one such bird killed the so-called Taung
Child, whose ape-like skull, unearthed in South Africa in 1924, is
famed as one of the most important human evolutionary finds."
The article will apparently feature in an upcoming issue of American
Journal of Physical Anthropology, but it's not yet mentioned at the