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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.
Adrienne Mayor

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).

http://smh.com.au/news/science/stone-age-whodunit-is-solved/ 2006/01/13/1137118970126.html

"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 journal site.