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Re: "Mammoths, dinosaurs once roamed Arabia"
The Asian Elephant is only known from Northern Syria and the Taurus -
Zagros foothills in the Middle East as far as I know. The last known
records are from the Persian period, so Hannibal seems very late.
In Yemen African Elephant might also be possible, there are a number of
african forms in the Yemen-Dhofar highlands and the area is sometimes
counted as a part of the Afrotropic region.
At 12:18 2007-03-14, evelyn sobielski wrote:
> A fourth century mammoth? Surely an elephant-like
> jaw from 4th century
> deposits is more likely to be... an elephant?!
> I thought the latest surviving mammoths were the
> dwarfs known from islands
> in the Arctic circle, dating to between 3000 and
> 4000 years ago. So 'fourth
> millenium BC' might be possible (but not, seemingly,
> in Yemen).
An Asian elephant jaw maybe? Would parallel the
ostrich's range reduction (but predate it due to
larger territory/MVP size, obviously) due to
aridification of the inner Arabian Peninsula. In
250BC, the Asian elephant had an isolated relict
population in Syria (Hannibal's lead elephant - and
apparently only that one - was named "The Syrian").
The Asian ostrich's relict population disappeared from
the southern coast of the peninsula first, then the
Gulf coast (where obviously there is not enough
elephant habitat), then the Near East (Jordan/Syria);
it was gone in historic times from the interior of the
Peninsula. This fits the amount of remaining habitat
after desertification rather well, with the
populations' sizes (and their resiliance to hunting)
being a rather direct consequence.
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