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Re: Favorite Paleotrivia?

On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 11:59 AM, Tommy Tyrberg
<tommy.tyrberg@norrkoping.mail.telia.com> wrote:
> The last primate in North America is called Ekgmowechashala, which means
> "small fox-man" in Lakotah


Not only is a certain ape species doing very well here, but there are
also plenty of platyrrhines in Central America, which, although people
tend to forget, is part of North America. There is also an introduced
population of rhesus macaques in Florida. Furthemore, isn't it
debatable as to whether _Ekgmowechashala_ is a primate or a

You could say it was the last known Nearctic pre-human member of the
primate total group, but that's almost as much of a mouthful as its

> A Neanderthal skull was found in Gibraltar in 1848, 8 years before the
> find in Neanderthal, but ended up unstudied in a museum drawer, so it
> became Neanderthal man rather than Gibraltar man. Ironically recent
> excavations suggest that Gibraltar was one of the very last places where
> Neanderthals survived. The 1848 skull may also be the only fossil ever
> to appear on a coin (1 pound Gibraltar 2001).

The story behind the name "Neanderthal" is kind of fun, too. (The
valley is named after Joachim Neander, whose last name is Greek for
"new man", being a Hellenization of the German surname "Neumann",
meaning the same. So, by sheer coincidence, "Neanderthal" means
"valley of the new man".)

> An egg of the extinct Madagascar ratite Aepyornis has been found in West
> Australia. Opinion is divided whether it floated there, or was brought
> by humans in prehistoric times. Both seem unlikely.

Wow! Got a reference for that?

> Fossils of the marine protozoan genus Nummulites (a single-celled
> organism) are up to 15 cm across, making them larger than many fossil
> birds and mammals (I don't think there are any dinosaurs that small?)

Well, the fossil birds are dinosaurs, so....
T. Michael Keesey
Technical Consultant and Developer, Internet Technologies
Glendale, California