2 December 2021 The Future is the Product of the Past

18,000 years ago, late Pleistocene humans may have hatched and raised the “World’s Most Dangerous Bird.”

Researchers say the eggshell is an understudied archaeological material that has the potential to clarify past interactions between humans and birds. However, humans may have been hatching and raising young cassowaries, one of the world’s most deadly birds, as early as 18,000 years ago.

After examining eggshells recovered in two locations in New Guinea, the researchers published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

New Guinea is a significant case study for understanding forager influences on forest landscapes over long periods. Humans had arrived in the area at least 42,000 years ago, and the early population comprised fast exploration of highland habitats.

Although there is evidence that people coexisted with megafaunas like enormous kangaroos, huge wombats, thylacines, and cassowaries for millennia, it is unknown to what degree these animals were a target of early hunting.

Cassowaries are distrustful of humans, yet if provoked, they may cause serious, even deadly, damage to both dogs and humans. The cassowary is frequently referred to as "the world's most deadly bird."
Cassowaries are distrustful of humans, yet if provoked, they may cause serious, even deadly, damage to both dogs and humans. The cassowary is frequently referred to as “the world’s most deadly bird.”

“We investigated how rainforest hunter-gatherers managed resources in montane New Guinea and present some of the earliest documentation of Late Pleistocene through mid-Holocene exploitation of cassowaries,” stated Kristina Douglass, an anthropologist from Pennsylvania State University, and her colleagues.

The discovery may be the earliest example of humans managing avian breeding, thousands of years before the chicken was domesticated.

The scientists looked to legacy eggshell samples from two New Guinea sites, Yuku and Kiowa.

The researchers developed a new method to determine how old a chick embryo was when an egg was harvested.

“I’ve worked on eggshells from archaeological sites for many years. I discovered research on turkey eggshells that showed changes in the eggshells over the course of development that was an indication of age. I decided this would be a useful approach,” Dr. Douglass explained.

The researchers used their method on a total of 1,019 pieces of 18,000- to 6,000-year-old eggs.

A cassowary chick
A cassowary chick.

“What we found was that a large majority of the eggshells were harvested during late stages,” Dr. Douglass said.

“The eggshells look very late; the pattern is not random. They were either into eating baluts (a nearly developed embryo chick usually boiled and eaten as street food in parts of Asia) or they are hatching chicks.”

The few cassowary bones found at the sites are only those of the meaty portions — leg and thigh — suggesting these were hunted birds, processed in the wild, and only the meatiest parts got hauled home.

“We also looked at burning on the eggshells. There are enough samples of late-stage eggshells that do not show burning that we can say they were hatching and not eating them”  Dr. Douglass said.

To successfully hatch and raise cassowary chicks, the people would need to know where the nests were, know when the eggs were laid, and remove them from the nest just before hatching.

“Back in the Late Pleistocene, humans were purposefully collecting these eggs and this study suggests people were not just harvesting eggs to eat the contents,” Dr. Douglass said.

Finally, Dr. Douglass added: “This really should expand our thinking about domestication as a spectrum. It should get us to think about other examples that may be out there of how people developed these kinds of relationships with animals that are more intimate than we might have guessed at really early times in our history,”

PENN STATE UNİVERSİTY

Banner
Related Post

Archaeologists discovered 130 dwellings around the Ringheiligtum Pömmelte monument “German Stonehenge”

15 June 2021

15 June 2021

Archaeologists have unearthed 130 dwellings at an Early Bronze Age monument in Germany, indicating that the ‘Stonehenge’ was once home...

According to researchers, the bones discovered underneath St. Peter’s Basilica may not be his

5 June 2021

5 June 2021

Three Italian researchers have voiced doubts about whether St. Peter’s bones are buried underneath the Rome basilica that bears his...

Interesting discovery at Crowland digs, a human poo from the Saxon period or coprolite found

16 August 2021

16 August 2021

Excavations in Abbey Church Field in Crowland, near Peterborough, have also yielded such amazing finds results for archaeologists. The archaeological...

New Evidence could Change the Date People First Arrived in North America

2 June 2021

2 June 2021

While investigating the origins of agriculture, researchers made an unexpected discovery. According to an unexpected finding made by an Iowa...

Al-Aqiser Church, Disappears in the Depths of The Iraqi Desert

10 May 2021

10 May 2021

In a country that has been devastated by successive conflicts and economic crises, Al-Aqiser, like the numerous Christian, Islamic and...

Archaeologists uncovered an Aztec altar with human ashes in Mexico City

1 December 2021

1 December 2021

Archaeologists in Mexico have discovered a 16th-century altar in Plaza Garibaldi, the center in Mexico City famous for its revelry...

The human remains of 29 people buried as offerings in a pre-Inca temple were found at the Huaca Santa Rosa de Pucalá excavation site

23 October 2021

23 October 2021

The human remains of 29 people buried as sacrificial offerings have been discovered in a pre-Inca temple in northern Peru....

Archaeologists Find Ornate Roman Domūs in Nimes

25 February 2021

25 February 2021

Archaeologists conducting archaeological excavations in the French city of Nimes have discovered the remains of two high-status Roman domus (houses)....

In Poland’s “Death Valley,” new evidence of Nazi atrocities

18 August 2021

18 August 2021

In October 1939, between 30,000 and 35,000 Polish intellectuals, Polish civilians, Jews and Czechs, and German prisoners from psychiatric institutions...

Archaeologists find an Anglo-Saxon church at Stoke Mandeville excavation site

13 September 2021

13 September 2021

Archaeologists working on the HS2 project found the remains of an Anglo-Saxon church during their excavations at the former St...

Scientists Use Artificial İntelligence to Study Ancient Australian Rock Art

1 April 2021

1 April 2021

Rock art is the oldest surviving human art form. Throughout Australia, petroglyphs are part of the life and customs of...

World’s Smallest Stegosaurus Track Found

14 March 2021

14 March 2021

The smallest trace of stegosaurus in the world that lived 155 million years ago was found. Stegosaurus, a herbivorous dinosaur,...

A rare treasure with ornaments nearly a thousand years old was discovered in Staraya Ryazan, Russia

18 August 2021

18 August 2021

During expeditions of the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a rare treasure with ornaments of about...

Viking Family identified using New DNA Technology

9 June 2021

9 June 2021

Researchers were able to confirm the connection between two Viking remains discovered in Denmark and England thanks to new DNA...

International Sand Sculpture Festival Opens with the Theme “The Lost City of Atlantis”

6 May 2021

6 May 2021

The 16th edition of the International Sand Sculpture Festival (SANDLAND) has begun in Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya. Every...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *