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New Find Pushes Age of Stone Tools Back A Million Years

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 01:49 PM
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New Find Pushes Age of Stone Tools Back A Million Years
By Jess McNally August 11, 2010



The genus Homo is no longer the sole primate lineage known to have used stone tools to consume the meat of large mammals. New research pushes that skill back nearly a million years.

Large fossilized animal bones with ends shattered for sucking out marrow and cut marks deliberately made with sharp stone tools have been found just a few hundred feet from a previously uncovered Australopithecus aferensis skeleton. The bones are roughly 3.4 million years old, and connect the earliest evidence for using stone tools and eating large game to our Lucy-like ancestors.

Previously, the earliest evidence for using tools to cut the meat off large animals was attributed to early Homo in the Gona region of Ethiopia around 2.5 million years ago. This find from a different region in Ethiopia, Dikika, shows the behavior was around at least a million years earlier.

It means almost everything to be able to use stone tools, said paleontologist Zeray Alemseged of the California Academy of Sciences, co-author of the discovery announced August 12 in Nature. The picture that were going to paint of Australopithecus is being transformed completely. We can now imagine them walking around carrying their tools. Tools that were the precursor of every tool that we have today.



Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/08/oldest-tool-u...
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. "Get the right tool for the job." - Mr. N
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 01:53 PM by SpiralHawk
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. +1 for you and recommend for the OP. Nt
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. lol...we could use some of that wisdom now more than ever
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edgineered Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. Those 6,000 year old primates were very crafty indeed to be antiquing
their tools and all.

I can almost hear the sales pitch at the worlds first flea market:

Adam, "Yes, Abel, this particular studded club has a long history. Notice how the scrapings from where the dinosaur plates have acquired a nice patina."

Abel, "Wow, Dad! When did you make this?"

Adam, "No, son, I did not make this one. Your grandfather, whom God first thought of creating, had this design in mind and God antiqued it himself."
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uncommon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. lmao
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Hey, if Cain and Abel were the only 2 sons of Adam and Eve, then
who did they marry? I mean, there weren't any other people? Adam and Eve were the first people. They had 2 sons. Where did the sons find wives?

Could there be a factual problem here with the Bible? Or do I just need more, um, faith and less reason?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. They also had a son Seth
And several daughters. Ewww.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. While this is intriguiging, it doesn't demonstrate that they used "tools"
That is, implements altered to do what they did with them. As the article says, it's not clear whether these are actually tools, or whether the Austra's picked up already-sharp rocks (which we already know many primates and even otters do).
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Well as Chimpanzees use tools, this would come as no surprise to me.
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 02:24 PM by Uncle Joe
I would expect Homo predecessors to do likewise.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Except they don't use *tools*, they use implements
Tools are fabricated to be useful; implements are found. Chimpanzees use implements (so do otters and some other animals). It is not yet known if any non-humans make tools as opposed to finding implements; this is a possible example but we would have to find the rocks to know.

Heh heh... I said "tool"...
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Chimpanzees have looked for and manipulated or altered their "implements"
I view this as crude tool making in the same light as chipping rocks.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is why Science needs to acknowledge the supremacy of Religion
If they followed Religion's example, they would never have to revise any of their views or beliefs. That nasty old bone could just be ignored, and their previous statement that Australopithecines never made stone tools would not have to be reconsidered.
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foxfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
8. Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel and Ron Popeil.
I had no idea Popeil is that old.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
11. Impossible. All primates were vegans until humans invented religion.
I read it on teh Interwebz.
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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
15. McCain obviously used this tool when he
decided long ago to pick Sarah Palin.
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