Scientists: Mysterious Kennewick Man looked Polynesian and came from far away

The mysterious Kennewick Man, who died 9,000 years ago in the Columbia River Valley, was a seal hunter who rambled far and wide with a projectile point lodged in his hip, five broken ribs that never healed properly, two small dents in his skull and a bum shoulder from the repetitive stress of throwing spears.

He came from somewhere far away, far up the Pacific Northwest coast, possibly Alaska or the Aleutian Islands. He might even have come to North America all the way from Asia.

That’s the argument of the editors of a new, 688-page, peer-reviewed book, “Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton,” that will be published this fall by Texas A&M University Press.

Bilingual children ‘show advantage’ in noisy classrooms

By Judith Burns
Education reporter, BBC News
14 October 2014
From the section Education & Family

Children fluent in two languages learn better in noisy classrooms than pupils who speak just one, research suggests.
Bilingual and monolingual pupils at a Cambridge primary school were asked to “identify the bad animal’ in a series of recorded statements.
When another voice interrupted the statements, the bilingual children coped best, the study found.

Read the full article below:

Captive Orcas Learn To Speak Dolphin

Although many species communicate acoustically, the vast majority of animals use a genetically innate repertoire of sounds to exchange information. But some species, including humans, are capable of imitating sounds and adding it to their own repertoire, a process known as vocal learning. It is thought that the acquisition of this ability may have been a first step in the evolution of human language.

Although this trait is extremely rare, it is not unique to humans and has been discovered in 6 groups of animals: 3 groups of birds and 3 groups of mammals. Now, thanks to new research, we know that killer whales are capable of cross-species vocal learning. When socialized with bottlenose dolphins in captivity, the team discovered that they transitioned from their typical vocalizations and emitted more dolphin-like noises. According to the researchers, this suggests that cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises) may use this trait to facilitate social interactions. The work has been published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

Read the full article below:

How Linguists Are Pulling Apart the Bering Strait Theory

Alex Ewen

Over the past few weeks, new scientific discoveries have rekindled the debate over the Bering Strait Theory. Two of the discoveries were covered recently in Indian Country Today. The first “More Reasons to Doubt the Bering Strait Migration Theory,” dealt with the growing problem of “science by press release,” as scientific studies hype their conclusions to the point that they are misleading; and the second, “DNA Politics: Anzick Child Casts Doubt on Bering Strait Theory,” discussed how politics can influence science, and the negative effects these politically-based scientific results can have on Native peoples.


New map reveals aboriginal knowledge

ABC Rural
By Cherie McDonald

Updated Wed 28 May 2014, 9:28am AEST

It’s hoped a world-first map recording Aboriginal knowledge will give Australian researchers and landholders a greater understanding of the environment.

The online map, curated by the Indigenous Biocultural Knowledge working group, aims to convert ancient oral knowledge about Australia into an accessible visual and literary format.

Griffith University anthropologist and ethnobiologist Dr Philip Clarke, who was a participant in the working group, says the map will help researchers access little-known Indigenous biocultural knowledge.

“It’s a funny thing to map indigenous biocultural knowledge,” says Dr Clarke.

“The Aboriginal tradition is a set of experiences and perspectives, handed down orally, whereas this map is literature-based.

“Indigenous people see the environment, not just in isolation, but as part of society. The flowering of a certain plant, for example, will tell them that fish are now running in the river.”
Dr Philip Clarke, anthropologist and ethnobiologist
“But the map will point people, whether they are involved in managing a station or a national park, whether they be students or researchers, towards where they will be able to get written records of important traditional information.”

Access full article& media below: