Wandering About: Madrid (2008)

wandering about

OHHHH, I haven’t done one of these in a while!!! I had a good reason though, because in October I filled this blog with posts about South Korea and Japan, and I didn’t want to overwhelm everyone with traveling posts… But, it has been a while now, so I’m going back to this. Today I’ll share some pictures of Madrid (Spain).

Incredibly, even though I LIVE IN SPAIN, I’ve only been to Madrid once, and it was because I had a course/workshop there about Forensic Anthropology. I actually really loved the city, and I think I would rather live there than in Barcelona (though Barcelona is undoubtedly more beautiful).

I didn’t take much pictures, and I didn’t saw that much of the city because the course was 5 days (if I remember correctly), so I’ll show you some of the stuff that we saw during this workshop… 😀 (warning, you might be a bit creeped out).

Yep people, those are bones… human bones… In case you’re wondering, the skull had a lot of bone growth, some kind of bone cancer, most likely. And the last pic is a skeleton of a subadult individual.

Random observations: Bones

I haven’t seen Bones in a while, but today I decided that I might as well… so I watched the episode The Ghost in the Killer (S09E12). The whole episode is weird as hell, giving that Brennan doesn’t act like her at all and the cases aren’t solved. Still, Dr Clark Edison and Hodgins have some great moments on this episode. But the thing that really got to me, and this is within the first couple of minutes which meant I couldn’t think of anything else during the rest of the episode, was the lack of scientific accuracy. I know this is a tv show and they get some great things wrong, but at least with the bones they try a little…

I’m not even going to talk about the piles of bones that Brennan sets up, because as an Anthropologist, she wouldn’t do that, but mainly, look at her hands!!! I know this was a dream sequence, but are we to believe that Dr Brennan, always so cautious and proper with everything, would really dream that a totally clean set of bones would actually present itself as an articulated foot? COME ON!!!!

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When they do this when the skeletons get to the lab, I let it slide by… because maybe, for some miracle, the first articulations to go are somehow still present, and maybe it’s the mummified tissue… I’ll give it a pass… but clean bones? HELL NOOOO!!!!

Dmanisi Skull 5

The news of the day regarding science in general and Human Evolution specifically is the publication of a paper in Science about the fifth skull found in Dmanisi and its implications on the whole of the Human evolutionary tree.

Beautiful Skull Spurs Debate on Human History

An iconic new skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, dated to 1.8 million years ago, presents a new face for our genusHomo. The stunningly complete skull of an adult man has a surprisingly primitive, protruding upper jaw, and a tiny braincase. Combined with skulls found earlier at Dmanisi, it suggests that ancient people from the same time and place could look quite different from each other.

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The skull in question, found back in 2005, present mosaic characteristics, or, a mixture of features observed in, what until now were, different early humans classified as different species.

But now, the authors indicate that the 5 skulls found until now, with different features, can actually belong to the same species.

Together, our analyses suggest that Skull 5 and the other four early Homo [human] individuals from Dmanisi represent the full range of variation within a single species.

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Rare skull sparks human evolution controversy

The authors indicate that the Dmanasi’s inhabitants could be part of a single human lineage, also including several earlier human species classified as something other that Homo erectusLordkipanidze and colleagues place these Dmanisi’s individuals in a single lineage of early humans that may stretch back as far as 2.4 million years ago in East Africa, when the first human species, Homo habilis, arose. This explanation would group the various human species that have been named during early Homo history into a single evolving species connecting Homo habilis to the Dmanisi humans, and to Homo erectus as it expanded across Eurasia.

We think that many African fossils can be lumped in this category and aligned with the single-lineage hypothesis.

So now, naturally, the controversy starts. It’s well known that not all researchers agree with the divisions of the Homo genus as they were until now, but they will likely not like the new proposal either, that proposes the fusing of what was thought to be several different species.

Dmanisi Skull: Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus Belonged To The Same Species – Study