Posts tagged "anthropocene"
At the end of the last ice age, around 11,500 years ago, our planet entered the Holocene, an epoch of climatic stability and warmth. People came out of their caves and took advantage of the new conditions; they started farming and settling in villages and towns, which led to development of cultures and the rise of entire civilizations.
However, since the industrial revolution, human activity has accelerated and become so profound and global that many scientists think we have pushed the planet across a new geological boundary, into what some are calling the Anthropocene (which literally means the “age of man”). Now geologists are considering whether to formally define the new age, recognizing it in the same way as the Jurassic, Cambrian, or Holocene.
The photo is of Bingham Mine, the world’s largest open pit mine (copper), located outside of Salt Lake City and clearly visible from the International Space Station. Is is still growing and in operation today.
This is “Mrs. Ples”, the most famous example of Australopithecus africanus from Sterkfontein cave in South Africa. Researchers studying the diet of human ancestors who lived two million years ago in southern Africa have unexpectedly come across a crucial clue to their social structure. By analyzing fossil teeth of australopithecines in Africa, scientists found that the males stayed close to home, while the females dispersed after puberty, just like chimpanzees!