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19 Sep

View looking south of the Jebel Irhoud (Morocco) site.

The remaining deposits and several people excavating them are visible in the centre.

For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (Peer J) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

Stegodons are a commonly recovered extinct proboscidean (elephants and allies) from the Pleistocene record of Southeast Asian oceanic islands.

One of the most heavily debated topics however remains that of their extinction.

Neanderthals occupied an immense region of Eurasia, stretching from the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula to the hills of southern Siberia.

Stegodons (Stegodontidae: Proboscidea) were a widespread and diverse family of proboscideans dating from the late Miocene to the Late Pleistocene of Africa and Asia.

A Canadian research team has used a new uranium-lead (U-Pb) dating technique to show that a fossilised dinosaur bone found in New Mexico is only 64.8 million years old, meaning the creature was alive about 700,000 years after the mass extinction event that is believed to have wiped out all non-avian dinosaurs.

Questions regarding their adaptability, survival skills and cognition have been the focus of many researchers for decades.

The six dates obtained indicate the local presence of stegodons in Timor at or before 130 ka, significantly pre-dating the earliest evidence of humans on the island.

On the basis of current data, we find no evidence for significant environmental changes or the presence of modern humans in the region during that time.

The results have now been published in Geology, the journal of the Geological Society of America.

Uranium-235 has a half-life of over 700 million years, while uranium-238 has a half-life of about 4.5 billion years, similar to the age of the Earth itself.