Iberianature Forum

Could Modern African Elephants be considered to be also an animal native to Iber

  • 59 Replies
  • 36768 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jill

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 494
    • Jill Dickin Schinas
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2008, 19:50 PM »
The Egyptian painting sounds intriguing, SueMac. I love the idea of dinky little elephants - but I guess it could just be a solid gold elephant, or something of that sort; a work of art, rather than a real animal.

The Ebbsfleet find is wonderful, but not entirely unique. (eg. There have been similar, less spectacular finds in Sussex, some on the seashore, and some associated with the "Boxgrove man" find.)
So, I don't think there's any doubt that there were elephants in Europe - including both Spain and Southern England - during the palaeolithic. What Steve is asking is whether modern elephants lived here.

What is the difference between the modern African elephant and this Palaeoloxodon fellow, Steve? Did the modern elephant evolve from the Palaeoloxodon? If so, is there hard (boney) evidence for its evolution having occurred?

If the conjectured evolution occurred in Africa, then we are supposing that Palaeoloxy died out (combination of ice-age, in the north, and over-hunting, perhaps?) and the modern type swam across.

And Hannibal rounded a few of them up... and set off on his warpath...

What is needed, to prove the possibility of the modern elephant having lived here, is fossils of the modern elephant...!
Start digging, everybody!

Jil

P.S. Re. the "land-bridges". I can't find the chart - it's under my feet, in a pile of 1,000 others - but wikipedia gives the depth in the Straits as 300 to 900 metres. (This doesn't rule out land bridges between the islands in the Eastern Med. I didn't check for those depths.)

Offline SueMac

  • *
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 716
    • Susan Bearder
« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2008, 20:53 PM »
Hi Jill and Steve,
Well to push this a little further is the the protohistorical period modern enough for you? That is the period just before recorded history.
SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog

Offline SueMac

  • *
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 716
    • Susan Bearder
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2008, 20:56 PM »
Sorry I meant to say that the pygmy elephant on the islands of the mediterranean are or at least were real. http://hometown.aol.com/kphairdeal/elephants.html
This is an article of many that gives a flavour of elephant evolution, including the pygmy.  Apparently animals that were isolated on the islands  tended to grow smaller rather than larger. 

My reading of Hannibal's period of history and relationship to elephants equates imho to camels in Australia in 19thC

SueMac
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 21:21 PM by SueMac »
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog

Offline Jill

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 494
    • Jill Dickin Schinas
« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2008, 23:50 PM »
Well, you learn something new every day !

"The smallest elephants, about the size of a calf or a large pig, were a prehistoric species that lived on the island of Crete during the Pleistocene epoch" (wikipedia)

Thanks for enlightening me, Sue!

However, as far as I can gather, neither these dwarf elephants nor the P. antiquus were closely related to the African elephant species.
(Not that it matters much to me personally. One elephant species roaming around in Spain is as good as any other, to me!)

Offline SueMac

  • *
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 716
    • Susan Bearder
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2008, 10:15 AM »
Hi Jill
Actually if you read the article I posted there is an argument that they are possibly descended from African elephants,  There is a reference somewhere to the smaller elephant possibly being around Europe and Med up to 4000 years ago. Fascinating stuff as it knocks on to other mammals as well.


Simmons, A. H. 2005. Ancient cultures in arid lands. UNLV Fusion, of the University of Nevada at Los Vegas, 2005. This consists of 3 pages of a magazine or newsletter, although written by someone else, is about Professor Alan Simmons, author of the book above on Aetokremnos and the hunters of pygmy hippopotami of Cyprus.
Example extracts:
Anthropology professor Alan Simmons [of the University of Nevada at Los Vegas - UNLV] explores how the social and economic changes that occurred 10,000 years ago in the Middle East forever altered the human experience.
About 10,000 years ago, humankind experienced a dramatic transformation known as the Neolithic Revolution. It was during this time that the peoples of the Middle East began to cultivate and produce their own food rather than hunt and gather it. Consequently, nomadic existence gave way to the development of village life, and farming and domestication of animals became common.
For UNLV anthropology professor Alan Simmons, the Neolithic Revolution remains the single-most fascinating period in human history - so fascinating, in fact, that he has spent his life's work devoted to its study. "The Neolithic Revolution truly changed the social fabric of life," says Dr. Simmons, who joined the UNLV faculty in 1993 and now chairs the department of anthropology and ethnic studies. "For literally millions of years, we had been hunters and gatherers. But when we settled down into village life and started producing food, we set the stage for the present world. Without the Neolithic Revolution - without the security provided by domestic plants and animals, without the population growth that results from village living - we never would have developed complex urban societies."... [continues]
Once the Neolithic Revolution became established on the Near Eastern mainland, he says, it was inevitable that the radical changes it brought would spread to surrounding areas. Neolithic economies ultimately reached Europe but the exact trajectory of this is unclear. Along the way, it appears that several Mediterranean islands were colonized; conventional wisdom has suggested that this occurred relatively late in the Neolithic sequence. This assumption, however, has been questioned by Simmons and his research team since they discovered that the first occupants on the island of Cyprus appeared around 12,000 years ago and were actually pre-Neolithic hunter-gatherers.
"Our excavations at Akrotiri Aetokremnos on Cyprus generated considerable controversy." Simmons says. noting that his findings implicate humans in the extinction of a native species of pygmy hippopotamus on the island. "We found the fossilized remains of several hundred of the small hippopotami. as well as cultural artifacts indicating that humans had hunted the animals." These materials predated the Neolithic Revolution and challenged the assumption that colonization of the Mediterranean islands occurred much later. Simmons' discovery there also established a chronological benchmark from which researchers would go on to investigate subsequent Neolithic developments. Since Akrotiri Aetokremnos, new research by British and French investigators has shortened the gap between the "Akrotiri Phase" and the traditional Neolithic period, establishing a previously unknown, earlier Neolithic period. In addition, the French research group also documented the presence of cattle on the island during this earlier period; previous research had indicated the presence of cattle much later in the Bronze Age (around 2,500 BC.).

It is my highlighting above  but also this period included bones of pygmy elephants around as well.  Just pointing out that there is much to understand on the trajectory of hunters and hunted around the mediterranean basin.

SueMac
« Last Edit: February 11, 2008, 10:42 AM by SueMac »
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog

Offline steveT

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2008, 22:58 PM »
Sue Mac,

I understand that atleast some of the dwarf elephants on the Med Islands were of Palaeoloxodon stock. Which were very closely related to asian elephants. Which would support your idea.

steveT

Offline steveT

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2008, 23:13 PM »
Dear Jill,

This Palaeoloxodon fellow was very closely related to asian elephants...... I think some believe it could have been actually a varient of the asian elephant.......I think I read that some where. Asian and African elephants are not closely related ......

Fossil evidence is what is needed ..... you are right ..... you never know ...... incredible fossil finds have already been found this century..........or it might be that that modern elephants never swam across the straits....

SteveT

Offline SueMac

  • *
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 716
    • Susan Bearder
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2008, 10:53 AM »
Hi Jill SteveT and other interested parties  If you can open pdf articles then have a lokk at the third page I think. Here is the url again.

http://www.cq.rm.cnr.it/elephants2001/pdf/402_406.pdf.
SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog

Offline steveT

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2008, 20:52 PM »
SueMac ............. really fascinating ........ incredible!!!!!!!

Thanks for the redirection.

steveT

Offline Spanish Footsteps

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 263
    • Spanish Footsteps
« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2008, 19:32 PM »
San Baudelio in Soria is a Ermita/Mezquita from the 11th Century.  It is one of Castilla y Leons architectural and pictorial treasures because of the stunning frescoes discovered inside.  Many of them were taken in the beginning of the 20th century and are now displayed in the Prado in Madrid and various museums in the USA.

Anyway, there just so happens to be a couple of paintings from the 12th century of elephants, see photo below.

alfredo
Discover the culturally rich province of Soria with Spanish Footsteps.
We provide unique walking holidays in Northern Spain.
For lovers of Nature, History and Culture.

www.spanishfootsteps.com

Unique walking holidays in Northern Spain

Offline nick

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 1948
    • Iberianature
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2008, 00:34 AM »
For the second time today Alfredo, that is a remarkable image. I've never heard of it

More here from what is described as the Sistene Chapel of Castilla Leon

http://www.lafronteradelduero.com/Paginas/casillas_de_berlanga.html
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Baudelio_de_Berlanga
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita

Offline steveT

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2008, 00:07 AM »
Alfredo ,

The article was really interesting .....  I tried to find out if this image has any significance.....but found nothing.

steveT

Offline Spanish Footsteps

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 263
    • Spanish Footsteps
« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2008, 14:28 PM »
Hola

Yes, there is a lot of mystery that surrounds the frescoes in San Baudelio.  In total there are 4 elephants, note the castle, it is not behind them but on their backs.
Here is another one from the Ermita/Mezquita

alfredo
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 10:24 AM by Spanish Footsteps »
Discover the culturally rich province of Soria with Spanish Footsteps.
We provide unique walking holidays in Northern Spain.
For lovers of Nature, History and Culture.

www.spanishfootsteps.com

Unique walking holidays in Northern Spain

Offline Dave

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1302
  • León
« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2008, 16:44 PM »
Hi everybody
Here is a piece from an American student concerning the San Baudelio frescoes
http://www.unt.edu/honors/eaglefeather/2005_Issue/2005_PDFs/Garnett.pdf
regards
Dave

Offline steveT

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2008, 18:48 PM »
Dave this was so interesting......thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!

steveT

Offline Spanish Footsteps

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 263
    • Spanish Footsteps
« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2008, 10:39 AM »
Hola

I have lots of information about San Baudelio and would be happy to share it.  It is the elephants there that are more of a mystery.
It is believed that the elephant represents Jesus and the castle is the weight of the sins he carried along with the disease and misery he witnessed. According to Agustin Benito, who wrote the oficial book o San Baudelio and its frescoes.

Maybe we should start another topic on San Baudelio and its frescoes?

alfredo
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 19:01 PM by Spanish Footsteps »
Discover the culturally rich province of Soria with Spanish Footsteps.
We provide unique walking holidays in Northern Spain.
For lovers of Nature, History and Culture.

www.spanishfootsteps.com

Unique walking holidays in Northern Spain

Offline steveT

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2008, 21:05 PM »
Alfredo,

I would be really interested to find out more ...... continue here or start a new one I do'nt mind.

steveT

Offline Clive

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 3001
  • Sierra de Grazalema
    • Wildside Walking Holidays - Spain
« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2008, 21:28 PM »
A new topic would be better to keep this one focused...

I keep dreaming of unearthing an elephant fossil whilst digging the garden and becoming famous!

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Spanish Footsteps

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 263
    • Spanish Footsteps
« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2008, 22:19 PM »
A new topic would be better to keep this one focused...

I keep dreaming of unearthing an elephant fossil whilst digging the garden and becoming famous!

Clive

Clive you need to move to Ambrona, you stand a good chance of finding one.

alfredo
Discover the culturally rich province of Soria with Spanish Footsteps.
We provide unique walking holidays in Northern Spain.
For lovers of Nature, History and Culture.

www.spanishfootsteps.com

Unique walking holidays in Northern Spain

Offline SueMac

  • *
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 716
    • Susan Bearder
« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2008, 22:40 PM »
Dear All
 I am trying to get back to where I left off  on this topic.  I dont know if you have seen this site and there are some terrible typos but seems very informative.
http://www.elephant.se/mammoths

There is a reference to pygmy elephants again on another island above Siberia - again dying out about 4000 years ago.
 I attach a photo off my friend's camera of a model cast of a mammuthus meridionalis found at Orce.  Easy to see pelvis and spine.  The whole model seemed to be about between six feet and seven feet in height.
So Clive might dig up his fossil yet.
SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog