Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-10 > 1160353869

From: "Dale E. Reddick" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Gulf Stream during the Ice Age (was Re:Oppenheimer's Book)
Date: Sun, 08 Oct 2006 20:34:58 -0400
References: <> <> <003301c6ea7b$18afcfd0$6400a8c0@Ken1> <><>
In-Reply-To: <>

Hey Doug,

OK, I can agree with that. The rate of human fatalities due to brown
bear (Ursus arctos - Grizzly and Kodiak subspecies) encounters in North
America is about two per year. Of course, one of the recent human
fatalities was a brown bear expert.

For the earliest modern humans to reach North America there was most
likely a far more terrible species of bear that they first encountered
when entering the continent. This was the Giant Short-Faced Bear
(Arctodus simus). Unlike the omnivorous brown bears, the pertinent
anatomical features of these animals indicate that they were clearly
carnivores (or scavengers). Standing erect, they were 3.4 meters in
height. Their reach when standing erect was 4.2 meters (that's between
17 & 18 feet in vertical reach). It was the largest land carnivore in
North America until the end of the last glacial period circa 12,000 to
11,000 years ago. A description of this recently extinct top carnivore
can be read at this URL:

I'd hate to have been a Paleo-Indian armed with a spear fitted with a
Clovis projectile point and finding myself confronted with a
three-quarter ton carnivore like A. simus. I think even a .460
Weatherby Magnum might be a bit of an underpowered weapon for defending
oneself against such a top carnivore.


Doug McDonald wrote:
> Dale E. Reddick wrote:
>> Hey Ken,
>> Yeah, that's probably true.
>> However, then there's the problem of having to have competed with the
>> largely -very- -large- cave bears and brown bears of pre-Holocene
>> Pleistocene Europe. Them were berry harvesters! And nobody back then
>> had a conveniently available .460 Weatherby Magnum by which to deal with
>> such troublesome, large, omnivorous, and massively clawed critters
>> (while they were active - i.e., not hibernating).
> The danger from wild bears is overrated. They really don't
> normally bother people. Unlike most people, I've actually
> encountered them by the dozen in the real wild, and they
> never bother me, and no one I ever met has been bothered
> either. I've bumped into a grizzly bear, it didn't notice.
> I've had a grizzly walk through our picnic with tables laden
> with cold cuts and smoked salmon ... it didn't slow down.
> (In the latter case we did have the big, big guns, however.)
> This was all in the really back back country of Alaska.
> Just don't actually bother the cubs. Moose are much more
> dangerous.
> Doug McDonald

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