Tuesday, July 31, 2007

'Monster' Roams The English Moors

Living near England's Dartmoor in the late 1990s, I often heard stories from locals about the "beasts" that roamed the beautifully desolate hills and stone valleys.

Some claimed the creatures were big cats, jaguars or panthers that had escaped from circuses, or private zoos. Some of the more eccentric villagers insisted that they were spectral beasts of some ancient mythology.

Occasionally there would be reports in the local newspapers, and there was an often told story about a small girl riding her bike next to a hedge close to the moors, who was snatched away by something described by a witness as a "big black shadow."

Another tale was told about a farmer who was sick of losing sheep to the "beast" and so built a fairly elaborate trap in his field one day. But the farmer, living alone, wound up caught inside the trap and spent the night out there. Sometime in the early morning, the "beast" came into his field and circled the trapped man at a distance, shrieking, eyes glowing in the moonlit. The next morning he was freed by a laughing friend. But the farmer wasn't laughing.

Creepy stuff.

The latest reports of a "beast" roaming Dartmoor come from the UK Daily Mail, and come with some interesting photos, one of which is above.

Here's an excerpt from the report :

Whatever its identity, the Beast of Dartmoor is giving some farmers sleepless nights because they fear it will prey on their stock.

Falconer Martin Whitley, who photographed the creature, said: "It was walking along a path about 200 yards away from me.

"It was black and grey and comparable in size to a miniature pony. It had very thick shoulders, a long, thick tail with a blunt end and small round ears.

"Its movements appeared feline, then bear-like sprang to mind. There was a party climbing on the tor opposite making a racket but it ignored them completely."

Mr Whitley is adamant that the creature is not a wild dog.

He added: "I have worked with dogs all my life and it was definitely not that.

"I have seen a collie-sized black cat in the area about ten years ago and it was not that - this was a lot bigger.

"You would be surprised at the number of people who have seen black big cats and something resembling a small bear in the area over the course of the years."

But a possible explanation for the appearance of this monster is also included :
...the most likely explanation yesterday was that the Beast is nothing more supernatural than a large and hairy wild boar.

North Devon farmer Al Dedames lost more than 100 of his stock of boar in December 2005 when animal rights activists raided his farm and destroyed fencing.

Since then, more than half are thought to have died in road traffic accidents or been shot by farmers or hunters.

But those which survived have bred and up to 175 are said to be roaming the wilds of Devon and Somerset.

Does that anything like a boar? Even a hairy boar?
The Invasion Of The Giant Killer Pythons

Image from the excellent KingSnake.com site.

The swamps of the Everglades, in south Florida, have been invaded by giant killer pythons. They grow up to six metres in length, can weigh as much as 100kg and can live for two decades. The Burmese pythons are believed to have come to the Everglades thanks to idiotic pet owners who dumped the snakes when, presumably, they grew too big for the largest of fish tanks, or homes.

It's being called an ecological disaster. We call it a horror movie come to life :

The pythons have established breeding pairs in the swamps and are racing to the top of the food chain, even ousting alligators that were the Everglades' top predator. Two years ago a photographer snapped a picture that appeared to show a python so big it had eaten an alligator whole.

'It is a very serious issue, especially as we have found breeding pairs and clutches of eggs. That means they have adapted to living here and they are having a big impact,' said Linda Friar, an official at Everglades National Park. The snakes are a serious threat to indigenous wildlife due to their big appetites. The stomach contents of every python caught by rangers usually reveals a feast of rare birds and small mammals. Sometimes it also shows that the snakes have been snacking on household pets.

The park has embarked on a major effort to curb the snakes' numbers, but total eradication would be difficult. 'We think we can slow down their rate of increase,' said Friar. At the moment there are an estimated 350 pythons in the park, but many more in the swamps outside. Rangers estimate that, for every python they spot, 10 lie hidden in the marshes.

Park rangers, in their efforts to catch the elusive snakes, have a specially trained sniffer dog - nicknamed 'Python Pete'. They have also used so-called 'Judas animals' by tagging female pythons with electronic signalling devices. The females then lead rangers to populations of male pythons, which the rangers can kill.

But, according to this story, the giant pythons are not the biggest threat to the rich ecological balance of the Everglades :

...plants from suburban gardens are busy supplanting native species. An estimated two million acres of the swamp are now covered by invading plants.

'They don't create quite the same headlines as pythons, but plants are the invaders who actually make up the biggest threat,' said Friar.

This infamous photograph reportedly shows what happens when a four metre long Burmese python tried to eat an alligator, whole. The tail of the alligator can be seen jutting out from a huge tear in the python's mid-body :

Darryl Mason is the author of the free, online novel ED Day : Dead Sydney. You can read it here

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cat Knows When Old People Are Going To Die, And Pays A Visit

Oscar the cat seems to know when elderly people in a nursing home are just a few hours away from death. He curls up beside them, and on more than 25 occasions, the person he visits has died.

So is Oscar a kind of Grim Reaper?

Not necessarily. A story published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests Oscar may be able to smell chemical changes eminating from the flesh of the elderly when their bodies are preparing for death. Why Oscar chooses to sit beside them, or on their laps during their final moments, may be nothing more than his desire to be with them, and perhaps comfort them, as their lives end.

Staff at the nursing home are now so confident of Oscar's 'choice' that they call in the relatives of the person Oscar sits beside so they have a final chance to say goodbye.

A friend who e-mailed me a link to this story is a maybe-yes believer in reincarnation. His theory? The cat was a priest in a former life. Interesting.

Nevertheless, this is an absolutely remarkable story :

"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," said Dr. David Dosa in an interview.

"Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one," said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.

The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.

After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.

Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. "This is not a cat that's friendly to people," he said.

Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill

Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don't know he's there, so patients aren't aware he's a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.

Nursing home staffers aren't concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying.

Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his "compassionate hospice care."

We sense a tear-jerking, heart-breaking Disney movie in the offing.

A story here
from CNN claiming that domestic cats, like Oscar, are descendants of a Middle Eastern wild cat :

By studying the mitochondrial DNA of 979 domestic and wild cats from Europe, Asia and Africa the researchers concluded that the origins of the species -- what O'Brien calls a feline Adam and Eve -- developed between 130,000 and 160,000 years ago. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from mother to child.

Domestication of cats began as long as 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, O'Brien said, as the earliest farmers domesticated grains and cereal. As that occurred, local wild cats adapted to hunting rodents in the grain and developed a relationship with humans.

The earliest archaeological evidence of cats and humans in association dates to 9,500 years ago in Cyprus.

Of course, this theory claims that humans domesticated cats.

Many long-time cat owners would probably tell you, with not too much displeasure, that it was probably the cat that domesticated us. You never really own a cat, it just stays with you for as long as it wants to.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Triple Cone With Chunky Bacon, Ox Tongue And Carrot Ice-Cream, Please

Personally, I'd find it hard to go past the Raw Horseflesh ice cream...

Who Sucks has a mind-boggling, stomach-churning collection of the 101 Most Frightening Ice Cream Flavours From Around The World, with pics of the ice-cream tubs to prove they're real.

I won't spoil all the fun, and shock, of actually going through the whole list, and imagining what some of them must taste like if you could keep them down long enough, but here's a handful of flavours that just thinking about tasting made my bile consider a quick exit :


Fried Eggplant



Chicken Wing


Lettuce And Potato

Pit Viper

Indian Curry

Squid Gut

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Fried Pork Rind

Tuna and Seaweed

And finally, oh my god...

Stilton ice cream

Okay, I've been a bit harsh. Obviously these ice cream flavours must taste good, otherwise Japanese stores wouldn't sell them. Right?

Apparently Venezuela is legendary in ice-cream afficianado circles for the range of exotic flavours found at this store. It's featured in the Guiness Book Of World Records for having the most flavours - more than 700. Fried onion flavour is very popular.

Not just squid, but squid gut ice cream. Okay, that's done it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Spiders Save Woman From Fire

She hates spiders. But she has vowed never to kill one again. Why? Because she know believes spiders saved her from burning to death when the attic of her home caught fire :

Danielle Vigue, 18, says she awoke early Tuesday to find spiders in her room, and started killing them. When more showed up, she says she wentacross the hall and got into bed with her 15-year-old sister, Lauren.

"At first there were five, they were all around the light fixture," Danielle Vigue told The Saginaw News. "I hate spiders, they freak me out."

A fire, the newspaper said, apparently was smoldering in the attic of the home about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.

A few hours later, Vigue's 48-year-old mother, Debra, and 8-year-old sister, Shelby, smelled smoke, and flames greeted the family when they opened the door to the room Danielle Vigue had earlier left.

"I will never kill another spider again," she told WNEM-TV in Saginaw.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sky "Filled With Angels"

From Local 6 :
A couple from South Carolina vacationing in Florida said family photos of the sky show angels in the clouds.

Rev. Glenn Fulton and his wife Linda were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary in Amelia Island, Fla. during the Fourth of July weekend when they went for a walk to pray.

As the couple asked God for guidance, they said they snapped some photographs of the sunrise.

When the Fulton's left the beach, they noticed the images."While we were in the elevator, I began to look at my pictures, and I told my wife, I said, 'Look at these pictures and tell me what you see,'" Glenn Fulton said. "She said, 'Oh my God, I see a face."

The Fulton's said angels are everywhere in the photo, just like God's grace.

"They are proof God exists," Fulton said.
Or proof of the reverand's very vivid imagination.

Mmm. Can see a face in those clouds, sort of, maybe a few wings, but you're more likely to find yourself looking at a duckie, a doggie and horsie, than a pack of angels.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Whaddayamean you didn't know chickens enjoyed a good game of football?

One of the many excellent images from another 'Animals Having Fun' photo collection over at Dark Roasted Blend.
The Lion-Eating Apes Of The Congo

Apes that can catch fish, kill lions and like to howl at the moon are, apparently, part of local legend in the Congolese jungle. Local hunters have spoken of "massive creatures" that sound like a hybrid of a gorilla and a chimpanzee.

Surely such stories can't be real, can they? Monster apes that kill lions? Come on.

The civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has meant that western scientists have been unable to investigate the legendary apes for decades. They are said to live deep within impenetrable forests, and to even reach the outskirts of these forests, scientists would have to get through the patrols of local rebels.

But recently, scientists have reached the inner sanctums of the monster ape forest, and they found some parts of the legend to be merely that : legend.

But only the stories of the monster apes being some sort chimp/ape hybrid and enjoying a good howl at the moon, Remarkably, scientists now claim that these larger-than-normal apes actually do eat big cats :

The most detailed and recent data comes from Cleve Hicks, at the University of Amsterdam, who has spent 18 months in the field watching the Bili apes - named after a local town - since 2004. His team's most striking find came after one of his trackers heard chimps calling for several days from the same spot.

When he investigated he came across a chimp feasting on the carcass of a leopard. Mr Hicks cannot be sure the animal was killed by the chimp, but the find lends credence to the apes' lion-eating reputation.

"What we have found is this completely new chimpanzee culture," said Mr Hicks. Previously, researchers had only managed to snatch glimpses of the animals or take photos of them using camera traps. But Mr Hicks used local knowledge to get closer to them and photograph them.

"We were told of this sort of fabled land out west by one of our trackers who goes out there to fish," said Mr Hicks whose project is supported by the Wasmoeth Wildlife Foundation. "I call it the magic forest. It is a very special place."

Mr Hicks reports that he found a unique chimp culture. For example, unlike their cousins in other parts of Africa the chimps regularly bed down for the night in nests on the ground. Around a fifth of the nests he found were there rather than in the trees.

"How can they get away with sleeping on the ground when there are lions, leopards, golden cats around as well as other dangerous animals like elephants and buffalo?" said Mr Hicks.

Mr Hicks said the animals also have what he calls a "smashing culture" - a blunt but effective way of solving problems. He has found hundreds of snails and hard-shelled fruits smashed for food, seen chimps carrying termite mounds to rocks to break them open and also found a turtle that was almost certainly smashed apart by chimps.

Like chimp populations in other parts of Africa, the Bili chimps use sticks to fish for ants, but here the tools are up to 2.5 metres long.

The most exciting thing about this population of chimps though is that it is much bigger than anyone realised and may be one of the largest remaining continuous populations of the species left in Africa. Mr Hicks and his colleague Jeroen Swinkels surveyed an area of 7,000 square kilometres and found chimps everywhere. Their unique culture was uniform throughout.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's A Baby....Mammoth

More than 40,000 years ago, the baby mammoth above roamed what is now Russia's Arctic Yamalo-Nenetsk region. The baby mammoth, found frozen in the ice, is believed to be a female, about six months, and is the most perfect specimen yet found of the long extinct beasts. Numerous varieties of mammoth roamed the world through the last Ice Age - up to 1.8 million years ago. They are believed to have become extinct more than 11,000 years ago.

From National Geographic :

At 110 pounds (50 kilograms) and 51 inches long (130 centimeters long), the baby is the size of a large dog, Reuters reported.

Scientists are banking on the female—named "Lyuba" after the Russian hunter's wife—to reveal some of the genetic secrets of the prehistoric giants.

That's because Lyuda's excellent state—intact except for her shaggy locks—makes her a veritable treasure trove for research.

Emerging DNA technologies have already allowed some scientists to consider resurrecting the mammoth.

More on the history of the mammoth :

Mammoths first appeared in Africa about four million years ago, then migrated north and dispersed widely across Europe and Asia.

At first a fairly generalized elephant species, mammoths evolved into several specialized species adapted to their environments. The hardy woolly mammoths, for instance, thrived in the cold of Ice Age Siberia.

In carvings and cave paintings, Ice Age humans immortalized the giant beasts, which stood about 11 feet (3.4 meters) tall at the shoulder and weighed about seven tons.

Japanese Businessmen Want To Resurrect Mammoths For A Theme Park

Monday, July 09, 2007

Monster Loose In The Amazon? Yeah, Right

Oh, But...Wait

If you're a tribe of prehistoric history and you don't have a regional monster of myth and of recent sightings fame, well, you're nobody.

The remaining tribes of the Amazon rainforest have some incredible, and heartbreaking, stories to tell of their fight to survive the encroachment of 'civilisation', the struggle to keep their traditional ways and beliefs, the effectiveness of thousands of years old traditional herbal and plant medicines, and the fading knowledge of their ancient ancestors that have helped to keep them alive, and in some cases thriving, for tens of thousands of years.

Yeah, whatever.

Just tell us about your monster :
Perhaps it is nothing more than a legend, as skeptics say. Or maybe it is real, as those who claim to have seen it avow. But the mere mention of the mapinguary, the giant slothlike monster of the Amazon, is enough to send shivers down the spines of almost all who dwell in the world’s largest rain forest.

The folklore here is full of tales of encounters with the creature, and nearly every Indian tribe in the Amazon, including those that have had no contact with one another, have a word for the mapinguary (pronounced ma-ping-wahr-EE). The name is usually translated as “the roaring animal” or “the fetid beast.”

So widespread and so consistent are such accounts that in recent years a few scientists have organized expeditions to try to find the creature. They have not succeeded, but at least one says he can explain the beast and its origins.

“It is quite clear to me that the legend of the mapinguary is based on human contact with the last of the ground sloths,” thousands of years ago, said David Oren, a former director of research at the Goeldi Institute in BelĂ©m, at the mouth of the Amazon River. “We know that extinct species can survive as legends for hundreds of years. But whether such an animal still exists or not is another question, one we can’t answer yet.”

Dr. Oren said he had talked to “a couple of hundred people” who had said they had seen the mapinguary in the most remote parts of the Amazon and a handful who had said they had had direct contact.

In some areas, the creature is said to have two eyes, while in other accounts it has only one, like the Cyclops of Greek mythology. Some tell of a gaping, stinking mouth in the monster’s belly through which it consumes humans unfortunate enough to cross its path.

But all accounts agree that the creature is tall, seven feet or more when it stands on two legs, that it emits a strong, extremely disagreeable odor, and that it has thick, matted fur, which covers a carapace that makes it all but impervious to bullets and arrows.

“The only way you can kill a mapinguary is by shooting at its head,” said Domingos Parintintin, a tribal leader in Amazonas State. “But that is hard to do because it has the power to make you dizzy and turn day into night. So the best thing to do if you see one is climb a tree and hide.”

Though the descriptions of the mapinguary may resemble the sasquatch of North America or the yeti of Himalayan lore, the comparisons stop there. Unlike its counterparts in the Northern Hemisphere, the creature is said not to flee human contact, but to aggressively hunt down the hunter, turning the tables on those who do not respect the jungle’s unwritten rules and limits.

One scientific theory holds that what the tribes are describing are actually ancient encounters with a Giant Sloth, not uncommon to the region, but believed to have died out thousands of years ago. Apparently a Giant Sloth could grow as big as an elephant.

Then again, it's still one huge jungle, and there are plenty of regions still unexplored, or even charted, by man.

Friday, July 06, 2007

42 : Douglas Adams Was Right

There's a bit of stretching going on in the following story to make it fit into the idea that author Douglas Adams was right when he said the answer To Life, The Universe And Everything was '42', but it's a nice and confusing attempt :
After pondering the weighty question of the mass of the Milky Way galaxy, astronomers have come up with an answer: 42.

That is, our galaxy weighs three times 10 to the power of 42kg - a number written as 3 followed by 42 zeroes, which has echoes of author Douglas Adams's fictional answer to the question of life, the universe and everything in his series Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It seems esoteric but knowing the weight of the galaxy - the amount of matter it contains - is key to solving important astronomical problems.

Of particular interest to astrophysicist Ken Freeman is the nature of so-called dark matter.

Unlike the "ordinary matter" of stars and planets, scientists have only hunches about the nature of the invisible material that, along with "dark energy", they estimate makes up 96 per cent of the universe.

While it's possible to estimate the mass of the entire universe, accurately measuring galaxies, particularly distant ones, is another matter.
It's all well and good to know how much our galaxy weighs, but it doesn't answer the real question of Life, The Universe and Everything, which was : What is the question?
The World's Most Expensive Toilet - $19 Million

Did someone forget to put enough toilets in the International Space Station? Sure sounds like it. NASA is now going to spend some $19 million buying a space toilet from the Russians :

The new toilet will go on the International Space Station, which currently has a crew of three, and only one toilet. The crew will expand to six members in 2009, and space bosses don't want astronauts lining up when they have to go.

The new toilet will be similar to the existing toilet (also Russian-built), which has been in orbit since late 2000, 1.6 billion kilometres ago, and is still flushing.

Actually, space toilets don't really flush, because that would waste water. They use vacuum instead.

Since supplies are difficult and expensive to deliver, the space station (like the Russian Mir station before it) has to get along with very little fresh water. It is in such short supply that astronauts use no-rinse shampoo and edible toothpaste so they don't have to rinse and spit.

Every few months, a supply ship brings about 450 litres of fresh water. But that's not enough to supply a crew of three.

Instead, the toilet pumps urine to a U.S.-made filtering system. Water molecules are very small, and the filters can remove anything made of bigger molecules -- in particular, the organic waste in urine.

For $19 million, NASA also gets a "privacy enclosure" around the toilet. And like all space toilets, it will have foot straps to keep the user steady.

Yeah, that is one activity in space where you don't want to start floating away.

No rinse shampoo? Why hasn't that, like Velcro, made its way into terra shops?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

'Dragon' Bone Soup

We called them dinosaurs. Rural Chinese called them 'dragons'. Interesting story here claiming that in central China, villagers have been unearthing of dinosaurs bones, for two decades, and either boiling them up in soups, or grinding the bones into a fine powder for use in their traditional medicines. They apparently believed the bones of 'dragons' had special healing powers :

Until last year, the fossils were being sold in Henan province as "dragon bones" at about 4 yuan (50 cents) per kilogram (2.2 pounds), scientist Dong Zhiming told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Dong, a professor with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said when the villagers found out the bones were from dinosaurs they donated 200 kilograms (440 pounds) to him and his colleagues for research.

"They had believed that the 'dragon bones' were from the dragons flying in the sky," he said.

The calcium-rich bones were sometimes boiled with other ingredients and fed to children as a treatment for dizziness and leg cramps. Other times they were ground up and made into a paste that was applied directly to fractures and other injuries, he said.

Man Bites Dog, To Death

The puppy was in the process of being mauled to death by a fierce dog. The Chinese man loved that puppy. So he did what any normal person would do. He mauled the attacking dog to death :

Awakened by the puppy's yelps, a villager named Geng first tried to chase the dog away by hurling watermelons at it, a local newspaper reported today.

The farmer then threw himself on the dog, clamping his teeth around its neck and eventually killing it.

“The two were rolling around on the ground and fighting for nearly 10 minutes,” the Yanzhao Cosmopolitan News in the northern province of Hebei said.

The puppy lived through the ordeal. As did Geng, with some deep wounds on his arms.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

How To Fight Global Warming?


So chemtrails, those big white fluffy lines left by aircraft across clear blue skies that slowly spread and form clouds, are just wacko-paranoid-loopy-nutso conspiracy theory delusions, right?

Well, maybe. But not for long.

Soon, at least in the United States, chemtrails are likely to be used to create clouds and chemical barriers to reflect back sunlight, supposedly to dampen the effects of global warming.

A fairly comprehensive and (occasionally) balanced report from a Californian NBC news channel in the US prepares the masses for their perpetually cloudy-sky new reality :

If Chemtrails Are BS, Why Are They Mentioned, Along With 'GeoEngineering' In American School Textbooks?

Does The Existence Of Chemtrails Prove That Global Warming Is A Galactic Phenomena?

The Weather Modification Act Of 2005 And The 'Struck Out' Version

Monday, July 02, 2007

Presenting The 'Zorse'

It's a mutant, but it's beautiful.

This is what you get when a horse and zebra successfully mate :
It looks as if someone tried to give a zebra a respray. . . then ran out of white paint halfway through the job.

But in reality there is no artificial colouring on display here. This amazing but natural coat belongs to Eclyse the zorse.

Her father is a zebra, while her mother is a horse. And she's walking proof of how a child inherits genes from both parents.

For while most zebra-horse crossbreeds sport stripes across their entire body, Eclyse only has two such patches, on its face and rear.

The one-year-old zorse was the accidental product of a holiday romance when her mother, Eclipse, was taken from her German safari park home to a ranch in Italy for a brief spell.

Horses and zebras are often crossbred in Africa and are used as trekking animals on Mount Kenya.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The One Million Year Old Human Tooth

So how long exactly how we humans been roaming around this planet? When I was in high school, some 20 years ago, we were told it was a hundred, maybe, two hundred thousand years tops.

With the discovery of a "human tooth" in Spain, we're now up to 1.2 million years.

What happened to the 'Out Of Africa' theory, that says humans spread out from Africa 50,000 to 70,000 years ago?

According to this story, and the discovery of a tooth, humans were in Spain a million years ago :

Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro, co-director of research at the Atapuerca site said the molar, discovered on Wednesday in the Atapuerca Sierra in the northern province of Burgos, could be as much as 1.2 million years old.

"The tooth represents the oldest human fossil remain of western Europe. Now we finally have the anatomical evidence of the hominids that fabricated tools more than one million years ago," the Atapuerca Foundation said in a statement.

"Since it is an isolated fossil remain, it is not possible at this point to confirm which Homo species this tooth belongs to," the foundation added, but said first analyses "allow us to suppose it is an ancestor of Homo antecessor (pioneer)."

In 1994 at the nearby Gran Dolina site several Homo antecessor fossils were uncovered, suggesting human occupation of Europe around 800,000 years ago, whereas scientists had previously believed the continent had only been inhabited for around half a million years.

The Sierra Atapuerca contains several caves such as the Gran Dolina site, where fossils and stone tools of Europe's earliest known hominids have been found.

Maybe it's just easier to go with the 'Intelligent Design' and 'Creationist' theories : God created man and dinosaurs at the the same time, about 8000 years ago. That's it. No debate.