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CONTENTS of entire timeline

CONTENTS of 59,999,999 BC- 51,000 BC Large land and aquatic mammals appear; many kinds of primates appear (almost as many go extinct); an island continent finally disappears for good; the Mediterranean valley turns into the Mediterranean Sea; human beings emerge, develop housing, clothes, lamps, and drugs, breed dogs, use horses; Mars dies (or goes dormant)

This page last updated on or about 10-31-05
a - j r m o o n e y h a m . c o m - o r i g i n a l


Approximately 174,000 BC - 53,000 BC: Human beings begin populating Australia

Are some of the earliest Australians reaching the continent directly from Africa, island-hopping across the Indian Ocean, rather than taking the mostly land route across southern Asia? They very well could be, since there is evidence of sea voyages by humanity going back hundreds of thousands of years before now.

The Ice Age began lowering global sea levels a few thousand years before 114,000 BC, and continued to do so largely unabated throughout this period. Thus it would be easier to island hop now rather than earlier.

-- "ANCIENT SEAFARERS"BY PETER BELLWOOD, SPECIAL REPORT, Volume 50 Number 2 March/April 1997, the Archaeological Institute of America, http://www.archaeology.org/9703/etc/specialreport.html

-- "Early Human Activity In Australia May Have Led To Animal Extinctions", 1-7-99, University of Colorado at Boulder

Humans may have begun populating Australia as early as 174,000 BC, and producing engraved artwork in caves around 73,000 BC. Lowered global sea levels circa 133,000 BC may have aided some of the migrations.

-- Human Origins Recede in Australia By Bruce Bower, September 28, 1996, Science News Online, http://www.sciencenews.org

Recall that the lowered sea levels of today (50,000+ BC) mean the worst single barriers to man reaching Australia from the nearest other dry land is about 150 km (100 miles) of open sea.

-- page 467, "The Search for Modern Humans", National Geographic, October 1988

[Caution: Extreme speculation ahead; the section below mostly created for "What If?" entertainment value]

One of the earliest tribes to delve deep into the Australian outback accidentally stumbles its way (over the course of several generations) into a symbiotic relationship with an immense, sprawling fungal growth spanning tens of kilometers in their vicinity.

The fungal entity happens to be one of the oldest living things on Earth at this time.

The tribe discovers that ingestion of certain parts of the fungal entity brings about ecstatic visions and occasionally new and highly inventive ways of hunting and trapping and other useful activities. Certain healing properties of the entity also become evident with experience.

-- The Amazing Fungi! ["http://daphne.palomar.edu/wayne/ww0504.htm"] and Botanical Record-Breakers! ["http://daphne.palomar.edu/wayne/ww0601.htm"]

Other relevant links may include Ethological Curiosities ["http://cogweb.english.ucsb.edu/EP/Ethology.html"] , Fungi and Insect Symbiosis ["http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/wong/Bot135/Lect24.htm"], and http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/Bot430/Lecture20.htm ["http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/wong/Bot430/Lecture20.htm"]

-- "Study Uproots Ideas on How Plants Evolved" By RICK WEISS, The Washington Post/Los Angeles Times, August 5, 1999

The biggest living thing ever found is a fungus intertwined with the roots of the Malheur National Forest of eastern Oregon, USAmerica, slowly strangling the trees it winds around.

It's an Armillaria ostoyae, or honey mushroom. This particular example is estimated to be 2,400 years old, three and a half miles across, and span 2,200 acres.

The lifeform exists almost completely underground, with only dead or dying trees and clumps of mushrooms appearing on the surface after fall rain to indicate its presence.

-- Giant fungus thought to be world's largest living thing By JEFF BARNARD, Associated Press, August 5, 2000, http://www.nandotimes.com

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