Lecture 16 - THE PAST IS THE KEY TO THE PRESENT! (or the...

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THE PAST IS THE KEY TO THE PRESENT (or the importance of history) IMPACT OF THE PLEISTOCENE ON THE PRESENT 1. The impact of mega-herbivores and not-so- mega herbivores on vegetation structure. 2. Anachronisms in nature : the ghosts of herbivores and predators past.
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Neotropical anachronisms : the fruits the gomphotheres ate Janzen, D. and Martin, P. S. 1982. Science or “The riddle of the rotting fruit.” They observed large Costa Rican fruits rotting below trees. Are they adapted to being dispersed by extinct megafauna? PS Martin D. Janzen
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ANACHRONISTIC DEFENSES : 1) thorns and spines that are positioned on trees or other plants in places where no extant herbivore can reach e.g. prickly pear, honey locust trees, Devil’s walking stick
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APPARENTLY POINTLESS DEFENSES Dispersal by hitch- hiking on large ankles (e.g horse) Devil’s claw ANACHRONISTIC DISPERSAL ADAPTATIONS:
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THE GHOST OF PREDATORS PAST ?? Miracinonyx trumani Extinct cheetah-like NA cat Extant Pronghorn: Why so fast? I. The Early Pre-European Stage: The Late Pleistocene in North America 12 to 40,000 years ago
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After the Glaciers: The Holocene II. The late Pre-European Stage Painters: Charles Bird King George Catlin Karl Bodmer 1. Native American tribes cleared land for cultivation (corn, squash, sweet potato, beans, manioc, llama, alpaca)
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2. Fires were intentionally set to drive game & fertilize for new grass 3. Hunting may have depleted and changed the distribution of game
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Chaco Canyon :Anasazi Indians, 900-1150 AD - collapse due to depletion of resources? Horses introduced in the 1600s allowed for more efficient capture of game, transportation and warfare.
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Warfare may have concentrated game at tribal boundaries Paul Martin Lewis and Clark observed large variations in the abundance of game in their trek across North America (1805-1806). “We eat an immensity of meat” …“it requires 4 deer, an elk and a deer, or one buffaloe, to supply as plentifully 24 hours.” (Lewis, 13 July 1805) Game abundant Game rare Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery (1805-1806)
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On May 4, Lewis saw “immense quantities of buffalo in every direction …they are extremely gentle the bull buffaloe particularly will scarcely give way to you.” On May 5, he wrote : “Buffaloe Elk and goats or Antelopes feeding in every direction; we kill whatever we wish” Concerning wolves, we scarcely see a gang of buffalo without observing a parsel of these faithful shepherds on their skirts in readiness to take care of the maimed and wounded.” But later in July near Three Forks, Montana, he wrote. “Nothing killed today and our fresh meat is out.” “With regard to game in general, we observe that the greatest quantities of wild animals are usually found in the country lying between two nations at war.” (Capt. Clark, Aug. 29, 1806)
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http://www.dmzforum.org The Korean DMZ (demilitarized zone) : The modern equivalent of a war zone. 4 x 250 km zone
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This note was uploaded on 03/11/2010 for the course GE CLST 70B taught by Professor Morris,m.r./friscia,a.r./moldwin,m.b./vanvalkenburgh,b during the Winter '10 term at UCLA.

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Lecture 16 - THE PAST IS THE KEY TO THE PRESENT! (or the...

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