Tag Archives | Elk

5,000-Year-Old, Giant Elk-Shaped Structure Discovered In Russia

Ancient stone strangeness via NBC News:

A huge geoglyph in the shape of an elk or deer discovered in Russia may predate Peru’s famous Nazca Lines by thousands of years. The style of stone-working called lithic chipping used on one artifact dates it to the Neolithic and Eneolithic (sixth to third millennia B.C.).

The animal-shaped stone structure, located near Lake Zjuratkul in the Ural Mountains, north of Kazakhstan, has an elongated muzzle, four legs and two antlers. The animal stretches for about 900 feet at its farthest points (northwest to southeast), the researchers estimate, equivalent to two American football fields.

Fieldwork carried out this past summer has shed more light on the glyph’s composition and date, suggesting it may be the product of a “megalithic culture,” researchers say. A man named Alexander Shestakov first discovered the glyphs using satellite images. He alerted researchers, who sent out a hydroplane and paraglider to survey the giant structure.

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Dramatic Links Found Between Climate Change, Elk, Plants, and Birds

750px-Rocky_Mountain_Bull_ElkVia ScienceDaily:

Climate change in the form of reduced snowfall in mountains is causing powerful and cascading shifts in mountainous plant and bird communities through the increased ability of elk to stay at high elevations over winter and consume plants, according to a groundbreaking study in Nature Climate Change.

The U.S. Geological Survey and University of Montana study not only showed that the abundance of deciduous trees and their associated songbirds in mountainous Arizona have declined over the last 22 years as snowpack has declined, but it also experimentally demonstrated that declining snowfall indirectly affects plants and birds by enabling more winter browsing by elk. Increased winter browsing by elk results in trickle-down ecological effects such as lowering the quality of habitat for songbirds.

The authors, USGS Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit scientist Thomas Martin and University of Montana scientist John Maron, mimicked the effects of more snow on limiting the ability of elk to browse on plants by excluding the animals from large, fenced areas.

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