Birds have been adapting to human activities for centuries.

Nesting on a bike on a lake in Copenhagen. Birds and humans also co-inhabited specific environments in our prehistory, new research shows. Credit: Lisa Yeomans

About 14,500 to 10,500 years ago, in the transition to the last ice age, Epipaleolithic and Neolithic people harvested vegetation from the wetlands of eastern Jordan to create a habitat for birds that would otherwise have migrated. A new study Published in Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory Turns out.

It shows that The researchers suggest that this is not necessarily harmful to biodiversity but may allow species to coexist in certain environments.

The presence of humans is generally associated with negative impacts on flora and fauna, and our species has clearly affected biodiversity throughout history.

But in this study, titled “Waterfowl eggshell refines paleoenvironmental reconstruction and supports multispecies niche construction at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the Levant,” a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the University of Turin discovered Some human activities may have had a stimulating effect on biodiversity by modifying certain ecosystems.

“The ecosystem in question is Shabika. of eastern Jordan which is now subject to seasonal flooding only. But recent evidence has shown that water was probably available for most of the year, and so it was possible for waterfowl and other species to be present year-round if they had suitable habitat. Gah Hoti,” said archaeologist Lisa Yeomans from the University of Copenhagen.

The team’s excavations at the Shubayqa sites have revealed evidence that the Neolithic people who occupied the sites for more or less time not only harvested vegetation emerging from the wetlands, but also hunted waterfowl. and used to collect their eggs and feathers.

“The Occurrence of Eggshells and Bones of Juvenile Ducks and Swans This indicates that these birds stayed year-round to breed in wetlands rather than returning to Europe. We know that modern species of these birds can live and breed in this region, but only if the environment is suitable for them, and we believe that human management of wetland vegetation has affected the vegetation. Harvesting has provided the appropriate ecological niche for them,” adds Lisa Yeomans.

Wetland Management: The Road to Agriculture?

The archaeological cultures the researchers are studying were periods when humans were on the edge of developing agriculture. Recent studies have considered that habitat modification activities, such as those documented in the Shobayqa wetlands of eastern Jordan, may be an important driver of this process.

“We know that agriculture developed in the region after these cultures, and we suggest that deliberate management of wetlands was an important step in the process. Efforts to transform wetlands “The result was that it provided better foraging opportunities. Waterfowl, eggs and feathers,” said anthropologist Camilla Mazzucato.

“A novel paleoproteomic method was developed to identify species of eggshells. The breeding of waterfowl at Shobayqa indicates the presence of water on the wetland throughout the year. Encouraged to consider species agency and move beyond simple determinism.Interpretations of climate-driven innovation.

“For thousands of years humans and animals have coexisted in different environments adapted to each other’s presence and function, and we argue that this co-habitation was important for the innovations that later led to the advent of agriculture. “

More information:
Lisa Yeomans et al, Waterfowl Eggshell Refines Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction and Supports Multispecies Niche Construction at the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition in the Levant, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory (2024). DOI: 10.1007/s10816-024-09641-0

Reference: Birds have been adapting to human activities for centuries, research shows (2024, February 19) Retrieved February 20, 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-02-birds-human-millennia.html has been

This document is subject to copyright. No part may be reproduced without written permission, except for any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research. The content is provided for informational purposes only.