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Snails help date Britain's last three million years

From PlanetEarthonline

Scientists have built the most comprehensive timeline yet for working out the exact order in which geological and archaeological events happened in Britain over the last three million years. And they've done it using fossilised snails.

The mammoth 11-year project, published online in Nature, is the most comprehensive of its kind and clears up a number of archaeological and geological debates.

It shows that our ancestors lived in Britain during most of the warm periods of the last few million years. But it supports the idea that they were absent in the most recent warm period – or interglacial – 125,000 years ago. During this time, the climate was warm enough for hippopotamuses to have roamed the British Isles.

'It's possible that the warm climate contributed to higher sea levels and people just couldn't get across the Strait of Dover,' says Dr Kirsty Penkman from the University of York, lead author of the study.

...The timeline is so complete that any debate over the timing of human occupation in Britain or past geological events should now be dead in the water.
baza Posted by baza
20th August 2011ce

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