Warm-water fishbones yield climate clues


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Bones of a fish that lives only in tropical or subtropical seas have been found in shell middens in Okayama and Saga prefectures, suggesting the sea around Japan was much warmer 6,000 years ago, scientists said.

Fish out of water: "Tokaihamagigi" bones are shown in the city of Okayama last month. Two scientists identified bones found in a 6,000-year-old geological layer of the Hikosaki shell midden in the city of Okayama as those of “tokaihamagigi,” a kind of catfish that lives at river mouths near tropical or subtropical seas.

Fish tale: A kind of catfish known as "tokaihamagigi" that lives only in tropical or subtropical seas is seen in a photo supplied by Fumio Oe, an expert on paleontology based in Aichi Prefecture. KYODO PHOTOS The bones were found in June by archaeologist Akira Matsui of the National Institute for Cultural Heritage of Nara Prefecture, and Fumio Oe, an expert of paleontology based in Aichi Prefecture.

Similar bones were discovered in 2007 in the Higashimyo shell midden, which is believed to date from 7,000 years ago.

Source: The Japan Times [December 04, 2010]



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