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Archeology of the Otters – Archeology Magazine



  Shell shells LONDON, ENGLAND – CBC News reports that archaeologists have teamed with biologists to investigate the use of stones by otters at a site in California's central coastal region of the series of drains , Archaeologist Natalie Uomini from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History noticed heaps of broken clam shells and damaged rocks near the pipes. Continued observation of the otters and mapping of the rocks revealed that the otters tended to direct the shells to points and ridges on the side of the rock that faced the water, making the edges smoother and brighter than the rest of the rock. The underwater mills in the mud at the site could contain more than 1

00,000 shells, the researchers said. They have also learned that the otters are precise in the way they hold the shells and break them up the same way each time, suggesting that they are probably right-handed. Biologists could use the information gained from the study to look for environments in which otters might have lived in the past, and archaeologists could use the information to distinguish between middens left by otters and those of early humans were created to distinguish. About artifacts that have made people of shells, see "Japan's early anglers".


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