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No. 33: May-Jun 1984

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Horsing Around With Evolution

In the Borrego Badlands of California, Barbara Quinan has stumbled upon the fossilized skull of a modern horse, E. equus. The skull was found in situ, partly mineralized, a process usually requiring hundreds of thousands of years. Mammoth bones punctuate the strata immediately above and below those containing the horse fossil. The paleontological anomaly is that modern horses were supposed to have evolved in Asia and not brought to the New World until the Spanish explorers landed. The only way to evade rewriting horse history is to:

(1) Cast doubt on the dating of the strata, or (2) Insist that the fossil is not really a horse at all but a similar animal, such as the long-headed zebra.

(Smith, Gordon; "E. Equus: Immigrant or Emigrant?" Science 84, 5:76, April 1984.)

From Science Frontiers #33, MAY-JUN 1984. 1984-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987