Kangaroo bones could solve Aussie Aborigine mystery

From Wired: Kangaroo Bones Could Solve Aussie Aborigine Mystery.

By using kangaroo fossils as archaeological biosensors, scientists could help solve one of Australia’s enduring mysteries.

Aborigines arrived 45,000 years ago, spreading across the continent with startling rapidity. Then, in anthropological terms, they cooled their heels for the next 40,000 years: no significant population expansion. No fundamental changes in lifestyle.

That changed 5,000 years ago. Populations shot up. Settlements increased in number, and their inhabitants grew more sedentary. Scientists can’t explain it.

"What’s going on? Why change then? There’s no obvious environmental or ecological correlate. There’s no climate change," said Doug Bird, a Stanford University anthropologist who’s helped devise an ingenious investigative workaround: kangaroo fossil analysis. [continue]