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Comment: Re:Temple in the picture is not Noh mul, it's Lami (Score 1) 276

by alleycat0 (#43728251) Attached to: Mayan Pyramid In Belize Leveled By Construction Crew

I spent two seasons in the mid-1980s excavating at Nohmul, and can put a rest to some of the speculation here.

Nobody in this region is unaware of the nature of these ruins, nor their significance. This part of the country is flat limestone plains, and it is generally understood that any small hills are in reality ancient ruins.

The site draws almost no tourists whatsoever (it is almost entirely unrestored), so liability is not a concern. While not amongst the better known sites, it had much historic value nonetheless, which is why it was the subject of numerous investigations by Cambridge and Rutgers Universities, National Geographic, etc. The destruction of one Nohmul's primary structures for road fill is indeed a tragedy. The gentleman who owned the site when I excavated there would never have let this happen, but I suspect that ownership changed hands in the interim.

Comment: What about microfauna? (Score 1) 209

It is estimated that bacteria alone (only one component of our microbiome) far outnumber human cells. I'm not totally up on my modern biology, but i suspect that the situation with birds is comparable; could any species be resurrected successfully in the absence of its associated microfauna?

Comment: What about the associated microfauna? (Score 1) 302

by alleycat0 (#38294548) Attached to: Russian Scientists Say They'll Clone a Mammoth Within 5 Years

Biologists have relatively recently come to understand the complexity, abundance and importance of the mammalian microbiome; for example, it is estimated that bacteria alone (only one component of our microbiome) far outnumber human cells. Given that mammoths are long extinct, their associated microfauna are likely absent from the word as well. Doesn't sound promising for maintaining healthy animals...

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.

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