Peking Man

Peking Man is a group of fossil specimens of Homo erectus, dated from 750,000 years ago, discovered in 1929–37 during excavations at Zhoukoudian near Beijing, China. Between 1929 and 1937, 15 partial crania, 11 mandibles, many teeth, some skeletal bones and large numbers of stone tools were discovered in the Lower Cave at Locality 1 of the Peking Man site at Zhoukoudian, their age is estimated to be between about 750,000 and 300,000 years old. Most of the early studies of these fossils were conducted by Davidson Black until his death in 1934. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin took over until Franz Weidenreich replaced him and studied the fossils until he left China in 1941; the original fossils inexplicably disappeared in 1941. Swedish geologist Johan Gunnar Andersson and American palaeontologist Walter W. Granger came to Zhoukoudian, China in search of prehistoric fossils in 1921, they were directed to the site at Dragon Bone Hill by local quarrymen, where Andersson recognised deposits of quartz that were not native to the area.

Realising the importance of this find he turned to his colleague and announced, "Here is primitive man. He returned to the site in 1923, materials excavated in the two subsequent digs were sent to Uppsala University in Sweden for analysis. In 1926 Andersson announced the discovery of two human molars in this material, Zdansky published his findings. Canadian anatomist Davidson Black of Peking Union Medical College, excited by Andersson and Zdansky's find, secured funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and recommenced excavations at the site in 1927 with both Western and Chinese scientists. Swedish palaeontologist Anders Birger Bohlin unearthed a tooth and Black placed it in a gold locket on his watch chain. Black published his analysis in the journal Nature, identifying his find as belonging to a new species and genus which he named Sinanthropus pekinensis, but many fellow scientists were skeptical about such an identification on the basis of a single tooth, the foundation demanded more specimens before it would agree to grant additional money.

A lower jaw, several teeth, skull fragments were unearthed in 1928. Black presented these finds to the foundation and was rewarded with an USD 80,000 grant that he used to establish the Cenozoic Research Laboratory. Excavations at the site under the supervision of Chinese archaeologists Yang Zhongjian, Pei Wenzhong, Jia Lanpo uncovered 200 human fossils from more than 40 individual specimens; these excavations came to an end in 1937 with the Japanese invasion. Excavations at Zhoukoudian resumed after the war; the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1987. New excavations were started at the site in June 2009; the most complete fossils, all of which were portions of the skullcap, are: Skull II, discovered at Locus D in 1929 but only recognized in 1930, is an adult or adolescent with a brain size of 1030 cc. Skull III, discovered at Locus E in 1929 is an adolescent or juvenile with a brain size of 915 cc. Skulls X, XI and XII were discovered at Locus L in 1936.

They are thought to belong to an adult man, an adult woman and a young adult, with brain sizes of 1225 cc, 1015 cc and 1030 cc respectively. Skull V: two cranial fragments were discovered in 1966 which fit with two other fragments found in 1934 and 1936 to form much of a skullcap with a brain size of 1140 cc; these pieces were found at a higher level, appear to be more modern than the other skullcaps. A number of fossils of modern humans were discovered in the Upper Cave at the same site in 1933; the fossils were stored at the Union Medical College in Peking. Eye-witness accounts state that in 1941, while Beijing was under Japanese occupation, but just before the outbreak of hostilities between Japan and the Allied Forces during the Second World War, the fossils were packed into two large crates and loaded onto a US Marine vehicle bound for the port of Qinhuangdao in northern China, close to the Marine base at Camp Holcomb. From there they were to be sent by ship to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, but the fossils vanished en route.

Various attempts have been made to locate the fossils, but so far without success. In 1972 US financier Christopher Janus offered a US$5,000 reward for the missing skulls. In July 2005, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the Chinese government set up a committee to find the bones. Rumours about the fate of the bones range from their having been on board a Japanese ship, or an American ship, sunk, to being ground up for traditional Chinese medicine. Four of the teeth, are still in the possession of the Paleontological Museum of Uppsala University; some opponents of the science of evolution think that the fossils may have been a fabrication, that their disappearance was intentional. The first specimens of Homo erectus had been found in 1891 by Eugene Dubois in Java, dubbed "Java Man", but were at first dismissed by many as the remains of a deformed ape; the discovery of the great quantity of finds at Zhoukoudian put this to rest and Java Man, named Pithecanthropus erectus, was transferred to the genus Homo along with Peking Man.

Contiguous findings of animal remains and evidence of fire and tool us

Clarias nieuhofii

Clarias nieuhofii, the slender walking catfish, is a species of clariid catfish. It has a wide distribution in Southeast Asia including peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines; this species can be distinguished from other Clarias catfishes, apart from the discovered Clarias batu and Clarias nigricans, by the elongated body which gives it a remarkably eel-like appearance. The colour is grey with two rows of white spots running along the length of the body just below the lateral line and 13 or 14 vertical rows of white spots just above the line. Specimens of up to 50 cm standard length have been recorded. Ng, H. H. 2003. Clarias nigricans, a new species of clariid catfish from eastern Borneo; the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 51: 393–398. Froese and Pauly, eds.. "Clarias nieuhofii" in FishBase. December 2011 version