Lynx was hunting in the Dales until 1,500 years ag|Mark North|darkdorset@hotmail.com|10/11/05 at 11:13:52|Mark_North|xx|0|86.131.95.79|Monday, October 10, 2005.

Old bones found in caves in the Yorkshire Dales have overturned theories about the extinction of one of Britain’s hunting cats.

Experts had believed that the lynx became extinct in the UK more than 4,000 years ago when the climate cooled and became wetter.

But carbon dating funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) on bones found in the Dales suggests the cats were still around in the early medieval period some 1,500 years ago and were perhaps hunted to extinction or lost their territory as farming intensified and woodland areas were reduced.

The bones were discovered up to 100 years ago but have only just been carbon dated, according to YDNPA Senior Conservation Archaeologist Robert White.

“The findings do surprise us in that the lynx became extinct 2,500 years later than we thought,” he said.

“The results also provide more evidence to suggest that the landscape was rather more wooded than was previously thought because the lynx like woodland to hunt in.

“The findings also highlight the importance of keeping archaeological collections safe for future research using more advanced technology.”

An article about the results of the carbon dating, co-written by Langcliffe farmer Tom Lord, is published today (October 10) on the website of the Quaternary Research Association at www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/jqs.

Mr Lord said: “It’s wonderful that the National Park Authority has funded this work – it is of national significance.

“Craven has the greatest number of lynx records of any of the limestone cave areas of Britain – nine of the 25 British cave sites that have yielded lynx bones are in the area.”

He said four bones were found in Moughton Fell Fissure Cave near Settle before it was destroyed by quarrying in the late 19th century. One was submitted for radiocarbon dating as part of a cave research project supported by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and showed the animal lived in Roman times between AD80 and AD320.

Excavations at Kinsey Cave in the 1920s and early 1930s found bones from a lynx which probably lived between AD425 and AD600 – making it the latest to have roamed in the area.

Mr Lord said: “What this means is that you can be fairly certain that the lynx became extinct in the mediaeval period due to humans. This is considerably later than was previously thought.”||10/11/05 at 11:14:45|Mark_North Re: Lynx was hunting in the Dales until 1,500 year|Mark North|darkdorset@hotmail.com|10/11/05 at 11:18:36|Mark_North|xx|0|86.131.95.79|YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LYNX - GOODBYE

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
07 October 2005

Recent findings by archaeologhist Robert White confirm a hypothesis by the world's leading mystery animal research group that lynx lived wild in Britain far more recently than was otherwise thought.

In the most recent issue of `Animals & Men`, the journal of the Centre for ForteanZoology [CFZ], zoologist Chris Moiser (author of several books on Britain's mystery cats, the latest of which "While the Cat's Away", is generating a lot of interest around the world), writes on the subject of the British lynx. He notes that :

"When the sightings of alleged Alien Big Cats in the United Kingdom are quantified, the short-tailed stocky-brown lynx type cat seems to come third after the black panther and puma type animals".

He presents a hypothesis that although "until the last ten years or so it was generally accepted that the lynx died out in the late stone age or bronze age", the evidence suggests that this creature - now found in northern Europe, and parts of North America - may have lived in the British Isles much more recently.

Carbon dating carried out on bones found in the Yorkshire Dales National Park have proved that these animals were alive and well as recently as 1,500 years ago - many years more recently than allowed by orthodox science.

This is the second time in recent years that claims by scientists from the Devon-based CFZ have been borne out by mainstream science. When director Jontahn Downes claimed in 1992 that the European green lizard (lacerta viridis), could be living wild in small numbers on the South Coast, he was treated with derision. However, in 2002 a small colony of this lizard was found in southern Dorset.

Which of their claims will be proved right next?

|| Re: Lynx was hunting in the Dales until 1,500 year|Mark North|darkdorset@hotmail.com|10/11/05 at 11:20:09|Mark_North|xx|0|86.131.95.79|Cave discovery dispels lynx myth

The area has a large number of records relating to lynx
Bones found in caves in North Yorkshire have dispelled myths about the extinction of a British hunting cat.
The discovery in Moughton Fell Fissure Cave, near Settle, in the 19th Century led experts to believe the lynx became extinct in the UK 4,000 years ago.

But new carbon dating of other bones found at Kinsey Cave in the 1920s and 30s suggests the animals were still around in early medieval times.

The findings have been described as of "national significance" by researchers.

Funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, carbon dating revealed the Kinsey Cave bones were only 1,500 years old, indicating that the lynx was hunted to extinction or lost its territory when farming intensified.

It had previously been thought they became extinct when the climate cooled and became wetter much earlier.

Conservation archaeologist Robert White said: "The findings do surprise us in that the lynx became extinct 2,500 years later than we thought.

"The findings also highlight the importance of keeping archaeological collections safe for future research using more advanced technology."

Langcliffe farmer Tom Lord has been helping experts with research in the area.

He said: "It is of national significance.

"Craven has the greatest number of lynx records of any of the limestone cave areas of Britain - nine of the 25 British cave sites that have yielded lynx bones are in the area.

"What this means is that you can be fairly certain the lynx became extinct in the medieval period due to humans - considerably later than was previously thought."

|| Re: Lynx was hunting in the Dales until 1,500 year|Plymouthcrypto|Cmoiser@aol.com|10/19/05 at 23:51:20|plymouthcrypto|xx|0|195.93.21.104|Having now had a chance to digest the Hetherington et al paper in more detail it is worth commenting that the younger of the two skulls could belong to an animal that was walking around in 600AD.

It is also interesting that the idea that the lynx died out in the late neolithic or bronze age effectively came from some intuitive thinking and the Carbon dating of 4 specimens prior to this paper. That still leaves 19 out of 25 known lynx bones from UK caves undated! I believe that Dr. Hetherington is hoping to get some more of these dated.

In the meantime it would be nice if more caves could be excavated for remains - when inforation like this can be found, and, as well illustrated in this case greater examination of historic documents and records may also prove useful.

A greater examination of the Percival Cressacre tale from Yorkshire might also bear some fruit (at present the oldest account of it that I can trace is 1805).

It possibly suggests that the lynx is more adaptable than we perhaps thought .

Chris. M.||