Saturday, June 14, 2014

Some more research into the last Ice Age

These were two of the favorite topics I researched, telepathy (after I decided to make my Neanderthals telepathic) and giant beavers!

I simply loved researching for DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE. The book is available as an e-book or paperback at Untreed Reads.

Chapter 11 – aborigine telepathy
There is little documented evidence of the ability of the Australian aborigines to convey messages telepathically, but much anecdotal evidence. The method of communication is sometimes called ‘bush telegraph’ or ‘mulga wire’. This passage is taken from

The Bone is Pointed: An Inspector Napolean Bonaparte Mystery by Arthur W. Upfield
p. 46

"I saw him at ten o'clock on the evening of the eighteenth, the day Anderson rode Green Swamp. I went as usual to the stable to see that the horse kept there for duty had been properly fed and bedded. Abie--that was his name--was then asleep on his stretcher in the adjoining stall."
"How did he receive word about the sick lubra?"
"I don't know. Mulga wire, I suppose."

Chapter 12 – giant beavers
Family Castoridae
The biggest of all rodents during Pleistocene time—or any time, for that matter—were beavers of the family Castoridae. These semi-aquatic rodents of the Northern Hemisphere existed in North America as long ago as early Oligocene time, 35 million to 30 million years ago…

Giant Beaver (Castoroides ohioensis)
The giant beaver was the size of a large black bear and weighed 330 to 440 pounds (150 to 200 kilograms). It measured t least 9 feet (3 meters) long and stood about 3 feet (1 meter) tall at the shoulder. In comparison, the modern beaver measures up to 3.5 feet (more than 1 meter) long and weighs from 20 to 86 pounds (9 to 39 kilograms). While resembling a modern beaver, the giant beaver had a longer and narrower tail. The giant beaver had huge incisors up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) long. Researchers have found no evidence to tell us whether this heavyweight built dams or felled trees, but base on the giant beaver’s build, paleontologists believe it behaved much as living beavers do…
The abundance of fossils suggests the giant beaver’s favorite locales were ponds, lakes, and swamps south of the Great Lakes, where it ate coarse swamp vegetation.
Ice Age Mammals of North America: A Guide to the Big, the Hairy, and the Bizarre Ian M. Lange, p. 120

Two American Indian beaver legends found at

The Great Beaver, whose pond flowed over the whole basin of Mt. Tom, made havoc among the fish and when these failed he would come ashore and devour Indians. A pow-wow was held and Hobomock raised, who came to their relief. With a great stake in hand, he waded the river until he found the beaver, and so hotly chased him that he sought to escape by digging into the ground. Hobomock saw his plan and his whereabouts, and with his great stake jammed the beaver's head off. The earth over the beaver's head we call Sugarloaf, his body lies just to the north of it.
Field, P., 1870-79, Stories, anecdotes, and legends, collected and written down by Deacon Phinehas Field:
In History and Proceedings of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA, v. 1, p. 59.

The great beaver preyed upon the fish of the Long River. And when other food became scarce, he took to eating men out of the river villages. Hobomuck, a benevolent spirit giant, at last was invoked to relieve the distressed people. Hobomock came and chased the great beaver far into the immense lake that then covered the meadows, flinging as ran great handfuls of dirt and rock at the beaver. Finally he threw a bunch of dirt so great upon the beaver's head that it sank him in the middle of the lake. Hobomock, arriving a few minutes later, dispatched the monster by a blow with his club on the back of the beaver's neck. And there he lies to this day. The upturned head covered with dirt is the sandstone cliff of Wequamps (Mt. Sugar Loaf), and the body is the northward range. The hollow between is where Hobomock's cudgel smote down his neck.

Pressey, E.P., 1910, History of Montague: Montague, MA, p. 64.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Most interesting research. Sometimes one can get too fascinated with research. Sounds like you've done just enough.

Kaye George said...

I, of course, did way more research than I could put into a novel. I'm sure you do that, too. It is hard to know what to use and what to let go. I might like to be a textbook writer. Thanks for commenting, Marilyn!