When Did Hippos Colonize Mediterranean Islands?

When Did Hippos Colonize Mediterranean Islands?

The accumulation of small heritable changes within populations over time.

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When Did Hippos Colonize Mediterranean Islands?

#1  Postby AlanF » Apr 10, 2021 7:05 pm

I'm doing some research on creationist themes, and recently ran across several creationist claims that the existence of large quantities of hippopotamus bones in caves on Mediterranean islands such as Sicily proves a flood catastrophe, i.e., Noah's Flood.

After doing some research I've found that there appear to be two schools of thought among paleontologists as to the time when hippos first colonized various Mediterranean islands: (1) Around the beginning of the Pleistocene about 2.5 million years ago; (2) Some time before the beginning of the Messinian Salinity Crisis about 6 million years ago.

Number (2) makes more sense to me, since the Mediterranean repeatedly dried up over the next 700,000 years, and various paleontologists have found that many African animals besides hippos seem to have appeared in Eurasia around this time.

I can find no definitive information about these issues.

Any comments?
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Re: When Did Hippos Colonize Mediterranean Islands?

#2  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 10, 2021 9:55 pm

I think the evidence strongly suggests they spread to southern Europe during the times of the Messinian Salinity crisis when sea levels were low in the Med. They've got legs, and they can swim. Some populations remained on later diminishing land masses and developed insular dwarfism. Seems to me to be sufficient to explain how and when.
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Re: When Did Hippos Colonize Mediterranean Islands?

#3  Postby Calilasseia » Apr 11, 2021 8:26 pm

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Re: When Did Hippos Colonize Mediterranean Islands?

#4  Postby Ironclad » Apr 12, 2021 6:53 am

There were miniature elephants on at least one island, so perhaps a hippo relative too. I would not guess how they got there but remember the Sea has retreated and or emptied before.
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