Dear Juha and all,

I may have missed something in scanning the replies so far, but i would also
like to add that archaeological distributions of species can not only
reflect changes over time due to husbandry, introductions,
hunting/extinction etc, but also to natural climate change. Who'd have
believed that there were pelicans and European pond terrapins in East Anglia
a few thousand years ago if we hadn't found their remains? The northern
ranges of lots of species have disjunct patchy distributions resulting from
thermal decline since the Holocene climatic optimum. Finds of their bones in
archaeological sites often fill in gaps in our knowledge of where species
used to be but aren't found today.


Dr Chris Gleed-Owen
Research & Monitoring Officer

The Herpetological Conservation Trust
655A Christchurch Road
Dorset  BH1 4AP

tel: 01202 391319   fax: 01202 392785   mob: 07810 770560