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Tribes in the Amazon built fish ponds to handle droughts for thousands of years, new research discovered. Scientists have studied more than 17,000 fish remains (photo) in an area that was between 500 and 1400 AD. Has been taken by people

Tribes in the Amazon built fish ponds to handle droughts for thousands of years, new research discovered.

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A network of ponds connected by channels that captured rain and stored, was supposed to feed local settlements throughout the year.

By studying fish fossils, scientists also discovered fish species with adaptations that allowed them to live in these ponds throughout the year.

Scientists from universities in France and Brazil think these ponds were cultivated supporting a permanent human settlement in the region.

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Tribes in the Amazon built fish ponds to handle droughts for thousands of years, new research discovered. Scientists have studied more than 17,000 fish remains (photo) in an area that was between 500 and 1400 AD. Has been taken by people

Tribes in the Amazon built fish ponds to handle droughts for thousands of years, new research discovered. Scientists have studied more than 17,000 fish remains (photo) in an area that was between 500 and 1400 AD. Has been taken by people

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The study looked at the Llanos de Mojos region in central Bolivia, a vast plain that receives flooding rains from October to April and virtually no rainfall for the rest of the year.

From around 500 AD, people began to create earthen terps in the region that were established as permanent settlements.

One is Loma Salavtierra, located more than 50 kilometers from the nearest major river, and has become an important archaeological site, as well as the focus of current research.

Scientists have studied more than 17,000 fish remains in Loma Salavtierra between 500 and 1400 AD.

A team of researchers – led by Gabriela Prestes-Carneiro from the Federal University of West Para, Brazil – studied the bones of the remains of more than 17,000 fish found in the middle stacks by the pond.

These artificial constructions are thought to be used as fish ponds, but how these fisheries may have functioned is still poorly known.

Utilizing a comparative collection of scientists from the National Museum of History in Paris identified more than 35 different fish species, with four fish species predominating: swamps, armored catfish, lung fish and tiger fish.

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The study is the first to document the full range of fish species that are being kept in these constructed ponds in the settlement area and offers new insights into how people have adapted the savannah environment to cope with the drought that lasts for months.

The author of the study wrote in the latest report: & although many studies have drawn attention to how Pre-Hispanic residents of these savannas could handle excess water, little attention has been paid to understanding how large and permanent populations supported for a long time. periods of drought.

& # 39; In Loma Salavtierra a network of circular ponds has been identified that are connected to the canal system, which raises questions about the possible use of these structures for fishing. & # 39;

A network of ponds connected by channels that captured rain and stored, was supposed to feed local settlements throughout the year. Pictured: Illustration shows the inside of an old circular pond with an exit that leads to a channel visible in the middle at the end

A network of ponds connected by channels that captured rain and stored, was supposed to feed local settlements throughout the year. Pictured: Illustration shows the inside of an old circular pond with an exit that leads to a channel visible in the middle at the end

A network of ponds connected by channels that captured rain and stored, was supposed to feed local settlements throughout the year. Pictured: Illustration shows the inside of an old circular pond with an exit that leads to a channel visible in the middle at the end

One of these constructed ponds found in the Loma Salavtierra (photo) is located more than 50 kilometers from the nearest large river. It has become an important archaeological site, as well as the focus of current research
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One of these constructed ponds found in the Loma Salavtierra (photo) is located more than 50 kilometers from the nearest large river. It has become an important archaeological site, as well as the focus of current research

One of these constructed ponds found in the Loma Salavtierra (photo) is located more than 50 kilometers from the nearest large river. It has become an important archaeological site, as well as the focus of current research

Referring to the four dominant species of fish found, the authors said that all four are characteristic of shallow and stagnant waters. & # 39;

Previous work has demonstrated the existence of a series of shallow ponds surrounded by low earth walls and connected by canals, which are believed to have captured and stored rain during the dry season, possibly built to serve multiple purposes, including water storage, drainage and fish management.

All four are adapted to conditions with low oxygen and fluctuating water levels, as would be expected in the ponds during the long drying period between annual rains.

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Together with evidence of comparable pond networks elsewhere in the region, the authors suggest that their results point to the use of these ponds for year-round fishing, far away from rivers, permanent natural ponds or other open water habitats.

The authors added: "The savannah, unlike the major rivers in the Amazon, presents a different set of fishing habitats where people are likely to have identified specific fishing strategies."

Further studies will be needed to investigate the storage and holding activities of fish and whether these activities have changed in response to precipitation and landscape fluctuations.

WHAT DO THE RESEARCHERS THINK OF STUDYING THE FISH BONES?

A team of researchers studied the bones of the remains of more than 17,000 fish found in the middle piles near the pond.

These artificial constructions are thought to be used as fish ponds, but how these fisheries may have functioned is still poorly known.

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Utilizing a comparative collection of scientists from the National Museum of History in Paris identified more than 35 different fish species, with four fish species predominating: swamps, armored catfish, lung fish and tiger fish.

All four are adapted to conditions with low oxygen and fluctuating water levels, as would be expected in the ponds in the Amazon basin during the long dry period between annual rains.

Scientists from universities in France and Brazil therefore think that the fish, capable of surviving in the still and shallow waters of the dry season, were bred by people in the ponds to support a permanent human settlement.

Many similar ponds in the region probably formed a network that is connected through channels that collect and store the precipitation, providing the ponds with water.

The study is the first to document the full range of species of fish that are being kept in these constructed ponds in the settlement area and offers new insights into how people have adapted the savannah environment to cope with the droughts of months.

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