sciencemag.org SCIENCE 390 25 JULY 2014 • VOL 345 ISSUE 6195
detailed in our Perspective, the anticipated
benefits of fencing are often not realized,
and so the prospects of success need to
be realistically evaluated. Moreover, it is
important to bear in mind that patches of
wildlife habitat may be less isolated than
they appear. In contrast with Pfeifer et al.’s
statement, there is growing evidence of dispersal between apparently isolated wildlife
areas, for example by tigers (1), wolves (2),
and elephants (3). Such movements across
the human-dominated matrix may improve
the viability of relatively isolated populations, and the consequences of breaking
such connectivity through fencing need to
be carefully considered.
We cited the paucity of fencing around
reserves in North America as an illustration of alternatives rather than a model for
other regions. Tolerance of wildlife movement in and out of many North American
national parks may be related to sustainable use (including recreational hunting)
on adjoining lands. This approach may or
may not be appropriate elsewhere, but its
success indicates that fencing is not the
only way for societies to conserve large
mammals while also pursuing economic
Fencing interventions are often less
straightforward than they seem, and may
have lasting and irreversible impacts.
Conservationists need to pay attention to
both positive and negative impacts, and
consider a range of interventions, not just
fencing, to design long-term solutions to
Rosie Woodroffe,1 Simon Hedges,2
1Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London,
London, NW1 4RY, UK. 2Wildlife Conservation
Society, Bronx, N Y 10460, USA.
*Corresponding author. E-mail: rosie.woodrofe@
1. P. A. Reddy et al ., PLOS ONE 7, 9 (2012).
2. P. Ciucci, W. Reggioni, L. Maiorano, L. Boitani,J.Wildlife
Manage. 73, 1300 (2009).
3. N.Pinter-Wollman, L.A.Isbell,L.A.Hart, Biol. Conserv.
142, 1116 (2009).
IN THE 16 MAY ISSUE of Science, we were
part of a research team that reported the
analysis of a late Pleistocene–age human
skeleton found below sea level within a
cave on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula (1).
Mitochondrial DNA extracted from this
individual’s tooth identified a subhap-
logroup that is found today only among
Native Americans. Based on our findings,
we hypothesized that the morphological
differences between these early people
and modern Native Americans resulted
from in situ evolution rather than separate
ancestry. In the accompanying News &
Analysis story “Bones from a watery ‘black
hole’ confirm first American origins”
(16 May, p. 680), M. Balter quoted J. C.
Chatters discussing ideas that are his
alone. Chatters is quoted as characterizing
early Native Americans “with their large
skulls and more forward-projecting faces”
as a “human ‘wild type’” distinct from
modern Native Americans “with rounder
and flatter faces” that “reflect a more
‘domestic’ form.” The quoted comments
do not reflect the research results and
interpretations reported in our paper, and
we do not endorse the ideas presented in
this section of the News article. Our study
has no bearing on the sociobehavioral life
of ancestral Americans or other human
populations. We joined the Hoyo Negro
project because of our interest in understanding the physical, cultural, and genetic
diversity of human beings through time
and across space.
Douglas J. Kennett,1 Yemane Asmerom,2
Brian M. Kemp,3 Victor Polyak,2 Deborah
A. Bolnick,4 Ripan S. Malhi,5
Brendan J. Culleton1
1Department of Anthropology and Institutes
of Energy and the Environment, Pennsylvania
State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
2Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences,
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
87131–0001, USA. 3Department of Anthropology
and School of Biological Sciences, Washington State
University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA. 4Department
of Anthropology and Population Research Center,
University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
5Institute of Genomic Biology, University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801, USA.
*Corresponding author. E-mail: email@example.com
1. J. C. Chatters et al ., Science 344, 750 (2014).
AS ANTHROPOLOGISTS, archaeologists,
and biologists, and as members of the
National Academy of Sciences, we were
startled to read J. C. Chatters’ statement
that the cranial morphology of early
Native Americans “represented a human
‘wild type,’” whereas more recent Native
American cranial morphology reflected
a “domesticated” form (“Bones from a
watery ‘black hole’ confirm first American
origins,” M. Balter, News & Analysis, 16
May, p. 680). We are deeply offended by
Chatters’ implicit comparison of early
Americans to the wild ancestors of today’s
We are disheartened to learn that there
are those who continue to believe that
cranial morphology carries implications of
a presumed “wild” state. By so doing, they
demean the very people they attempt to
D. K. Grayson,1 D. J. Meltzer,2
J. E. Buikstra,3 K. V. Flannery,4 C. S.
Fowler,5J. Marcus,4 J. F. O’Connell,6 D. R.
Piperno,7 J. A. Sabloff,8 B. D. Smith,9 D. H.
Thomas,10 E. Willerslev,11 M. A. Zeder9
1Department of Anthropology and Quaternary
Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle,
WA 98185, USA. 2Department of Anthropology,
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275,
USA. 3School of Human Evolution and Social
Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287,
USA. 4Museum of Anthropological Archaeology,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
5Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada,
Reno, NV 89557, USA. 6Department of Anthropology,
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.
7Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology
and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
(Panama), National Museum of Natural History,
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560,
USA. 8Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA.
9Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology,
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA. 10Division
of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural
University of Copenhagen, DK-1350 Copenhagen
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE IDEAS I DISCUSSED with Balter,
which were abbreviated in the story, are
excerpted from a peer-reviewed article
by me titled “Wild-type colonizers and
high frequencies of violence among the
Paleoamericans” (1). Domestication is
not a foreign concept in discussions of
human evolution. Literature on human
self-domestication includes, among others, contributions by Leach (2) and Taylor
(3). It is important to remember that, as
Darwin effectively demonstrated more
than 140 years ago in his Descent of Man
(4), humans are subject to the same evolutionary processes as other species.
James C. Chatters
Applied Paleoscience, Bothell, WA 98011, USA.
1. J. C. Chatters, in Violence and Warfare Among Prehistoric
Hunter-Gatherers: Re-examining a Pacified Past, M. Allen,
T. Jones, Eds. (Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, CA, 2014),
2. H. M. Leach,
Curr.Anthropol. 44, 349 (2003).
3. J. Taylor, Not a Chimp: The Hunt to Find the Genes that
Make Us Human (Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, 2009).
4. C. Darwin, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to
Sex (John Murray, London, 1871).