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Prehistoric humans — perhaps Neanderthals or another lost species — occupied what is now California some 130,000 years ago, a team of scientists reported on Wednesday.

The bold and fiercely disputed claim, published in the journal Nature, is based on a study of mastodon bones discovered near San Diego. If the scientists are right, they would significantly alter our understanding of how humans spread around the planet.

The earliest widely accepted evidence of people in the Americas is less than 15,000 years old. Genetic studies strongly support the idea that those people were the ancestors of living Native Americans, arriving in North America from Asia.
Team Members

 

President

 

If humans actually were in North America over 100,000 years earlier, they may not be related to any living group of people. Modern humans probably did not expand out of Africa until 50,000 to 80,000 years ago.

 

 

Vice President

 

The network has lost more than 10 million subscribers over the past several years. At the same time, the cost of broadcasting major sports has continued to rise. ESPN committed to a 10-year, $15.2 billion deal with the N.F.L.

 

 

Sales Manager

 

ESPN is by far the biggest and most powerful entity in the industry, and it also may feel the sting more as viewers turn away from traditional ways of consuming live sports.

 

 

Technology Lead

 

ESPN on Wednesday began another round of layoffs, this one aimed at on-air talent, perhaps the starkest sign yet of the financial reckoning playing out in sports broadcasting as cord-cutting proliferates.