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Utah beats old skier record by 12 per cent

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The water we drink reveals much

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. — Police still do not know the name of a woman whose body was found near Mammoth Lakes, but they know an amazing amount about her. Indeed, the case has drawn national attention, notes the Mammoth Times.

The body was found two years ago by a dog belonging to a hiker. Although decomposed, investigators had a relatively easy time figure out that she was female, aged 30 to 50, and an American Indian. A physical anthropologist who specializes in DNA work in aboriginal American populations further isolated her genetic background to that of the Zapotec Indians from far southern Mexico.

Forensic anthropologist then did an isotopic examine of the victim’s bones, teeth, and hair. That’s when they discovered she had probably been born in Mexico or the U.S. Southwest and lived on a very meager diet based mostly on corn. They also learned the water she drank was consistent with the isotopic signature of the water in the American Southwest or northern Mexico, or even in Los Angeles.

Then, in the last 10 to 12 years of her life, she moved to southern Mexico, where she had a much better diet. Finally, in the last two years, she moved to California, although there were no isotopic fingerprints to suggest she had lived any length of time in the Mammoth area.

But who is she? Police still don’t know, but they think the woman was seen by two people working at a Forest Service station in 2002. A very thin woman, she was with a very heavy Caucasian man. The two workers thought she was Asian, but their description very closely fits the reconstruction of her face. They say she indicated she was frightened of the man, and the workers observed that he was abrasive and mean-spirited.

Swans return to Bow Valley

CANMORE, Alberta — Just as the swallows always return to Capistrano, each spring hundreds of tundra and trumpeter swans return to Canmore on their path north.

The trumpeters, the largest swan in the world, with wingspans of up to eight feet, spend winters in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, where thermal vents keep some bodies of water open year-round. The tundra swans are smaller and are believed to winter in California, but return to Alaska and the high Arctic.

Along the way, both species of swans stop by in the Bow River Valley, sometimes in congregations of 1,300. On their stop-over they eat and often indulge in a little whoopee, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook. But the birds aren’t promiscuous, adds the newspaper, as both species of swans mate for life.

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