Paper 61 The Mammalian Era on Urantia Page 700
numbers by the increasing cold of the glacial period. Toward the close of the ice age the majority of these animal species were extinct in North America.
Away from the ice the land and water life of the world was little changed. Between the ice invasions the climate was about as mild as at present, perhaps a little warmer. The glaciers were, after all, local phenomena, though they spread out to cover enormous areas. The coastwise climate varied greatly between the times of glacial inaction and those times when enormous icebergs were sliding off the coast of Maine into the Atlantic, slipping out through Puget Sound into the Pacific, and thundering down Norwegian fiords into the North Sea.
6. PRIMITIVE MAN IN THE ICE AGE
The great event of this glacial period was the evolution of primitive man. Slightly to the west of India, on land now under water and among the offspring of Asiatic migrants of the older North American lemur types, the dawn mammals suddenly appeared. These small animals walked mostly on their hind legs, and they possessed large brains in proportion to their size and in comparison with the brains of other animals. In the seventieth generation of this order of life a new and higher group of animals suddenly differentiated. These new mid-mammals—almost twice the size and height of their ancestors and possessing proportionately increased brain power—had only well established themselves when the Primates, the third vital mutation, suddenly appeared. (At this same time, a retrograde development within the mid-mammal stock gave origin to the simian ancestry; and from that day to this the human branch has gone forward by progressive evolution, while the simian tribes have remained stationary or have actually retrogressed.)
1,000,000 years ago Urantia was registered as an inhabited world. A mutation within the stock of the progressing Primates suddenly produced two primitive human beings, the actual ancestors of mankind.
This event occurred at about the time of the beginning of the third glacial advance; thus it may be seen that your early ancestors were born and bred in a stimulating, invigorating, and difficult environment. And the sole survivors of these Urantia aborigines, the Eskimos, even now prefer to dwell in frigid northern climes.
Human beings were not present in the Western Hemisphere until near the close of the ice age. But during the interglacial epochs they passed westward around the Mediterranean and soon overran the continent of Europe. In the caves of western Europe may be found human bones mingled with the remains of both tropic and arctic animals, testifying that man lived in these regions throughout the later epochs of the advancing and retreating glaciers.
7. THE CONTINUING ICE AGE
Throughout the glacial period other activities were in progress, but the action of the ice overshadows all other phenomena in the northern latitudes. No other terrestrial activity leaves such characteristic evidence on the topography. The distinctive boulders and surface cleavages, such as potholes, lakes, displaced stone, and rock flour, are to be found in connection with no other