Erlandson believes that kelp forests—rich oases of seaweed—were key to their success all along the route. Giant kelp grows nearly two feet a day, reaching lengths of 150 feet in the water. Kelp forests teem with abalone, rockfish, and other seafood delicacies. Furthermore, the fronds of kelp are edible, and its stemlike stipe can be cut to create fishing lines, making it possible to catch fish that live outside the kelp beds, such as halibut and cod.Ice Age migrants journeying from kelp forest to kelp forest, Erlandson says, would have had no need to adjust to strange new ecosystems or devise brand-new hunting technologies as they pushed along the rim of the North Pacific. “I think they were just moving along and exploring,” he muses. “It was like a kelp highway.”

Source: Did Humans Colonize the World by Boat? |