The Rock Island Line painted EMD E8 #652 in this Bicentennial paint scheme. This photo at La Salle Street Station is from August 1977 - note the old-style open-window commuter cars with no air conditioning!
About 2000 years ago in what is today western Illinois, a group of Native Americans buried something unusual in a sacred place. In the outer edge of a funeral mound typically reserved for humans, villagers interred a bobcat, just a few months old and wearing a necklace of bear teeth and marine shells. The discovery represents the only known ceremonial burial of an animal in such mounds and the only individual burial of a wild cat in the entire archaeological record, researchers claim in a new study. The villagers may have begun to tame the animal, the authors say, potentially shedding light on how dogs, cats, and other animals were domesticated.
“It’s surprising and marvelous and extremely special,” says Melinda Zeder, a zooarchaeologist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. But Zeder, who was not involved in the study, says it’s unclear whether these people treated the bobcat as a pet or invested the animal with a larger spiritual significance. Read more.