Navigation Links
Ancient DNA, not fossilized bones, shows late survival of Ice Age megafauna
Date:12/14/2009

University of Alberta researchers are part of an international team that has used DNA samples from frozen dirt, not fossilized bones, to revise the history of North America's woolly mammoths and ancient horses.

The work of U of A Earth and Atmospheric Sciences professor Duane Froese and his colleagues counters an important extinction theory, based on radiocarbon dating of bones and teeth. That analysis concluded that more than half of the large mammals in North America (the 'megafauna') disappeared about 13,000 years ago.

In the new research, DNA samples recovered from Alaskan permafrost showed that woolly mammoths and ancient horses were still roaming through central Alaska about 10,000 years ago, and possibly as recently as 7600 years ago. That predates the established record from fossil bones and teeth by at least 3,000 years.

The DNA samples were recovered from permafrost near the central Alaskan community of Stevens Village, on the banks of the Yukon River. Analysis of the samples from soils that formed between 10,000 and 7600 years ago showed the presence of mammoth and horse DNA together with animals typically found in the region today, such as moose and arctic hare.

The challenge of dating extinction events is finding fossilized remains from the last animal left standing of any given species. The chances of finding those exact bones are remote. But animals are constantly leaving behind tell-tale samples of DNA in the form of skin cells and feces in the environment. That's what Froese and the other researchers found in the permafrost, at a depth and time line that radically changes the extinction date for two members of North America's megafauna in the late Pleistocene.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Murphy
brian.murphy@ualberta.ca
780-492-6041
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Studying hair of ancient Peruvians answers questions about stress
2. Californias ancient kelp forest
3. Ancient penguin DNA raises doubts about accuracy of genetic dating techniques
4. A new wrinkle in ancient ocean chemistry
5. Volcanoes played pivotal role in ancient ice age, mass extinction
6. Genetic sex determination let ancient species adapt to ocean life
7. Biologists discover death stench is a universal ancient warning signal
8. Ancient oceans offer new insight into the origins of animal life
9. Scientists help explain effects of ancient Chinese herbal formulas on heart health
10. Climate-caused biodiversity booms and busts in ancient plants and mammals
11. Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2017)... -- Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative and ... solutions, announced today they will participate as a sponsor ... May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions of ... digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly every ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017 ... just announced a new breakthrough in biometric authentication ... exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These ... smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group and ... finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. Ram ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... DuPont Pioneer and recently formed CasZyme, ... into a multiyear collaboration to identify and characterize novel CRISPR-Cas nucleases. The goal ... editing across all applications. , Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneer will ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... partners with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality ... Several trends in analytical testing are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... LINDA, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 ... ... to upregulate any gene in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding ... (CRISPRa) system with small RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., a data solutions ... “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. Nicolas Cacciabeve, Managing ... how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in diagnostic confidence.* ...
Breaking Biology Technology: