Navigation Links
Ancient DNA traces the woolly mammoth's disappearance

Some ancient-DNA evidence has offered new clues to a very cold case: the disappearance of the last woolly mammoths, one of the most iconic of all Ice Age giants, according to a June 7th report published online in Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press.

DNA lifted from the bones, teeth, and tusks of the extinct mammoths revealed a “genetic signature” of a range expansion after the last interglacial period. After the mammoths’ migration, the population apparently leveled off, and one of two lineages died out.

“In combination with the results on other species, a picture is emerging of extinction not as a sudden event at the end of the last ice age, but as a piecemeal process over tens of thousands of years involving progressive loss of genetic diversity,” said Dr. Ian Barnes, of Royal Holloway, University of London. “For the mammoth, this seems much more likely to have been driven by environmental rather than human causes, even if humans might have been responsible for killing off the small, terminal populations that were left.”

Barnes, along with Dr. Adrian Lister of the University College London and the Natural History Museum in London and others, had earlier found evidence that bison, bears, and lions underwent major population shifts twenty-five to fifty thousand years ago. Those results came as a surprise, the researchers said, because scientists tended to think that the major environmental changes happened about fifteen to twenty-five thousand years ago, when the glaciers reached their fullest extent. The findings also offered early human hunters a potential alibi; they didn’t come on the scene in large numbers until even later.

In search of a general pattern in the new study, Barnes and Lister’s team looked to the extinct woolly mammoth. What they found, however, was an “interesting pattern, not like those of the other species.”

Their genetic data indicate that Siberian mammoths expanded from a small base s ome time before sixty thousand years ago. Moreover, they found two distinct genetic groups, implying that mammoths had diverged in isolation for some time before merging back into a single population. The DNA further suggests that no later than forty thousand years ago, one of the groups died out, leaving only the second alive at the time of the mammoth’s last gasp.

“At a time when we should be very concerned about the potential extinction of many existing large mammals, studying those that occurred in the geologically recent past can provide many insights,” Lister said. “Our work, together with that of others, shows that the conditions for extinction can be set up long before the actual extinction event.”


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Ancient olfaction protein is shared by many bugs, offering new pest control target
2. Ancient immune defense mechanism is no match for HIV-1
3. Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species
4. Researchers Discover Ancient Origins Of Tuberculosis-causing Bacteria
5. Ancient DNA confirms single origin of Malagasy primates
6. Ancient anthropoid origins discovered in Africa
7. Ancient trans-Atlantic swarm brought locusts to the New World
8. Ancient humans brought bottle gourds to the Americas from Asia
9. Ancient DNA helps UF researchers unearth potential hemophilia therapy
10. Ancient DNA provides clues to the evolution of social behavior
11. Ancient ants arose 140-168 million years ago

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016 This ... the bioinformatic market by reviewing the recent advances ... tools that drive the field forward. Includes forecast ... Identify the challenges and opportunities that exist ... and software solution developers, as well as IT ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Rising sales of ... global touchfree intuitive gesture control market size ... sales of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements ... size through 2020   --> ... new technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... BELL, Pa. , Jan. 25, 2016   Unisys Corporation ... recognition system at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, ... Border Protection (CBP) identify imposters attempting to enter ... do not belong to them. pilot testing of ... out initially at three terminals at JFK during January 2016. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... enterprise talent development and compliance training, today announced an interactive FDA compliance ... Playbook™. The RAPS (Regulatory Affairs Professional Society) accredited interactive course on Morf ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... Club, takes place February 5-6 at the University’s student center, Kehr Union, ... such as workshops and competitions for ample networking, learning and collaborating opportunities. ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 --> --> ... is pleased to provide the following update on recent corporate ... the last 3 months we have significantly increased our cash ... $1,000,000. As a result, we have positioned ourselves to execute ... agreement and expect that development to continue on schedule. ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Franz Inc. ... Graph Database technology has been recognized As “ Best in Semantic Web Technology ... , “At Corporate America, it’s our priority to showcase prominent professionals who are ...
Breaking Biology Technology: