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"Monumental DNA Study Reveals Secrets of North" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2020 3:25 p.m. PST

…American Mastodons.

"A new paper published today offers surprising insight into the American mastodon and its reactions to a changing environment. This stocky megafauna—whose tusks, trunk, and four legs echo today's elephant—is thought to have lived predominantly within forests and marshy environments throughout ancient North America before its extinction approximately 11,000 years ago.

With technology not available even a decade ago, scientists have studied genetic information preserved within 33 mastodon individuals. They found that, when the Earth warmed in between Ice Ages, creating a corridor of land between ice sheets, American mastodons (Mammut americanum) took advantage of the expanding trees and plants that were able to grow in those climates. They may have migrated south when temperatures dropped, changing the landscape and possible food sources all around them. Amidst this migration, some mastodon populations thrived; others became isolated. All of them were impacted by the effects of weather that sculpted the world around them. The new research is published today in the journal Nature Communications…"
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