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"Ancient genomes suggest woolly rhinos went extinct ..." Topic

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295 hits since 16 Sep 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2020 3:22 p.m. PST

…due to climate change, not overhunting

""It was initially thought that humans appeared in northeastern Siberia fourteen or fifteen thousand years ago, around when the woolly rhinoceros went extinct. But recently, there have been several discoveries of much older human occupation sites, the most famous of which is around thirty thousand years old," says senior author Love DalÚn, a professor of evolutionary genetics at the Centre for Palaeogenetics, a joint venture between Stockholm University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History. "So, the decline towards extinction of the woolly rhinoceros doesn't coincide so much with the first appearance of humans in the region. If anything, we actually see something looking a bit like an increase in population size during this period."

To learn about the size and stability of the woolly rhinoceros population in Siberia, the researchers studied the DNA from tissue, bone, and hair samples of 14 individuals. "We sequenced a complete nuclear genome to look back in time and estimate population sizes, and we also sequenced fourteen mitochondrial genomes to estimate the female effective population sizes," says co-first author Edana Lord, a PhD student at the Centre for Palaeogenetics…"


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Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2020 8:47 p.m. PST

Interesting article, tango.


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2020 12:04 p.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend! (smile)


rvandusen17 Sep 2020 1:06 p.m. PST

Good article. Thanks for sharing. This has seemed the most likely cause of the megafauna extinction to me since I first read about the theory of Ice Age warming a few years back in a book on mammoths. I don't think that human populations were big enough to hunt these animals into extinction by themselves. The warming earth brought about habitat collapse in the northern hemisphere, and the small bands of hunters finished off the survivors.

Don Manser18 Sep 2020 4:28 a.m. PST

Habitat collapse in what sense? Warmer temperatures resulting in a higher volume and diversity of plant matter for herbivores? I'm probably missing something.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 11:45 a.m. PST

A votre service mon ami!. (smile)


rvandusen19 Sep 2020 4:00 p.m. PST

According to what I recall from the book on mammoths,the northern hemisphere was covered by "mammoth steppe," which consisted of mixed vegetation that the magafauna evolved to feed on. When the climate warmed up with the steppe was largely replaced by woodland from the north and grassland in the southern region. Animals such as mammoths did not eat trees and also could not retreat onto the grassland, since the plains were quickly filled with herd mammals, such as bison and aurochs, that out-competed the megafauna for grazing.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2020 4:29 p.m. PST



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