Saturday 24 March 2012

mammoths not interbred to extinction says new study

  Mammoths' extinction not due to inbreeding, study finds
By Dhruti Shah
BBC News
The last known population of woolly mammoths did not "inevitably" die out because of inbreeding and lack of genetic diversity, a study suggests. Scientists used techniques normally used to tackle crime scenes to carry out DNA analysis of samples taken from Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean. They said that it was more likely that human activity or environmental factors killed off the healthy creatures. Their work is published in the journal Molecular Ecology. Although mammoths generally died out and disappeared from mainland Eurasia and North America around 10,000 years ago, about 500-1,000 mammoths continued to survive on Wrangel Island for a further 6,000 years. The 7,000 sq km Wrangel is about 140km from the Russian mainland.

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