Evolution controversy: DNA shows that last woolly mammoths had North American roots

In a surprising reversal of conventional wisdom, a DNA-based study has revealed that the last of the woolly mammoths—which lived between 40,000 and 4,000 years ago—had roots that were exclusively North American.

Phys.Org reports:
"Scientists have always thought that because mammoths roamed such a huge territory—from Western Europe to Central North America—that North American woolly mammoths were a sideshow of no particular significance to the evolution of the species," said Hendrik Poinar, associate professor in the departments of Anthropology, and Pathology & Molecular Medicine at McMaster University. "However, it now appears that mammoths established themselves in North America much earlier than presumed, then migrated back to Siberia, and eventually replaced all pre-existing haplotypes of mammoths" says Poinar.

The research, which appears in the September issue of Current Biology, is expected to cause some controversy within the paleontological community. READ MORE

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