Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Mammoth Conclusion

From Pennsyvania’s Times

Japanese scientists said Friday that DNA tests have shown that the prehistoric woolly mammoth is more closely related to Asian elephants than to their African counterparts, settling a long-running debate over the lineage of the giant animals that went extinct 10,000 years ago.

Nagoya University professor Tomoo Ozawa and his team examined muscle tissue DNA taken from a woolly mammoth excavated in Siberia and determined that the mammoth and Asiatic elephants branched off from the same ancestor 4.8 million years ago. African elephants diverged from the family tree earlier on, about 7.3 million years ago, the group said. Ozawa's group analyzed DNA taken from the mammoth and compared it with that of Asiatic and African elephants. Experts' views had been divided over which group of elephants the woolly mammoth was more closely related to.

Read the rest of the story HERE. Image from HERE.