Geneticists have found traces of crossing elephants and mammoths

Geneticists have found traces of crossing elephants and mammoths

Genetics “wrote” the most complete evolutionary history of the elephant.

In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists presented a phylogenetic tree of this family. It turned out that elephants and mammoths many traveled from continent to continent and interbred among themselves.

Tens of thousands of years ago elephants lived in Eurasia, Africa and North America and was one of the most common families of megafauna, which, in particular, treated elephants, mammoths and palaeoloxodon. Now in the world there are three types of elephants — African Savannah (Loxodonta africana) and forest (L. cyclotis) and Indian elephants (Elephas maximus). Biologists have divided the African elephants into two types according to the results of morphological and genetic (1, 2) studies.

To trace the history of the family of elephant researchers from nine countries under the direction of David Reich (David Reich) from the Institute of Ford, MIT, and Harvard University, otsenival the genomes of 14 members Robotnik. Including scientists have determined the genome sequence of two African Savannah, two forest and two Indian elephants from different populations, probivnogo extinct forest elephant (Paleoloxodon antiquus), four woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) that lived in Eurasia and North America, Columbus mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) and two representatives of the closely related family of mastodons (Mammut americanum). Mastodons and elephants were divided in a period of 20-30 million years ago. In addition, the authors reviewed the already published genomes of two woolly mammoths and four Indian elephants. According to the analysis, the researchers built a phylogenetic tree elephant.

It turned out that elephants and mammoths had traveled between continents and crossed among themselves.

So, mammoths of Columbus, lived in North America were bred from the woolly mammoths that migrated from Eurasia. In my previous article, the authors consider the African forest elephant’s closest relative probivnogo elephant-Antiques.

In fact, anticus were genetically similar and woolly mammoths, and the common ancestor of both species of African elephants. At the same time, the researchers once again confirmed that African Savannah and forest elephants are different species. Their ancestors split approximately 2-5 million years ago. And the last 500 thousand years of its history the African Savannah and forest elephants lived in isolation from each other and not crossed.

Recently, Finnish scientists were able to describe individual traits of Asian elephants. It turned out that the identity of animals is characterized by three parameters: the attentiveness, sociability and aggressiveness.