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Yukon in the Younger Dryas

12 September 2020

At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-reveal-richer-picture-dna-recovery.html … a new technique has led to the extraction of DNA from soil for analysis, pulling the genomes of hundreds of animals and thousands of plants from less than a gram of sediment. A remarkable claim. As such, scientists now say they can reconstruct ancient environments that existed thousands of years ago. They analysed samples from four sites in the Yukon, each representing a different point in the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene, roughly 11,000 years ago. This is basically the Younger Dryas episode, which lasted roughly 1300 years. The transiton featured the extinction of large fauna such as mammoth, bison, mastodons, and giant ground sloths. Some surprising information has emerged. Woolly mammoths, for example, survived for longer than originally believed. The genetic remnants of these animals has been dated as recently as 9700 years ago – virtually at the cusp of the Holocene. This is the final throes of the Younger Dryas episode. One has to wonder then about the claim that the Younger Dryas boundary event was responsible for their extinction, or a changing environment much later. Something doesn't quite ring right for the moment, unless another catastrophic event brought the Younger Dryas to an end.

At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-oldest-neanderthal-dna-central-eastern-eur… … the oldest Neanderthal DNA from central-eastern Europe, going back 100,000 years ago. At 90,000 years ago central European Neanderthals replaced the Altai Neanderthals in central Asia, and by 45,000 years ago had established themselves as local groups in the Caucasus, These shifts appear to reflect changing habitats of the animals they hunted.

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