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We sequenced the oldest ever DNA, from million-year-old mammoths

By David Díez-del-Molino, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Palaeogenetics, Stockholm University
Love Dalén, Professor in Evolutionary Genetics, Centre for Palaeogenetics, Stockholm University
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Most people think of mammoths as the iconic woolly species from the last Ice Age, which ended around 12,000 years ago. But mammoths originated in Africa around 5 million years ago, then spread and diversified across Eurasia and North America.

About a million years ago there was one known species of mammoth inhabiting Siberia, the steppe mammoth. This was thought to be the ancestor of later species such as the woolly and Columbian mammoths. But was it?

In a new study, we show mammoth DNA as old as…


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