Elephant family tree needs a rethink?
|January 22, 2018||Posted by News under Evolution, Intelligent Design, speciation|
Extinct species’ DNA suggests so, according to researchers. From Ewen Callaway at Nature:
Scientists had assumed from fossil evidence that an ancient predecessor called the straight-tusked elephant (Paleoloxodon antiquus), which lived in European forests until around 100,000 years ago, was a close relative of Asian elephants.
In fact, this ancient species is most closely related to African forest elephants, a genetic analysis now reveals. Even more surprising, living forest elephants in the Congo Basin are closer kin to the extinct species than they are to today’s African savannah-dwellers. And, together with newly announced genomes from ancient mammoths, the analysis also reveals that many different elephant and mammoth species interbred in the past. More.
Speciation ain’t what it used to be. Neither is certainty about evolution.
See also: New butterfly has 46 chromosomes, like a human, not the expected 68, like a close relative
DNA: Giraffes are four separate species?