From PhysOrg this morning, in a study using “DNA bar-codes” (mitochondrial DNA, using a specific gene COI) and conducted around the world, here’s the verdict:
The study’s most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
“This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could,” Thaler told AFP.
The scientists can’t figure out what might have caused this. They ask:
Was there some catastrophic event 200,000 years ago that nearly wiped the slate clean?
Maybe a “flood”?
About “bar-codes” there’s this:
On the one hand, the COI gene sequence is similar across all animals, making it easy to pick out and compare.
On the other hand, these mitochondrial snippets are different enough to be able to distinguish between each species.
“It coincides almost perfectly with species designations made by specialist experts in each animal domain,” Thaler said.
IOW, this method works, unlike, say, ‘phylogenetic trees’!
Here’s the actual article. I haven’t had time to read it.