Scientists have discovered the oldest DNA ever found in the remains of two mammoths. DNA is more than 1 million years old – possibly 1.65 million years old.
Mammoth remains are located in the eastern Siberian permafrost. Thanks to the low temperatures in the frozen ground, DNA was preserved for a long time.
Based on the sediments in the surrounding soil layers, scientists estimate that the teeth are over a million years old. The genetic material of a mammoth indicates an older age: 1.65 million years for one mammoth, and 1.34 million years for another. Much older than the oldest DNA, which is the DNA of a horse that lived 560,000 to 780,000 years ago.
DNA is so ancient that it can shine a light on the origin of the species. Previously existing DNA provided insights into prehistoric species, but not how they arose from other species. You can read this evolution from DNA when it is a million years old or more. You can then try to get a very accurate picture of the genetic changes that occur when a species develops into a new one.
Indicates DNA found at that time in Eastern SiberiaH However, there should be two different types of mammoth. One of them may evolve into the woolly mammoth, and the other is part of a previously unknown genus. This line separated from the current mammoth line between 1.78 and 2.66 million years ago, according to researchers’ estimates, and will lead to the mammoth line that would colonize North America about 100,000 years ago.
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