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Two-million-year-old ecosystem in Greenland discovered using DNA

2022-12-07T16:57:53.565Z

DECRYPTION - Analyzes have made it possible to describe the fauna and flora of the island, in a climate that was much warmer at the time.



Two million years ago, the ancestors of hares and reindeer frolicked in far northern Greenland alongside lemmings, swans and geese.

Mastodons, ancient relatives of the elephant, also populated the forests of poplars, birches and cedars that sheltered the island under a much milder climate than the current one (more than ten degrees warmer in this place).

This ecosystem, described with unprecedented precision, bears no resemblance to the polar desert that this region of the globe is today.

It has however been

“reconstituted”

piece by piece by an international team led by professors Eske Willerslev and Kurt H. Kjær, from the universities of Cambridge and Copenhagen.

A

"first"

achieved through the analysis of DNA fragments trapped for millennia in the layers of sediment that have accumulated over time in the bay of Cape Copenhagen, in northern Greenland.

A new chapter in the history of evolution

“So far, the oldest DNA sequenced came from buried mammoth teeth…

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Source: lefigaro

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