Skip to comments.DNA Analysis Reveals Rapid Population Shift Among Pleistocene Cave Bears
Posted on 02/20/2007 12:08:06 PM PST by blam
Public release date: 19-Feb-2007
Contact: Erin Doonan
DNA analysis reveals rapid population shift among Pleistocene cave bears
Studying DNA obtained from teeth of ancient cave bears, researchers have been able to identify a shift in a particular population of the bears inhabiting a European valley in the late Pleistocene era. The findings illustrate the ability of DNA sequence analysis to reveal aspects of animal population dynamics in the distant past and potentially illuminate the influence of human migrations in animal population changes. The new work, reported by a collaborative group of researchers including Michael Hofreiter of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, appears in the February 20th issue of the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press.
To investigate the stability of ancient cave bear populations over time, the researchers obtained DNA samples from 29 cave bear teeth from three geographically close caves in the Ach Valley, near the Danube River in modern-day southern Germany. Twenty of the teeth ultimately provided useful mitochondrial DNA sequence (mitochondrial DNA is especially useful for tracking population changes). The findings indicated that while four sequence types (known as haplotypes) corresponded to bears 28,000 to 38,000 years old, a fifth DNA haplotype was found only in bears that were 28,000 years old or younger. These data suggested that what had been a stable, long-established cave bear population became disrupted around 28,000 years ago and was replaced by a new, genetically distinct cave bear group.
The timing of the disruption appears to roughly coincide with the arrival of modern humans in the Ach Valley, thought to have occurred by 32,000 years ago. The researchers suggest that human influence in the form of hunting and competition for sheltering caves may represent a plausible explanation for the disruption in the cave bear population, creating an opportunity for the infiltration by a neighboring cave bear group. The authors note that though the new bears successfully colonized the Ach Valley for a time, they endured only another 2,000 years before becoming extinct in the region.
The researchers include Michael Hofreiter and Svante Pääbo of Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany; Susanne Münzel and Nicholas J. Conard of Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen in Tübingen, Germany; Joshua Pollack and Montgomery Slatkin of University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, CA; Gunter Weiss of Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany.
What a shame, if the new bears had only been able to hold out another 30,000 years they would have been classified as an endangered species and become PETA's favorite pets.
Which is why we started global warming, we ran out of bears to make coats from. So we began to warm the earth...
Kicked Yogi and BooBoo out of their house!
But at least we gave them ties and hats to wear.
If only Bush would've checked the teeth of cave bears instead of starting illegal wars and giving tax breaks to his oil buddies...
"human influence in the form of hunting and competition for sheltering caves may represent a plausible explanation for the disruption in the cave bear population, creating an opportunity for the infiltration by a neighboring cave bear group."
Global Cave Bear Disruption alert! After 10,000 years humans drove out one species of cave bear.
Within a couple of thousand more year, even a new species which infiltrated the vacated area was an endangered species and should have been protected by the PEPA (Pre-Historic Environmental Protection Act."
This is clear evidence that humans despoil the earth and its creatures for their own comfort. They should have shared those caves with the cave bears.
Who knows what medical or social benefits could have been maintained if we still had those cave bears around today?
"The cave bears, Ursus spelaeus and their cousins Ursus deningeri, were fierce, 20-foot long versions of Grizzly bears with huge teeth and razor sharp claws. Until Neanderthals, and the later Cro-magnons appeared on the scene in Europe and the Mid-east, these giant beasts infested every cave from sea level to altitudes near 10,000 feet." http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/w/x/wxk116/cavebears/
Well, I still miss the mastodons. :-(
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But who is Daniellynn's papa?
I *think* these bear remains are going to be reinterred, but this time in the Bahamas.
And our ancestors got rid of them these unique creatures.
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
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