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Ancient dung reveals a picture of the past
ABC Science Online (Australia) ^ | 4/18/03 | Abbie Thomas

Posted on 04/23/2003 9:41:25 AM PDT by SteveH

News in Science

18/4/2003

Ancient dung reveals a picture of the past

[This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s833847.htm]

An arctic mound of soil covering a core of solid ice in northeastern Siberia (Pic: Science)

The successful dating of the most ancient genetic material yet may allow scientists to use preserved DNA from sources such as mammoth dung to help paint a picture of past environments.

An international research effort led by Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark reports in today?s issue of the journal Science it has extracted well preserved animal and plant DNA from sediments deep in the permafrost of northeastern Siberia.

Among the samples was the oldest DNA ever found ? about 300,000 to 400,000 years old ? as well as DNA from 28 families of trees, shrubs, herbs and mosses. Animal DNA dominates the sediments, and the researchers suspect this is because it is from the copious dung that animals such as mammoths would have produced.

Previously, most of what we know about ancient environments has come from analysing hard or soft tissue remains of plants and animals ? such as frozen mammoth flesh, or animal tissue trapped in amber. But there are various problems with using DNA from hard or soft tissues, including contamination. Sedimentary DNA on the other hand is more widespread and can be dated more accurately.

?Sedimentary DNA provides a unique opportunity to assess the accuracy of pollen-based paleoenvironmental records,? write the authors.

The study has already settled one argument over what the area in northeastern Siberia, formerly known as Beringia, looked like around 20,000 years ago. Based on different fragments of evidence there have been many different interpretations. It has been described as a ?sparse and poorly productive polar-desert unable to support a diverse magafauna?; to a ?dense herb-dominated steppe/tundra supporting populations of bison, horse and mammoth?; and even ?a mosaic of different tundra types?.

However, the DNA from numerous herbs found in the latest study, ?clearly indicates a herb-dominated community with populations of bison, horse, musk ox and mammoth?, said the authors.

The DNA recovered from sediments may also help answer one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world: why the mammoths died out. The sediments showed that grasses declined after the last ice age, 16,000 to 22,000 years ago, and were replaced by sedges. Perhaps, speculate the authors, these mainly water-dwelling plants, which include the Chinese water chestnut and Egyptian papyrus, signalled a critical shift in climate.

Abbie Thomas - ABC Science Online


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: ancienthistory; archaeology; beringia; biology; coprolite; coprolites; dna; dung; fossil; fossils; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; history; leftbehind; mammoth; mammoths; paleontology; permafrost; siberia

1 posted on 04/23/2003 9:41:26 AM PDT by SteveH
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To: SteveH
YEC skeptical bump for later reading
2 posted on 04/23/2003 9:42:28 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Howlin; Ed_NYC; MonroeDNA; widgysoft; Springman; Timesink; dubyaismypresident; Grani; coug97; ...
I'm not gonna hold it, you hold it!

"Hold muh beer 'n watch this!" PING....

If you want on or off this list, please let me know!

3 posted on 04/23/2003 9:42:57 AM PDT by mhking
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To: SteveH
The emerging science of Fecology.
4 posted on 04/23/2003 9:42:57 AM PDT by Illbay
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To: LiteKeeper

I don't see any picture!
5 posted on 04/23/2003 9:43:07 AM PDT by Khepera (Do not remove by penalty of law!)
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To: SteveH
I guess this would be like checking out a blue dress or soggy cigar.
6 posted on 04/23/2003 9:43:31 AM PDT by U S Army EOD (Served in Korea, Vietnam and still fighting America's enemies on Home Front)
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To: SteveH
...the proof is in the pudding...
7 posted on 04/23/2003 9:43:34 AM PDT by seams2me
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To: SteveH
Ancient dung reveals a picture of the past

When I saw this title, I thought it was going to be another George McGovern op-ed.

8 posted on 04/23/2003 9:43:54 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Republicam)
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To: SteveH
Oh, notice these scientists are all Europeans, which is appropriate, since they have become the foremost experts on dung production.
9 posted on 04/23/2003 9:44:12 AM PDT by Illbay
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To: SteveH
Very interesting post.
10 posted on 04/23/2003 9:45:20 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: SteveH

My bad. I thought this was a "Hillary" post.

11 posted on 04/23/2003 9:45:32 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: SteveH

ANCIENT DUNG

12 posted on 04/23/2003 9:45:47 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: seams2me
...the proof is in the pudding...

The real quote is, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating."

But in this case, I much prefer your version. ;-)

13 posted on 04/23/2003 9:46:13 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: SteveH
bmp to read
14 posted on 04/23/2003 9:46:35 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ( Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.)
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To: mhking

15 posted on 04/23/2003 9:46:52 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: SteveH
Maybe that dung came from an ancient politician. That would be a mound of sh.t for sure!
16 posted on 04/23/2003 9:47:18 AM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: r9etb
Which begs the larger question...

If a woolly mammoth craps in the snow and no one is arourd to smell it, does it still stink?

17 posted on 04/23/2003 9:49:41 AM PDT by gov_bean_ counter
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To: SteveH
How much dung are we talking about, over 16,000 to 22,000 year ago?

Sounds like they came upon a freeze-dried dung hill.
18 posted on 04/23/2003 9:50:36 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Khepera
I don't see any picture!

How inconsiderate of me. Here you go...

19 posted on 04/23/2003 9:57:45 AM PDT by SteveH (Hideho!)
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To: humblegunner
She's a Democrat.
20 posted on 04/23/2003 10:11:05 AM PDT by elbucko ("Speak softly and carry a Laser Target Designator")
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To: SteveH
signalled a critical shift in climate

Not possible. We didn't have evil, environment changing corporations back then.

21 posted on 04/23/2003 10:14:28 AM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: SteveH
...Dung beetles shall inherit the earth.
22 posted on 04/23/2003 10:16:19 AM PDT by Consort (Use only un-hyphenated words when posting.)
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To: Puppage
No. Ancient Tongue
23 posted on 04/23/2003 10:53:16 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
heheee. They diggin up old shi!?
24 posted on 04/23/2003 11:17:20 AM PDT by Wingsofgold
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To: mhking
Dump.

er...I mean "bump".

25 posted on 04/23/2003 11:59:59 AM PDT by SquirrelKing ("We are in control." - Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, Minister of Information)
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To: Illbay
Sometimes science goes places I'd just as soon not know about.
26 posted on 04/23/2003 3:53:59 PM PDT by gcruse (Saddam's last words. "I can see them. I can see 72.................VIRGILS???!!!?!?!")
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To: gov_bean_ counter
If a woolly mammoth craps in the snow and
no one is arourd to smell it, does it still stink?


Woolly mammoth patties smell just like
elephant dung, only woolier.
27 posted on 04/23/2003 3:56:21 PM PDT by gcruse (Saddam's last words. "I can see them. I can see 72.................VIRGILS???!!!?!?!")
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To: hole_n_one
If this isn't your thread I don't know what is....... :*)
28 posted on 04/23/2003 3:58:17 PM PDT by cmsgop ( Arby's says no more Horsey Sauce for Scott Ritter !!!!)
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To: cmsgop
LOL!


29 posted on 04/23/2003 4:07:16 PM PDT by hole_n_one
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To: hole_n_one
I think that pretty much sums up his existence and his personality.
30 posted on 04/23/2003 8:00:48 PM PDT by Free Vulcan
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To: r9etb
But in this case, I much prefer your version. ;-)


OH ME TOO. THANKS for correcting me . tee hee
31 posted on 04/24/2003 11:36:12 AM PDT by seams2me
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 2Jedismom; 4ConservativeJustices; ...
Thanks go to SteveH for posting this one (eighteen month old topic).
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

32 posted on 10/16/2004 7:22:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: SteveH

Where is all this going?

33 posted on 10/16/2004 7:30:12 PM PDT by concentric circles
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To: SteveH

This whole thread is a crock o ....


34 posted on 10/16/2004 7:39:18 PM PDT by Henchman (Kerry: No guts, No Glory, No way!)
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To: SteveH

An arctic mound of soil covering a core of solid ice in northeastern Siberia (Pic:
35 posted on 10/16/2004 8:35:48 PM PDT by ckilmer
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To: mhking

But enough about Walter Cronkhite . . .


36 posted on 10/16/2004 9:13:58 PM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
Gods, Graves, Glyphs PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

37 posted on 06/16/2007 1:44:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated June 15, 2007.)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the list information, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


38 posted on 11/05/2011 9:10:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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