The woolly mammoth, even though it went extinct thousands of year ago, is still a fascination to humanity, as the scientific community is thinking there might be a possibility of reviving the species eventually. Now, the giant creatures along with the Neanderthals, our ancestors, may have shared genetic traits, according to a new study.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University published the study, and it suggests that mammoths and Neanderthals likely had similar molecular characteristics because of their shared geography. Those would allow them to the harsh environmental surroundings and what it would expose them to.
“Neanderthals and mammoths lived together in Europe during the Ice Age. The evidence suggests that Neanderthals hunted and ate mammoths for tens of thousands of years and were actually physically dependent on calories extracted from mammoths for their successful adaptation,” said professor Ran Barkai in a statement.
The Neanderthals might have shared some genetic traits with the woolly mammoth, shocking study suggests
In addition to that, mammoths were something Neanderthals would rely on for their survival because they used to hunt them for meals. The saying you are what you eat applies here, especially in the case of Neanderthals who would eat mammoths, but, aside from that, they were apparently also genetically similar to mammoths.
The paper was published in Human Biology, a scientific journal, and the researchers analyzed three cases of varying genes and alleles which stem from mutations and are alternate forms of genes. Those cases were associated with adapting to colder climates, and thanks to this research, the number of similarities between the two species is high.
According to Meidad Kislev, Tel Aviv University professor and the study’s co-author, “Our observations present the likelihood of resemblance between numerous molecular variants that resulted in similar cold-adapted epigenetic traits of two species, both of which evolved in Eurasia from an African ancestor.”
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