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Beringia as an Ice Age genetic museum

  • Beth Shapiro (a1) and Alan Cooper (a1)
Abstract

Thousands of Late Pleistocene remains are found in sites throughout Beringia. These specimens comprise an Ice Age genetic museum, and the DNA contained within them provide a means to observe evolutionary processes within populations over geologically significant time scales. Phylogenetic analyses can identify the taxonomic positions of extinct species and provide estimates of speciation dates. Geographic and temporal divisions apparent in the genetic data can be related to ecological change, human impacts, and possible landscape mosaics in Beringia. The application of ancient DNA techniques to traditional paleontological studies provides a new perspective to long-standing questions regarding the paleoenvironment and diversity of Late Pleistocene Beringia.

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* Corresponding author. Fax: +44-1865-271249. E-mail address: alan.cooper@zoo.ox.ac.uk (A. Cooper).
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Quaternary Research
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