Fossil DNA reveals new theory on colonization of America

September 15, 2016

Fossil DNA from the Canadian lake told scientists a lot, the geogenetics even created a new theory of the colonization of America. The results of the research led by the Professor Eske Willerslev, head of the Centre for Geogenetic Research at the University of Copenhagen have published in the journal Nature.

The recent researchers show that the first colonizers of America may not have followed an ice-free corridor in Alaska and Canada. Earlier, the science suggested this theory as the only one and right. Professor Eske Willerslev from the University of Copenhagen has demonstrated new suggestion of his own theory. According to Willerslev’s alternative theory:

“It’s significant to understanding both our own history and that of animals”.

Willerslev’s scientific suggestions support his British colleague from the University of Nottingham. Suzanne McGowan stressed:

“This research provides the most complete picture yet of the timing and pattern of plant and animal development in a central ‘bottleneck’ region of the ice-free corridor”.

The fossil DNA and pollen, which the scientists have analyzed thoroughly, showed the first plants appeared 12,600 years ago and animals arrived shortly after. Traces of perch and pike indicate that the lake ecosystem developed quickly. That means the first Americans colonizers followed an alternative route, possibly a thin strip of land along the west coast of Alaska.

Fossil DNA reveals new theory on colonisation of America
Fossil DNA reveals new theory on colonization of America. Map from the Centre for Geogenetic Research at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

According to the Professor Eske Willerslev, the first land animals were Bison, followed by water voles, hare and mammoths. All these animals were absolutely prepared to live in North climate 12,600 years ago, say their DNA.

The complex of researchers’ methods supports the new theory of the postglacial viability and colonization in North America’s ice-free corridor.