An international team of scientists, including the IIDR’s Dr. Hendrik Poinar, reconstruct the complex evolutionary history of elephants in what is thought to be one of the most comprehensive genomic studies about elephants to date. Involving three living species of elephants and their mammoth and mastodon ancestors, the team generated 14 genomes to reveal how several hybridization events played fundamental roles in the evolution towards the modern elephant. The results also show that modern elephants of different species no longer mate with each other as their ancestors have – findings that raise questions about the future of these species and shed light on the need for greater conservation efforts.
- Global Times – Genomes sequencing show ancient elephants interbred
- The Spec – Interspecies breeding helped mammoths adapt to changing environment, Mac study shows
- CBC News – How the sex habits of mammoths and mastodons could help save modern elephants