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Re: The origin of flight: from the water up



On Mon, 25 Mar 2002, Fam Jansma wrote:
> >> In the paper from yesterday there was an article
> >> about pinguins. It basicly stated that evolution is progressing rapidly
> >even
> >> more so than it is expected. This is based on evidence from the bones of
> >> long dead pinguins.
> >
> >Interesting.
> >
> This conclusion was reached by a study done by three New Sealanders (among
> them David Lambert) and one Italian, who studied the DNA from 380 living
> Adélie-pinguins and compared them to the DNA they had found in 96 88 to 6424
> years old. In evolutionary terms extremely short, but it can give a good
> overview for one species of animal. The age was determined with help of
> carbon-dating from the organic material in the ground or from the bones
> self. The study showed that with the mitochondriates DNA with some degree of
> regularity small differences started to appear in the shape of mutations,
> the building blocks of evolution. Those spontaneous changes are occuring so
> regularly that some scientists (no names given) think that an evolutionary
> clock could be based upon them.

There are two articles on the web about the penguin work.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1885000/1885384.stm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/03/0322_020302_TVancientDNA.html

The NatGeo link also relates on genetic studies on North American brown
bears. That study covers the "the genetic and geographical history of
brown bears over the last 60,000 years.

> [...]