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Palaeontology

Our ancestors almost went extinct around 900,000 years ago

By T.K. Randall
September 4, 2023 · Comment icon 24 comments

What happened around 900,000 years ago ? Image Credit: Public Domain
A new genetic data analysis has revealed that our ancestors were almost completely wiped out.
It's hard to imagine humanity going extinct in today's world, but almost 1 million years ago our ancestors almost entirely disappeared and remained on the brink for over 100,000 years.

This discovery was made thanks to a new genetic data analyzing technique which found that, at one point, our ancestors' population had reduced to a mere 1,280 individuals.

It remains unclear exactly what brought about such a stark decline in numbers, nor why the population did not recover for another 117,000 years.

"About 98.7% of human ancestors were lost," said study co-lead Haipeng Li of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. "[The] discovery of this bottleneck may explain the chronological gap [in the fossil record at around this time.]"
The fact that the population had reduced by so much for so long is particularly intriguing.

"This would imply that it occupied a very localized area with good social cohesion for it to survive," said Nick Ashton, an archaeologist at the British Museum in London.

"Of greater surprise is the estimated length of time that this small group survived."

"If this is correct, then one imagines that it would require a stable environment with sufficient resources and few stresses to the system."

Source: Nature.com | Comments (24)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by CrimsonKing 7 months ago
Glass is still best!... Bought a "stainless steel" water bottle not long ago...SOB started rusting in less than 3 months 
Comment icon #16 Posted by Piney 7 months ago
I have a stainless mug that came with my truck that I use on long days. 
Comment icon #17 Posted by CrimsonKing 7 months ago
Back when stainless was stainless   I bought a few supposed stainless items the past few years that have ****ed me off... Pay $200 for a knife,I don't expect it to start pitting after a few uses.
Comment icon #18 Posted by iAlrakis 7 months ago
aluminium 
Comment icon #19 Posted by OverSword 7 months ago
Yeah.
Comment icon #20 Posted by docyabut2 7 months ago
Where we came from   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1184556/The-missing-link-A-47million-year-old-lemur-revolutionise-human-evolution.html
Comment icon #21 Posted by docyabut2 7 months ago
 
Comment icon #22 Posted by docyabut2 7 months ago
By some counts of human history, the number of humans on Earth may have skidded so sharply that we were down to just 1,000 reproductive adults. And a supervolcano might have been to blame. How Human Beings Almost Vanished From Earth In 70,000 B.C. https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2012/10/22/163397584/how-human-beings-almost-vanished-from-earth-in-70-000-b-c#:~:text=By some counts of human,might have been to blame.
Comment icon #23 Posted by docyabut2 7 months ago
We homo sapiens  came from Ida and almost a extinction, We damn near went extinct." 70,000 B.C.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 22 days ago
Several genetic analyses and archaeological findings reveal a huge population drop – known as a bottleneck event – among our early ancestors. By one account, there could have been as few as 1,300 breeding individuals left roughly 900,000 years ago. Recent research offers a more refined timeline of this bottleneck, which has been connected with early hominin migration patterns. See link below for the rest of the story Human ancestors started mass migration out of Africa after nearly going extinct about one million years ago (msn.com)


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