Sharks and Other Critters on A Tuesday

In a previous post, I talked about a fossil jaw that had stumped scientists for over a century.  It belonged to a fish called Helicoprion.  Well, we have some video:

Here’s a more detailed description, along with the artist who “got interested” in it,  and became one of the experts:

There’s an organization called OCEARCH which is studying great white sharks, and tracking them.  You can even see where they’ve been and are now on their tracker, along with information about each one.    One thing really interesting is how much they can move.  If you look at the shark called “Mary Lee”, at the end of January she was off the Hamptons of Long Island.  Right now?  She’s in the deep ocean out to sea from the Bahamas.

Just when scientists think they have a handle on human’s “family tree,” genetics comes along and throws a monkey wrench into it.  Up until now, genome sequencing pointed to a “genetic Adam” 60-130,000 years ago that men are descended from.  Until now.

Geneticists can use such samples to work out how we are related to one another. Hundreds of thousands of people have now had their DNA tested. The data from these tests had shown that all men gained their Y chromosome from a common male ancestor. This genetic “Adam” lived between 60,000 and 140,000 years ago.

All men except Perry, that is. When Family Tree DNA’s technicians tried to place Perry on the Y-chromosome family tree, they just couldn’t. His Y chromosome was like no other so far analysed.

Michael Hammer, a geneticist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, heard about Perry’s unusual Y chromosome and did some further testing. His team’s research revealed something extraordinary: Perry did not descend from the genetic Adam. In fact, his Y chromosome was so distinct that his male lineage probably separated from all others about 338,000 years ago.

As more people’s genomes are added to the data banks, I’m sure that there are many more surprises in store.   From what we’ve learned so far, it seems that quite a bit of our ancestry is due to being “cold and lonely in the deep dark night.”

Categories: science | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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