23 November 2011

Cetaceans suggest a new techinque for evolutionary biologists

Fossil records are the only direct evidence scientists have about the history of species diversity, but it can be full of holes or even missing, for certain organisms. The only hope in such cases is to infer historical diversity from modern DNA sequences, but such techniques provide incorrect results.
University of Pennsylvania evolutionary biologists have resolved this long-standing paleontological problem by reconciling the fossil record of species diversity with modern DNA samples, and the key to the new techinque were cetaceans: whales and dolphins are ideal for testing ideas about evolutionary diversification, as their fossil record is especially clear. M.J.
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