Butterfly's DNA may alter Ice Age data

July 5, 2007

Discoveries of a butterfly species' DNA in the Far East and Western Europe may rewrite the known history of the Pleistocene Ice Age.

Italian researchers Valerio Sbordoni and Paolo Gratton of the Rome Tor Vergata University said traces of the species' DNA have been found beyond the range once associated with the insect's history, the Italian news agency ANSA said Wednesday.

The Italian duo, along with Polish Academy of Sciences researcher Maciek Konopinski, used the new data to create an updated map of the world's greenery during the global ice age more than 10,000 years ago.

"The evidence from the mitochondrial DNA strongly suggests that large patches of the world's forests survived the impact of the last Ice Age and were alive and well as far back as 150,000 years ago," Sbordoni told ANSA. "There were definitely oases in which the Parnassius mnemosyne butterfly thrived, especially in the Carpathians and the ancient German region of Pannonia."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Mammoths killed by abrupt climate change

Related Stories

Mammoths killed by abrupt climate change

July 23, 2015

New research has revealed abrupt warming, that closely resembles the rapid man-made warming occurring today, has repeatedly played a key role in mass extinction events of large animals, the megafauna, in Earth's past.

Recommended for you

Out of the lamplight

July 31, 2015

The human body is governed by complex biochemical circuits. Chemical inputs spur chain reactions that generate new outputs. Understanding how these circuits work—how their components interact to enable life—is critical ...

Robotic insect mimics nature's extreme moves

July 30, 2015

The concept of walking on water might sound supernatural, but in fact it is a quite natural phenomenon. Many small living creatures leverage water's surface tension to maneuver themselves around. One of the most complex maneuvers, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.