Monday, February 20, 2017

What actually caused the human bottleneck???

Wait. A super-volcano explosion in present-day Indonesia caused the near extinction of the human population and an extreme bottleneck effect?! Sounds crazy. But maybe that's because it is. Check out this really interesting article from BBC about an Oxford research team that published a paper contesting this theory. They studied tiny glass shards found under tens of meters of sediment in Lake Malawi (just west of where Toba, the super-volcano, was located) and reported finding no changes in composition of the sediment that would indicate a significant enough drop in temperature to induce a "nuclear winter" as is thought to have occurred after the eruption. They suggest that the bottleneck effect observed through genetic studies was from mass migrations out of Africa. Could they be right? Does this theory have it all wrong?

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