Feeling old? DNA supports early evolution of our species


NEW YORK (AP) — For the second time this year, scientists are reporting evidence that our species is a lot older than had been shown before.

A study of ancient DNA from Africa says Homo sapiens is at least 260,000 to 350,000 years old. That fits with a report in June about fossils from Morocco that indicated our species had emerged by around 300,000 years ago.

Previously, the oldest known fossils clearly from our species were a bit less than 200,000 years old, from Ethiopia.

The new work was reported Thursday in the journal Science. Researchers used DNA extracted from seven fossils from South Africa, ranging from about 300 years to about 2,000 years old. They compared it to other ancient and modern-day genetic material.


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