Sicily, found the DNA of the dwarf elephants that lived on the island 19 thousand years ago

An international team of researchers from the universities of Palermo, Potsdam, York, Iceland, Cambridge and the Natural History Museum in London, have found the DNA of dwarf elephants that lived in Sicily about 19,000 years ago.

Specifically, the scientists worked on a piece of petrous bone that retains DNA better than other parts of the skeleton.

The remains studied belong to the collection of the Palermo museum “Gaetano Gemmellaro”, the scientist who found the remains of dwarf elephants during excavations carried out between 1868 and 1870 in the Grotta dei Puntali. Thanks to these remains it was possible to reconstruct several skeletons.

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