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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

UK mammals have 'Celtic fringe'


From the BBC News:

DNA tests on British populations of small mammals show a genetically distinct "Celtic Fringe", say scientists at The University of York.


Voles, shrews, mice and stoats in northern and western areas have different DNA from their counterparts in other parts of the British Isles.


The paper, in Proceedings B journal, says the different populations arrived at the end of the last ice age.


The authors say the work sheds light on the origins of the Celtic people.


The traditional view is that the ancestors of British Celts spread from central Europe during the Iron Age and were later displaced by the arrival of the Anglo Saxons.


However, recent genetic studies have challenged this theory, suggesting a much earlier origin, dating back to the end of the last ice age, 19,000 years ago.


This paper suggests that the study of small mammal populations could help resolve the controversy.


Get the rest of this article here




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