We all have the image of neanderthals hunting mammoths with big spears. And that was definitely the case, but new research shows that mammoth and neanderthals were actually more genetically similar then previously thought. Science Daily reports that a new study from Tel Aviv University suggests that mammoths and neanderthals shared molecular characteristics for cold adaption. The study was led by Professor Ran Barkai and Meidad Kislev. In the study they looked at three cases of gene variants and alleles.
The first was the mutual appearance of LEPR which is related to thermogenesis and the regulation of fat tissue and storage. The second looked at genes related to keratin. And finally the third focused on the genes MC1R and SLC7A11, which are skin and hair pigments. The researchers believe that these findings are great supporting evidence for convergent evolution and can be valuable in future evolutionary research. It is interesting that two distinct animals would evolve the game genes for cold adaption.