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Trends Ecol Evol. 2009 Sep;24(9):515-21. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.04.006. Epub 2009 Aug 12.

Evaluating the mitochondrial timescale of human evolution.

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  • 1Départment Hommes Natures Sociétés, Musée de l'Homme, Paris, France.

Abstract

Different methodologies and modes of calibration have produced disparate, sometimes irreconcilable, reconstructions of the evolutionary and demographic history of our species. We discuss how date estimates are affected by the choice of molecular data and methodology, and evaluate various mitochondrial estimates of the timescale of human evolution in the context of the contemporary palaeontological and archaeological evidence for key stages in human prehistory. We contend that some of the most widely-cited mitochondrial rate estimates have several significant shortcomings, including a reliance on a human-chimpanzee calibration, and highlight the pressing need for revised rate estimates.

PMID:
19682765
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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