Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 8;5:10853. doi: 10.1038/srep10853.

Mitochondrial Genomes of Giant Deers Suggest their Late Survival in Central Europe.

Author information

1
Institute for Archaeological Sciences, Archaeo- and Palaeogenetics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
2
Department of Geosciences, Palaeobiology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
3
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany.
4
State Office for Cultural Heritage Baden-Wuerttemberg, Berliner Straße 12, D-73728 Esslingen, Germany.
5
Institute for Archaeological Sciences, Archaeozoology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
6
1] Institute for Archaeological Sciences, Archaeo- and Palaeogenetics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany [2] Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Khalaische Straße 10, 07745 Jena, Germany.
7
1] Institute for Archaeological Sciences, Archaeo- and Palaeogenetics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany [2] Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Khalaische Straße 10, 07745 Jena, Germany [3] Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

The giant deer Megaloceros giganteus is among the most fascinating Late Pleistocene Eurasian megafauna that became extinct at the end of the last ice age. Important questions persist regarding its phylogenetic relationship to contemporary taxa and the reasons for its extinction. We analyzed two large ancient cervid bone fragments recovered from cave sites in the Swabian Jura (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) dated to 12,000 years ago. Using hybridization capture in combination with next generation sequencing, we were able to reconstruct nearly complete mitochondrial genomes from both specimens. Both mtDNAs cluster phylogenetically with fallow deer and show high similarity to previously studied partial Megaloceros giganteus DNA from Kamyshlov in western Siberia and Killavullen in Ireland. The unexpected presence of Megaloceros giganteus in Southern Germany after the Ice Age suggests a later survival in Central Europe than previously proposed. The complete mtDNAs provide strong phylogenetic support for a Dama-Megaloceros clade. Furthermore, isotope analyses support an increasing competition between giant deer, red deer, and reindeer after the Last Glacial Maximum, which might have contributed to the extinction of Megaloceros in Central Europe.

PMID:
26052672
PMCID:
PMC4459102
DOI:
10.1038/srep10853
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center