Ancient DNA shows high faunal diversity in the Lesser Caucasus during the Late Pleistocene

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Mariya Antonosyan, Frederik V. Seersholm, Alicia C. Grealy, Milo Barham, Daniel Werndly, Ashot Margaryan, Agata Cieślik, Thomas W. Stafford, Morten E. Allentoft, Michael Bunce, Levon Yepiskoposyan

In this study, we explore the Late Pleistocene (LP) vertebrate faunal diversity in south-eastern Lesser Caucasus based on morphological and genetic identification of fossil bones from Karin Tak cave. For the first time in this under-studied region, we used a bulk bone metabarcoding genetic approach to complement traditional morphology-based taxonomic identifications that are hampered by highly fragmented fossil bones. Excellent ancient DNA (aDNA) preservation allowed for a successful species identification of many bone remains and improved paleoenvironmental interpretations for the region. The aDNA identification of fossil bones revealed a high diversity of animal taxa inhabiting the region between ca. > 42,000 and 25,683–24,803 calibrated years before present (cal. BP).

Original languageEnglish
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Ancient DNA, Biodiversity, Bulk bone metabarcoding, Karin tak cave, Late pleistocene, Lesser Caucasus, Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

ID: 226489004