Proteins provide evolutionary clues to some of South America’s most unusual mammals

March 18, 2015 10:19 PM

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A recent molecular analysis of the proteins extracted from 12,000-year-old fossils has brought some light to the origin of the prehistoric South American creatures described by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species as being high among “the strangest animals ever discovered.”

This new protein study was published online today in the journal Nature, focuses on the evolution of South American native ungulates, a diverse group of hoofed mammal related to the modern rhinoceros of Africa and India. These prehistoric beasts once included in their numbers the Toxodon, a creature...

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