Native American populations descend from three key migrations, scientists say
Scientists have found that Native American populations -- from Canada to the southern tip of Chile -- arose from at least three migrations, with the majority descended entirely from a single group of First American migrants that crossed over through Beringia, a land bridge between Asia and America that existed during the ice ages, more than 15,000 years ago. By studying variations in Native American DNA sequences, the international team found that while most of the Native American populations arose from the first migration, two subsequent migrations also made important genetic contributions. The paper is published in the journal Nature July 11. "For years it has been contentious whether the settlement of the Americas occurred by means of a single or multiple migrations from Siberia," said Professor Andres Ruiz-Linares (UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment), who coordinated the study. "But our research settles this debate: Native Americans do not stem from a single migration.
Related: ancient humans
• First North Americans
• To sort
• Native Peoples