DNA Shows Bighorn Sheep Changed Little in Last 3,500 Years
By Jackalope Jordan
Genetic analysis comparing ancient bighorn sheep to their modern relatives has concluded the prized animals have changed little in the last 3,500 years, according to a Montana Untamed article.
A Montana State University study examined the DNA of four bighorn sheep skulls found in the melting ice of the Beartooth Mountains to a Montana herd of Bighorn sheep, the article said.
Researchers expected to see discrepancies between the ancient and animals and their successors. One theory was herds of domestic sheep introduced to the area by Europeans could have affected the genetics of modern bighorn sheep. The study did not find evidence to support this.
The research is part of a multi-year effort to better understand bighorn genetics
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