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July 27 2013

Alive! Mammals survived Toba's super-volcanic winter


No ark required. Animals survived just fine when vast quantities of ash rained down from the Toba supervolcano 74,000 years ago, plunging Earth into a volcanic winter. At least that's what a new gene study suggests.

The new analysis casts doubt on a theory that humans were almost wiped out by the fall-out from the eruption. This comes from a pattern in genetic data called a bottleneck, which suggests that a population has rapidly expanded after recently collapsing.

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