Scientists have sequenced the DNA of the king of the jungle. Using ancient lion specimens from museums and collections, researchers have learned that Panthera leo’s most recent common ancestor lived some 124,000 years ago in sub-Saharan Africa. According to BBC, unraveling the history and origin of modern lions has been difficult because of a gap in their fossil record. The results, published today in BMC Evolutionary Biology, may aid researchers in their quest to conserve the species as it nears endangered status.
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