Hyenas have migrated together with the ancient people

Like humans, members of the genus Crocuta (spotted hyena) first appeared outside Africa 2.5 million years ago, and then Eurasian animals were periodically mixed with African, reported in Science Advances. This is an argument in favor of the hypothesis that animals of different species migrated at the same time, the waves, because of some factors that influence on many species — for example, due to climate change.

Spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) — one of the largest and most successful predatory mammal in Africa. These animals are indiscriminate in food: can hunt, but can eat carrion. To survive they also help the special social structure of the pack, where females predominate and there is a strict hierarchy in which the social status of each individual inherited.

But if spotted hyenas now live only South of the Sahara, before they lived in Eurasia. The remains of a Eurasian subspecies of cave hyenas Crocuta crocuta spelaea often find in caves. Several sources also emit Crocuta crocuta ultima: it includes Asian finds, and Crocuta crocuta spelaea , in this case, I think the European subspecies.

The degree of kinship of the modern spotted hyenas and the extinct cave hyenas were first identified according to the morphological characteristics, and then by small fragments of mitochondrial DNA. Analysis of this DNA gave conflicting results: the mitochondrial genome of the Eurasian hyenas have found evidence of African haplogroupsand Vice versa. Based on this, biologists began to doubt whether there are any differences between cave hyenas from being spotted, except for different proportions of certain bones.

A large group of scientists from several European countries, including, carried out a new analysis of the mitochondrial genomes of modern spotted hyenas from Africa and cave hyenas from Eurasia (DNA extracted from the remains). This time managed to collect 7 full mitochondrial genomes of representatives of the extinct subspecies. They were compared with 12 mitochondrial genomes of living animals.

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