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Mitochondrial Eve facts for kids

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Mitochondrial eve tree
Simplified Human mitochondrial phylogeny

Mitochondrial Eve is a term from genetics. It refers to a woman, whose mitochondrial DNA is the parent of all living humans. According to currrent research, Mitochondrial Eve lived about 200.000 years ago. Most likely she lived in East Africa, when Homo sapiens sapiens (anatomically modern humans) were developing as a population distinct from other human sub-species.

Mitochondrial Eve lived later than Homo heidelbergensis and the emergence of Homo neanderthalensis, but earlier than the out of Africa migration. The dating for 'Eve' was a blow to the multiregional hypothesis, and a boost to the hypothesis that modern humans originated relatively recently in Africa and spread from there, replacing more "archaic" human populations such as Neanderthals. As a result, the latter hypothesis became dominant.

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