Australian study reveals how environmental conditions influence early human migration-Xinhua

Australian study reveals how environmental conditions influence early human migration

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-30 12:48:00

CANBERRA, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Australian researchers have revealed how environmental conditions shaped the migration patterns of early humans.

In a new study, a team led by researchers from Flinders University in South Australia combined climate models, genetic data and archaeological evidence to examine how environmental conditions in northern Eurasia and the Americas shaped the journey of humans who left Africa tens of thousands of years ago.

They found that in Europe, humans likely spread from the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East into Scandinavia approximately 48,300 years ago and western Europe 44,100 years ago -- following warmer and wetter conditions.

In northern Asia the research found that migration routes followed major rivers to cope with harsher climates before reaching a currently submerged land bridge between Siberia and Alaska approximately 34,700 years ago.

Similarly, in South America migration followed wetter grasslands bordering the Amazon to capitalize on connectivity provided by major rivers.

Frédérik Saltré, lead author of the study from Flinders University, said in a media release on Wednesday that the findings demonstrate that rich ecosystems enabled humans to thrive in new environments for thousands of years.

"The first human migrants favored routes that provided essential resources and facilitated travel, as well as regions with a mix of forests and open areas for shelter and food, while allowing them to expand into new territories," he said.

The study was funded by the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage and also involved researchers from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, University of Vienna, Princeton University and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.