Mitochondrial Eve  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In the field of human genetics, Mitochondrial Eve refers to the most recent common matrilineal ancestor from whom all living humans are descended. Passed down from mother to offspring, all mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in every living person is directly descended from hers. Mitochondrial Eve is the female counterpart of Y-chromosomal Adam, the patrilineal most recent common ancestor, although they lived thousands of years apart.

Mitochondrial Eve is generally estimated to have lived around 200,000 years ago, when Homo sapiens sapiens were developing as a species separate from other human species.

Mitochondrial Eve lived much earlier than the out of Africa migration that is thought to have occurred between 95,000 to 45,000 BP. 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 is now the dominant one.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mitochondrial Eve" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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