Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1118165206

From: "" <>
Subject: RE: [DNA] mtDNA Iris
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 13:26:46 -0400

The smallness of "Iris" is just one possible outcome from a complex process
that can be considered random. Lots of mutations happen that we would
consider founding events for haplogroups, but only some will duplicate
themselves and prosper. Among those that prosper some will eventually fade
away. Some may establish themselves at a stable, small level without ever
getting numerous. The "Iris" mtDNA haplogroup might be the genealogical
equivalent of the platypus or coelacanth -- a rare form restricted to a
localized area, but clearly something that has been around for a long time.

Maybe the Iris clan was big in the past and perhaps it will be again. To
continue the analogy from the fossil record, I recall that the sea
creatures called crinoids were prevalent for several tens of millions of
years, then virtually disappear from the fossil record for a few million
more years only to reappear and expand again. Without the later fossil
evidence, we would consider them to have gone extinct. But clearly there
were refuge populations that expanded once circumstances permitted.

Simple antiquity does not confer an entitlement to expand either upon
species or upon haplogroups. Some populations are going to stay small. Some
are going to get huge. And some will get big only to shrink again.

Once again I will mention David Raup's book on Extinction. Stimulating

David Wilson

Original Message:
From: Robert Tarín
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 11:10:36 -0500
Subject: [DNA] mtDNA Iris

To the List:

This is regarding mtDNA Haplogroup “I” (Iris), which is thought to be 43,000
years old and present in less than 2% of Europeans. What might be some of
the reasons that this haplogroup would be so old and yet be so rare?

Robert Tarín

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