New World Stopover: People may have entered the Americas in stages | Science News

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New World Stopover: People may have entered the Americas in stages

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1:34pm, February 13, 2008

Think of it as the ultimate travel delay. Asian migrants first reached the northwestern edge of the Americas as early as 40,000 years ago but then had to wait at least 20,000 years before heading south into the continent's heart, a new genetic analysis finds.

Until now, many researchers had assumed that multiple waves of migrants rapidly settled the New World some time after 16,000 years ago.

The reason for the holdup: Two massive ice sheets on what is now Alaska blocked entry into North America from Beringia, a once-habitable region that today lies su

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