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Little Norwegian Lemmings Endured the Ice Age

The origins of the Norwegian lemming, a little guinea pig-like ball of fur that troops through the alpine and tundra regions of Fennoscandia—a region that includes Finland and the Scandinavian Peninsula—may have finally been pinned down. In a study published this week in Molecular Ecology, scientists describe how they analyzed ancient DNA of various lemming species that lived during the last ice age and found that the Norwegian lemming, or Lemmus lemmus, is not closely related to any of the lemmings that once lived in the same area. Instead, the scientists suggest that L. lemmus’s ancestors originally existed farther north and survived the entire ice age cut off from their relatives, Nature World News reports.

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