New type of ancient human found

Published on December 23rd, 2010 | by Admin

1
teeth

Evidence of a previously unknown type of human, named the Denisovans, which roamed throughout Asia has been found. A genetic study suggests they may have interbred with modern humans.

In fact, living Pacific islanders in Papua New Guinea may be distant descendants of these prehistoric pairings, according to new analysis of DNA from a girl’s 40,000-year-old pinkie bone, found in Siberian Russia’s Denisova cave.

This “new twist” in human evolution adds substantial new evidence that different types of humans—so-called modern humans and Neanderthals, modern humans and Denisovans, and perhaps even Denisovans and Neanderthals—mated and bore offspring, experts say.

“We don’t think the Denisovans went to Papua New Guinea,” located at the northwestern edge of the Pacific region called Melanesia, explained study co-author Bence Viola, an anthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

“We think the Denisovan population inhabited most of eastern Eurasia in the same way that Neanderthals inhabited most of western Eurasia,” Viola said. “Our idea is that the ancestors of Melanesians met the Denisovans in Southeast Asia and interbred, and the ancestors of Melanesians then moved on to Papua New Guinea.”

[Full story]

Tags: , , , ,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Follow me on Twitter!   Subscribe to my RSS feed!
     
  • Question of the Moment

    Fidel Castro ruled over Cuba for 60 years. Is Cuba better or worse as a result?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Sponsors

  • Archives