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Denisova Cave

Ancient Humans Bred with Completely Unknown Species

A new study presented to the Royal Society meeting on ancient DNA in London last week has revealed a dramatic finding – the genome of one of our ancient ancestors, the Denisovans, contains a segment of DNA that seems to have come from another species that is currently unknown to science. The discovery suggests that there was rampant interbreeding between ancient human species in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago. But, far more significant was the finding that they also mated with a mystery species from Asia – one that is neither human nor Neanderthal. 

Scientists launched into a flurry of discussion and debate upon hearing the study results and immediately began speculating about what this unknown species could be.  Some have suggested that a group may have branched off to Asia from the Homo heidelbernensis, who resided in Africa about half a million years ago. They are believed to be the ancestors of Europe's Neanderthals. 

However others, such as Chris Stringer, a paleoanthropologist at the London Natural History Museum, admitted that they “don’t have the faintest idea” what the mystery species could be.

Traces of the unknown new genome were detected in two teeth and a finger bone of a Denisovan, which was discovered in a Siberian cave. There is not much data available about the appearance of Denisovans due to lack of their fossils' availability, but the geneticists and researchers succeeded in arranging their entire genome very precisely.

"What it begins to suggest is that we're looking at a 'Lord of the Rings'-type world - that there were many hominid populations," Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London.

The question is now: who were these mystery people that the Denisovans were breeding with?

By April Holloway

Comments

It was the a certain species of the greys that mixes their dna with the neanderthals to creat the caucasians and a certain types of grey mixing dna again with the neanderthals to creat the asians. I know the names of each species but am forgetting at the moment. Point is, I know the truth.

you should "creat" a sensical statement before making bold claims that you have the answer.

try "sensible" instead of "sensical".

"Sensical" is in fact correct, since it's antonym "NONsensical" describes the content of the previous comment quite accurately. Whilst your comment in itself wasn't nonsensical, it simply wasn't very sensible, given the inaccuracy of it's usage.

Who cares about people's grammar? Are we trying to show our superiority by correcting other people's diction? Try to get the content of what is being stated. I find it amazing that on a website that is supposed to welcome "alternative" views on ancient history/human origins, that so many people are ridiculed or mocked for proposing an alien-visitation/intervention theory, or any advanced "prehistoric" civilization (aka Atlantis). There IS a mother-load of evidence to indicate that such theories are sound; for one, read Graham Hancock's "Fingerprints of the Gods" (in its entirety and with an open mind). Spare the snark/sarcasm, it doesn't make anyone appear more intelligent.

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