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


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.

Grammar and syntax are important in that they are indications of credibility or the lack of it.  If one is sloppy or wildly inaccurate about his/her grammar, spelling, punctuation or syntax, the reader is left wondering whether he is just as sloppy or inaccurate about the facts he is offering in his comment.  By the way, Malta, the term is "mother lode", not "mother load".    

Toss a piano down a coal mine and you get A flat minor.

Grammar and syntax are important indications of credibility. If one is inaccurate with grammar, spelling, punctuation or syntax, are they just as sloppy or inaccurate about the facts offered in their comments. Here, here. I would make allowances for those with English as a second language. But sometimes inaccurate grammar is just too hard to figure out and too open to misinterpretation.

Clementhyme's picture

Too often spelling and grammar are confused with intellect. Keep in mind there are those with challenges, such as dyslexia, etc. While I appreciate your point, I simply feel it is painting with too broad a brush :)

“Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.” ~ Voltaire

"Let's eat Grandma" or "Let's eat, Grandma". Grammar is important, Grandma's life is depending on it.

Actually, it's "Hear, hear."

All your deviating from the main idea of the discussion, and concentrating on grammar demonstrates that you have too much of that one type of useless DNA

atleast someone is sane enough, best answer here :) thank you luz vega

What about originality? Where does that figure into indications of ones cred.? Plus, some of us writing on tiny little phones with human fingers. d

What about originality? Where does that figure into indications of ones cred.? Plus, some of us writing on tiny little phones with human fingers. d

Your understanding of intelligence is plainly wrong...for what if an individual had no education of grammar ? ...would their lack of knowledge on a subject unrelated to the issue negate their contribution ? ...No,of course it wouldn`t.

Many rules of modern grammar are actually meaningless to the content of the writing. There is much perfectly punctuated crap in the world and for the record your conclusion is a ridiculous logical fallacy

Do you want to get technical "Last Past"? You can't toss a piano "down" a coal mine, the angle is not that steep - so you're probably referring to a pit. If you do toss a piano down a pit, you end-up with shattered pieces - I doubt you will hear a musical note. Thanks for the folk-wisdom though!

It's a musicians' joke.
Granted, the wording is more effective when you have it as follows:
What do you get when you drop a piano into a mine shaft?
A flat miner.
Since most modern mine shafts are vertical, the word "drop" or even "toss" can certainly apply.

Also, when your average piano is destroyed, assuming it hasn't had its tension let out, it makes a cacophony. There are around 40,000 pounds of force in those strings and when they snap, it is potentially very destructive and dangerous. Again, if the tension hasn't been let out, the strings will definitely make a sound upon impact and if the soundboard manages to survive the sound could be fairly loud.

Absolute rubbish. Been a carpenter since I was about ten. That my grammer is bad has no effect on my knowledge of carpentry. I never attended school past 14.

You will miss some of the most creative, interesting wisdom from some of the most amazing people if you only listen when it is expressed with perfect grammar, syntax and punctuation.

only mean something if you are in an educational setting. Such as writing a research paper or studying language or is it linguistics?

Oh for Peres sake, stop with the B***shit grammar. I have a very high. IQ and still can't spell worth a darn. Petty misconceptions about intellence simply show case the petty intelligence of the writer.

Paul David Graham's picture

Use spell check. While I can forgive people using English as a second language, or accidental misspellings, using grammar and punctuation are important to communicating exactly what point you are trying to make. Not applying yourself and learning the basics of your native language shows laziness. If you are too lazy to attempt to write clearly then you deserve to be not taken seriously.

If you have a high IQ as you say, you would know how to communicate properly and use spell  check to help in your spelling dificiency. My IQ is 165 and I have always had problems spelling some words. However, I reread all my comments to make sure they make sense and are spelled correctly. 

Speaking of silly spelling mistakes the word you want is not dificiency it's spelled DEFICIENCY!!! Just a quick FYI don't brag until you're certain there are NO mistakes!!!

grammar vs intellect. IQ has nothing to do with if you are able to tie your shoes or knot.-einstein lol

I agree that proper grammar usage is desirable because it can be an indicator of the writer's general intelligence level in my opinion. I am no genius by any means but some command of the English language makes a good impression on the readers!

Really? Really!

Grammar and syntax do not indicate whether the person is telling the truth or not. Witnessing/experiencing something and putting it down on paper are two different things. If a child saw a plane and you asked that child to write down "I saw a plane in the sky above me today" it might get quite alot of that wrong. Does that mean the child didnt see a plane. Nope.

You can write a paragraph about something that is completely false and get every word right with perfect grammar.

Grammar and syntax do not indicate whether the person is telling the truth or not. Witnessing/experiencing something and putting it down on paper are two different things. If a child saw a plane and you asked that child to write down "I saw a plane in the sky above me today" it might get quite alot of that wrong. Does that mean the child didnt see a plane. Nope.

You can write a paragraph about something that is completely false and get every word right with perfect grammar.

But you also have to consider that not everyone was born and raised speaking English, and what little English we did learn at schools it tends to fade with time. At least some of us have a little idea about a language not ours which can not be claimed for most English speakers ( meaning where English is their mother language ). The sad case is I have seen more English primary speaking people use spell chescks than foreigners

As everyone is picking up on the obvious errors. One really bothers me and every scientist should know that data is plural of datum. "Is" indicates singular, "are" is indicative of more than one. ie: "There ARE not much data available..."

Actually, data is considered as a collective whole and is, therefore, singular. Example: a herd of horses is galloping across the plain. Herd is singular. A gaggle of geese is following her around the yard.

Actually, data is considered as a collective whole and is, therefore, singular. Example: a herd of horses is galloping across the plain. Herd is singular. A gaggle of geese is following her around the yard.

Many people online nowadays are from outside of the US and if you actually toss a piano down a call mine you would get an atonal noice, absolutely not an A flat minor chord. I think that people only commenting other users grammar are boring anyway, and most of all, bad listeners.

Can we please forget about the piano joke. It seems to have been done to death and yet people still don't get the joke [sigh].

Not sure what your point is about people online not coming from the US. I don't.

Anyway - I just want to deviate from this interesting and rivetting discussion on diction and grammar to make a boring but factual comment on the article. The article says that ancient humans bred with "an unknown species". That's impossible. In fact you could say that that is the definition of "species": the ability to breed with one another. Humans, for instance cannot breed with chimps (though I imagine lots have tried) because chimps are a separate species. We once shared a common ancestor, but now humans and chimps have evolved into separate species. So whatever ancient humans bred with long ago, it was simply just another, previously unknown type of human. Nothing surprising about that.

Humans could have interbred with a different species and produced offspring, if their DNA were close enough to each others. However, the offspring would have been sterile, and therefore non VIABLE offspring. LION+TIGER=LIGER, HORSE+DONKEY=MULE... but they are sterile. Our DNA is 98% similar to a chimps, more so than the aforementioned hybrids... and certainly in some CIA lab buried under the Pentagon, there are human/chimp hybrids being tested upon as I write

And the pertinent word in your comment is "viable". Yes our DNA coding is very similar to chimps, but the difference is what makes us separate species. We can never produce viable offspring to create a new chimp/human species. And if we're talking about an alien species then we can assume there would be almost no DNA simillarity with humans. So aliens could not have contributed to human DNA.

You used the example(s) of a Liger and a Mule (respectively)... It is my understanding that the 'Sterility Factor' only applies under certain circumstances; A Liger is (specifically) the rarely surviving offspring of a MALE Lion and a FEMALE Tiger; The offspring of a FEMALE Lion and a MALE Tiger would have a better survival rate both in Utero and after being born, but would be considered as a TIGON and not as a Liger. Tigons can sometimes even reproduce themselves with other Tigers or Lions for another generation. It depndes in many cases as to which animal was the Female and which was the Male in most instances of any hybrid offspring as to whether the said offspring may be able fertile or not. We already know that in Humans for example, offspring get heir mitochondrial DNA from their mothers. Just something to consider.

Christopher, I did check to see if you posted on April 1st.....
I can see I must have missed some vital information re cross-breeding along the way, will go research further -
THat's now 3 things I didn't learn in the last 70-odd years....

I guess you would drop a piano down a mine shaft or into a coal mine. And I think it would be A-major-flat, or majorly flat, or majorly flat,eh?



A flat Major is what you get if you drop the proverbial piano off the roof when a military parade is passing by.



Thank you for your comment. I agree if the grammer and punctuation are all wrong, I might assume the person commenting is an idiot. The way a person talks will be the way they write.
When commenting about such serious subjects please use good grammar and punctuation.

 And yeah it is mother lode.

always questioning

I am a writer and editor who understands the value of grammar and syntax. I, too, am irritated when I see the kinds of mistakes mentioned in the above posts. However, there are many smart to brilliant people for whom these things are difficult or less important than, say, for an English major. Stop and think about it. Do you realize that if we English nerds chastise every little error in a public forum we will create first discouragement, and then a great vacuum of ideas from a different and unique variety of thinker? If one is bent on showing off their knowledge, of course, this will not matter to them. But if a free exchange of ideas in valued, surely we want to include them. After all, our own faults may be in the arena of getting totally off track from the original question, which is evident on this page.

Let us not forget that we are in the age of hilariously poor auto-correct options.

Diction is how well you say your words nothing to do with grammar...

Just goes to show you a lot of visitors of this site aren't as 'out of the box' and 'open minded' as they believe they are. They aren't nearly as radical and progressive as they want to believe. I guess when you are surrounded by people who still believe in Jesus of Rome's design .. you're pretty OUT there if you come here. That's the most hilarious thing about sites like this to me. They will trip up a discussion to discuss spelling, grammar and other non nonsensical distractions.

I personally do not give a damn about grammar. I am not getting paid to edit another commentors post and to deviate from the conversation at hand to correct them is a waste of time. Pick your battles, aye? If we can still understand what the person is saying in general why does any of that matter?

Anyway, I co-sign your post like a student loan.

Diction is the way you TALK, not the choice of grammar. When we have to read these comments that hopefully are interesting, it is annoying to read misspelled words and no punctuation and odd ways of expressing a thought.

always questioning

there isnt any evidence, can you show me some of the motherload? And I dond tmean a website where someone aseeryts something, i mean ctual evidence. The person at the start of this thread announced a fact without any sources or evidemnce to back it up. There is no evidence for these 'greys', whatever they are


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