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You've heard about Homo Sapiens (Sapiens), and Neanderthals...


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But have you heard about Denisova hominin? Or more commonly known as "Denisovians".

 

Some may think of this as old news. But I was surprised I hadn't heard about it before today, watching "Science World" on TV.

 

Apparently they found a fingertip from a (about)30,000 year old species of humans in the Cave "Denisov" of Northern Siberia around March 2008 along with remains of the modern man and neanderthals. The problem with the fingertip was that the DNA could not be matched to the Modern Man (homo sapiens sapiens) or the Neanderthal. After a long time of testing, it was confirmed that the remains belonged to another completely newly discovered species. Denisovians. They were a branch off from the neanderthal species of evolution. Making them more related to them than the modern man.

 

In 2010 they found another tooth in the cave. Also tested positive for being Denisovian and described to be extremely large compared to modern mans teeth. Comparing the fingertip and the tooth they were able to define both to be Denisovian, but having very different set of DNA and having a time difference on about 7500 years. Suggesting that the Denisovans had a widely spread genome between individuals. And that there we're a significant number of them for quite a long time.

 

The genome researches did a vast search in the "genetics bank" to see if there were any small portion descendants of Denisovians today that had a bit of the genome left in their DNA. And they found matches of inhabitants of Papua New Guinean, Bougainville Islanders, Melanesians, Australian Aborigines and a small portion in Philippines who carried the genome still.

 

It does prove that the Denisovians and modern man occasionally mated with each other. And that the Densiovians were active from Siberia down to southeastern Asia.

 

(Wish I could give you a better source than Wiki, but I know there's an article in Science, this is just a summary of what I watched on the Swedish TV Science World.)

 

Denisova hominin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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