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we found new humans

Submitted by: Goshin @ 08:34 PM | Monday, November 16, 2015 | (url: http://news.natio...)

The analysis of a fossil tooth from Siberia reveals that a mysterious people known as Denisovans, discovered a mere five years ago, persisted for tens of thousands of years alongside modern humans and Neanderthals.

The find underscores that our Homo sapiens ancestors shared the Eurasian continent with other human-like populations. For hundreds of thousands of years, modern humans lived alongside Neanderthals, a sister hominid species that died out about 40,000 years ago. Denisovans appear to have shared some of that territory as well.

The new study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, marks an important step in scientists understanding of where Denisovans fit in the human family tree.

In 2010, teams of geneticists and anthropologists led by Svante Pbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology announced strange DNA sequences recovered from a finger bone and molar found in the remote Denisova cave, in Siberias Altai Mountains.

The DNA from the previously analyzed finger bone and tooth show that Denisovans left their mark on modern humans, contributing about five percent of the genome of modern Melanesians, who live in Papua New Guinea and other parts of the Pacific.

In 2010, researchers found a second wisdom tooth, buried deep in the back of the cave. The dental analysis fell to Bence Viola, an anthropologist of the University of Toronto who had examined the first Denisovan wisdom tooth and initially mistook it for the tooth of a cave bear, given its size and huge, splayed roots.

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