Health Care

Cave Girl's Mom and Dad Were From Different Human Species

Cave Girl's Mom and Dad Were From Different Human Species”

Slon is from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and is an author of the new study published in the journal Nature. "But I never thought we would be so lucky as to find an actual offspring of the two groups".

Paleogeneticists Dr Viviane Slon and Professor Svante Paabo, at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, carried out genome analysis on a bone taken from the cave.

Modern humans lived in bigger, denser groups than Neanderthals or Denisovans, and they moved quickly across Europe and Asia. The mother of the child was a pure Neanderthal, but her father, a Denisovan, bore traces of Neanderthal ancestry.

Location of Neanderthals, Denisovans and ancient modern humans dated to approximately 40,000 years ago or earlier.

The finding doesn't reveal how often such mating occurred and where, said Ron Pinhasi, a physical anthropologist at the University of Vienna who wasn't involved in the study.

Pacific Islanders living in Papua New Guinea, known as the Melanesians, show evidence of the fact that after homo sapiens crossed the ocean to reach the island, they interbred with Denisovan natives.

Blue - Neanderthals; red - Denisovans; yellow - ancient modern humans.

The fingertip was the first of a string of notable archaeological discoveries to be found within the cave.

Thus far they have only been found in Denisova Cave in Sibera as tiny bone fragments. Since mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from the mother, it means that the mother was Neanderthal, which means that the father was a Denisovan.

But this is the first time a first-generation offspring from the pairing has been discovered.

But what if our species - arriving in waves from Africa - overwhelmed Neanderthals, and perhaps Denisovans, with affection rather than aggression?

"The fragment is part of a long bone, and we can estimate that this individual was at least 13 years old". According to CBC, there are only half a dozen Denisovan fossils and a few hundred Neanderthal fossils found so far.

The researchers sequenced the girl's genome from a 2.5-cm-wide bone fragment originally found in 2012 within the Denisova cave-the only place where evidence of Denisovans has been found-of the Altai Mountains in Russian Federation.

Till a few years ago, we used to think that homo sapiens wiped out other hominins by killing them due to overwhelming numbers.

Paabo said it is not possible to figure out why the Neanderthals traveled, or when, until more genomes are discovered.

The sister groups are now understood to have diverged about 400,000 years ago, after their last common ancestor split with Homo sapiens at least 500,000 years ago.

About two percent of DNA in non-Africans across the globe today originate with Neanderthals, earlier studies have shown.

Both groups disappeared by about 40,000 years ago.

During DNA sequencing of the bones discovered at the site, the researchers noticed that half of the chromosomes in Denisova 11 were similar to those of the other Denisovans and half of them were closer to those of the Neanderthals.

Neanderthals, who lived in west Eurasia, and Denisovans, who lived in east Eurasia, were both humans but belonged to different groups.

Previously it was thought that modern humans are descended from a single population of ancestors.

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