Locked in our genetic blueprint, a discovery has been made using a fossil found in Siberia that points to a "ghost population" that indicates a hybridization between Neanderthals and Denisovans.
Fossils of Neanderthals were discovered in the 1850s, however it was not until 2010 that there was growing genetic evidence that they had crossbred with anatomically modern humans. These genomes are found in the population of modern European, Asian, Papua New Guinean, Australian Aboriginal, Native American and other non-African populations as Neanderthals never lived in Africa.
Many living humans with ancestors from these parts of the world may have up to 2% of Neanderthal as part of their genetic makeup. Studies have also revealed that some living humans can trace as much as 5 percent of their ancestry to Denisovans.
A recent study analyzing eight fossils of human origins found evidence of a "ghost populations" of human ancestors. This unknown population points to long extinct and unknown hominins with Homo sapiens in Asia and Oceania leaving only the recently discovered traces of their DNA.
This mysterious hominin was identified as a separate species only in 2010 and appears to be a mixture of Neanderthals and Denisovans. This species would look very much like the reconstruction made from a 90,000 year old fossil found in Siberia's Denisova cave. Her mother was Neanderthal and her father was Denisovan.
The new study suggests that past interbreeding may have been much more common than once thought, and that modern man can trace their ancient ancestries to these species.
Source - NatGeo
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