Denisovans

5 Stories

Mastodon Bones Spark Major Claim—and Major Doubt

Did humans live in California 130K years ago?

(Newser) - Exactly how long have humans been in the Americas? A wealth of evidence suggests they arrived as early as 20,000 years ago, while the earliest record of modern humans in the world dates back 200,000 years to Africa (and they probably didn't leave until around 50,000... More »

How a Bit of Cave Dirt Just Changed Archaeology

In first, scientists pull ancient human DNA from dirt

(Newser) - The study of humans has long relied on bones to reveal human DNA. The problem is that those bones are hard to come by. As the Atlantic points out, scientists have only a finger bone and two teeth belonging to the Denisovans, cousins of Neanderthals. It's no wonder then... More »

Ancients' Skulls Pose a Puzzle for Our Family Tree

They're not quite Neanderthal and not quite Homo sapien

(Newser) - First, back in 2007, they found tools. Then, a bone. Now archaeologists who've continued to return to the same dig in Lingjing, China, report in the journal Science that they've unearthed more than 40 separate skull fragments to pull together two partial skulls that date back 100,000... More »

Tibetans' Genetic Edge Didn't Come From Homo Sapiens

High-altitude fitness hails from an extinct hominid cousin, the Denisovans

(Newser) - Tibetans are largely unique among humans for their ability to live comfortably at high altitudes. The Tibetan Plateau, nicknamed the "roof of the world," stands an average of 15,000 feet above sea level. That's just shy of 3 miles—making it the highest plateau on the... More »

Experts Decode Ancient Girl's Genome

Pinky bone reveals eye, hair color of child who lived 80K years ago

(Newser) - You can tell a lot about someone from her finger bone—even if it's 80,000 years old. Using the bone, scientists were able to sequence an ancient Siberian girl's genome 31 times; now, they can tell you her hair, eyes, and skin color, Science reports. (All were... More »

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