Skip to comments.Is the Mysterious Siberian “X-Woman” a New Hominid Species?
Posted on 03/25/2010 9:09:33 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In 2008, archeologists working at the Denisova Cave in Siberias Altai Mountains discovered a tiny piece of a finger bone, believed to be a pinky, buried with ornaments in the cave. Scientists extracted the mitochondrial DNA (genetic material from the mothers side) from the ancient bone and checked to see if its genetic code matched with the other two known forms of early hominidsNeanderthals and the ancestors of modern humans. What they found was a real surprise. The team, led by geneticist Svaante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute, discovered that the mtDNA from the finger bone matched neithersuggesting there might have been an entirely different hominid species that roamed the planet about 50,000 years ago.
Looking back at the region and the cave, where scientists earlier discovered artifacts from humans and Neanderthals, Paabo thinks that it is possible that all the three species (modern humans, Neanderthals and the mystery hominids) could have possibly met and interacted with each other. The findings, which were published in journal Nature, present an unexpected twist in the story of human evolution and migration.
Scientists say the DNA analysis also suggests that this hominid left Africa one million years ago, in a previously unsuspected migration. Anthropologists generally believe that the exodus from Africa took place in waves, starting with Homo erectus leaving 1.9 million years ago, followed by the Neanderthals between 500,000 and 300,000 years ago, and then by the modern humans who exited about 50,000 years ago. With X-woman, as the Denisova specimen has been nicknamed, the divergence date of one million years is too young to have descended from Homo erectus and too old to have been a descendant of Homo heidelbergensis, another ancient human thought to have originated around 650,000 [BBC]. Paabo and his team are now working to extract nuclear DNA from the Denisova fossil to verify their suspicion that X-woman is indeed from another species.
Physical anthropologist Ian Tattersall, who was not involved in the research, called the Denisova hominid a significant addition to our understanding of human evolution. We are the only hominin around today, so we tend to think thats how its always been. But the evidence is accumulating that the human evolutionary tree is quite luxuriantly branching. There were multiple species that competed in the evolutionary arena, rather than a single lineage that was honed from primitiveness to perfection [Time].
Let’s start a pool. How many posts before someone posts THE picture of Helen? I say 5
ping for later. Unfortunately I have to go have lunch with my hominid friends right now.
I am not so sure on this one. I recall some ancient monkey or lemur was found a year or so ago and trumpeted as being a human ancestor. Now the reports are it is some ancient monkey or lemur which is the ancestor of other monkeys or lemurs.
In other news Bill Clinton says he would go out with her.
Lets start a pool. How many posts before someone posts SHE was black and related to Obama.
mtDNA is different. I believe there are only a few thousand base pairs in it.
Be careful, I am related to Obama, but I am not black.
Gruss Alois fur mich!
Ain’t we all? see media.
2nd Div, thanks for posting these items, yea April, your probab;y right. Like to know how those DNA markers differ.In going back to these eolithic age sagas where was the present continent of Antartica located ?
I’ve read about cryptozoologists claiming a “remnant population” of neanderthals living in Russia...They claim the locals call them ‘alma’.
Man... there is a fabulous ethnic joke buried in here...
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