An international team of researchers has determined from DNA that in addition to Neanderthal and modern man a third species of humans, dubbed Denisovans, lived in Siberia as recently as 30,000 years ago. A draft genome sequence revealed the species to be a sister group of Neanderthal and that a significant amount of the DNA (about 5%) exists in at least some modern day Melanesians.

Per the article:

"The Denisovans appear to have been quite different both genetically and morphologically from Neanderthals and modern humans. The tooth found in the same cave as the finger bone shows a morphology that is distinct from Neanderthals and modern humans and resembles much older human ancestors, such as Homo habilis and Homo erectus. DNA analysis showed that the tooth and the finger bone came from different individuals in the same population."

The findings have been published in the 12-23-10 issue of the journal, Nature.

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What an exciting find!

Thank you for sharing!

No problem!

I read about this a couple of days ago - this is really a major discoverey.  The article I read stated that the  Melanesians may have as much as 20% of Denisovan DNA.  But 5 or 20 %, it's amazing that any of their genetic code is still intact in modern humans.

It makes one wonder if there any other shirt tail relatives out there not yet discovered.

Per above: "The article I read stated that the Melanesians may have as much as 20% of Denisovan DNA."

The official article per Nature (now posted in abstract) says 4 to 6 percent. Denisovan are supposed to have been more ancient in appearance than Neanderthal so if their DNA level in modern Melanesians were 20% it would probably show quite a bit in some of them especially if the Denisovan DNA is dominant to that of modern man.



The Nature article is undoubtably the more accurate assessment. It will be interesting to know, specifically, what genetics survived and why and to what extent those genetic codes are found in other populations.



amazing, love to think about human evolution.
This discovery is remarkable!




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