Recent DNA evidence reveals that Denisovans, a mysterious humanlike offshoot of Neandertals, interbred with early homo sapiens in what was likely the first of two Stone Age migrations into southern Asia, ScienceNews reports (via @pkedrosky).Before this, scientists had thought there was only one migration about 65,000 years ago.
The evidence, presented in two new scientific papers, comes from analysis of a fingerbone fossil and a lock of an Aborigine man’s hair. It indicates both a larger Denisovan DNA presence in modern humans than expected and widespread interbreeding between early humans and humanlike groups.
According to ScienceNews, all non-Africans possess about 1%-4% Neandertal DNA. The report in the American Journal of Human Genetics found that this subset of Oceanians possesses 4%-6% Denisovan DNA. And a lack of Neandertal DNA in Africans shows that interbreeding took place following human migration into Europe.
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