Tags: ancient | tooth | dna

Ancient Tooth DNA Reveals Other Human-Like People Lived Alongside Us and Neanderthals

Image: Ancient Tooth DNA Reveals Other Human-Like People Lived Alongside Us and Neanderthals
(SciNews/Tyler B. Tretsven)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Nov 2015 06:56 AM

DNA analysis of an ancient tooth has revealed that a group of human-like peoples known as the Denisovans live alongside Neanderthals and our own Homo sapien species for tens of thousands of years.

"The world at that time must have been far more complex than previously thought," Susanna Sawyer, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, told National Geographic. "Who knows what other hominids lived and what effects they had on us?"

Sawyer led the effort to date the tooth, which was found five years ago in Denisova cave in Siberia’s Altai Mountains. It was the second molar recovered from the cave, both of which were found alongside a fragment of a pinkie bone. With the latest study, scientist now know that all three fossils came from different Denisovan persons.

Along with her colleagues, Sawyer had to rule out DNA contamination from modern humans, ancient bacteria, and ancient hyenas that once prowled the cave.

"Once Sawyer had the new tooth’s mitochondrial DNA in hand, she was able to verify that it indeed was Denisovan," National Geographic reported. "The new DNA also allowed Sawyer to reconstruct the mitochondrial genome of the common ancestor of the three individuals found in the cave."

The DNA study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the latest tooth belonged to an individual who lived roughly 60,000 years before the owners of the other tooth and finger bone fragment (who themselves lived 60,000 years ago).

Scientists now have a genetic sequence for the species, but still don't know quite what they looked like. We do know, however, that they mated with both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.

Todd Disotell, a molecular anthropologist at New York University who was not involved in the new study, told The New York Times that back then, the world "was a lot like Middle-earth," the world in which J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" tales were set.

"There you’ve got elves and dwarves and hobbits and orcs," he said. On earth, "we had a ton of hominins that are closely related to us."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
DNA analysis of an ancient tooth has revealed that a group of human-like peoples known as the Denisovans live alongside Neanderthals and our own Homo sapien species for tens of thousands of years.
ancient, tooth, dna
350
2015-56-18
Wednesday, 18 Nov 2015 06:56 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved