No Bones about It: Ancient DNA from Siberia Hints at Previously Unknown Human Relative

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 16:42 in Paleontology & Archaeology

For much of the past five million to seven million years over which humans have been evolving, multiple species of our forebears co-existed. But eventually the other lineages went extinct, leaving only our own, Homo sapiens , to rule Earth. Scientists long thought that by 40,000 years ago H. sapiens shared the planet with only one other human species, or hominin: the Neandertals . In recent years, however, evidence of a more happening hominin scene at that time has emerged. Indications that H. erectus might have persisted on the Indonesian island of Java until 25,000 years ago have surfaced. And then there's H. floresiensis --the mini human species commonly referred to as the hobbits --which lived on Flores, another island in the Indonesian archipelago, as recently as 17,000 years ago.Now researchers writing in the journal Nature report that they have...

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