Scientists Discover The Oldest-Known Remains Of Extinct Human Ancestors In A Siberian Cave

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Scientists Discover The Oldest-Known Remains Of Extinct Human Ancestors In A Siberian Cave

Scientists working in Siberia, Russia, have uncovered the remains of the mysterious Denisovans, a virtually unknown sub-species of human beings. The remains are from around 200,000 years ago and are 3 of just a handful of Denisovan remains ever found.


The scientists currently believe, due to DNA examination, that the sub-species were ancestors and perhaps contemporaries of modern humans, much like Neanderthals, though the differ greatly to Neanderthals in their physical properties.


The team believes that the species were once widespread across Asia and Oceania and that at one point, homo-sapiens, modern humans, bred with them and created hybrid offspring.


Until this finding of the 3 individuals, only 6 previous discoveries of Denisovan remains had been made, 5 in a Siberian cave, and one in a holy temple in China.


Katerina Douka, an archaeological scientist at the University of Vienna in Austria, who led the study, said:


"We were extremely excited to identify three new Denisovan bones amongst the oldest layers of Denisova Cave. We specifically targeted these layers where no other human fossils were found before, and our strategy worked."


Commenting on the fact the remains were found alongside animal remains, Douka said:


"This is the first time we can be sure that Denisovans were the makers of the archaeological remains we found associated with their bone fragments. We can infer that Denisovans were well-adapted to their environments, utilizing every resource available to them. The site's strategic point in front of a water source and the entrance of a valley would have served as a great spot for hunting. At the moment our team continues to work at Denisova Cave and several other Asian sites and hope to report some interesting new stuff very soon."


Despite still limited understanding of these peoples, it is believed that the Denisovans lived between 200,000 and 400,000 years ago and that they used tools in their day-to-day lives for hunting animals such as deer, gazelles, horses, bison, and woolly rhinoceroses. This was a period of time when the world was hotter than it is today, when human beings may have been better able to survive in areas such as Siberia that are today almost uninhabitable due to the cold weather.


[Based on reporting by: science alert]


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Thinking Humanity: Scientists Discover The Oldest-Known Remains Of Extinct Human Ancestors In A Siberian Cave
Scientists Discover The Oldest-Known Remains Of Extinct Human Ancestors In A Siberian Cave
Scientists working in Siberia, Russia, have uncovered the remains of the mysterious Denisovans, a virtually unknown sub-species of human beings. The r
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