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Scientists Discover A Previously-Unknown Genetic Ancestor Of Humans

Genetic evidence gathered over the years has told us a great deal of how we evolved and what we evolved from. Scientists have now discovered new DNA evidence which reveals another human ancestor species which had previously been unknown.


Neanderthal

The new evidence comes from a DNA analysis of Neanderthals and Denisovans. Both are considered eminent human ancestral groups. Fresh analysis of their DNA suggests that the two species cross-bred and not only that, but a third and previously unknown human ancestral specie bred with both of these species.

In short, the two known and t hethird previously unknown species cross-bred extensively. Mark Thomas who is an evolutionary geneticist at University College London, sums it in a tongue-in-cheek comment, “What it begins to suggest is that we’re looking at a ‘Lord of the Rings’-type world — that there were many hominid populations.”

The study was carried out by evolutionary geneticist David Reich and other researchers in his team. During the course of the research, Reich and his team looked into the available genetic evidence about hominids. They also analyzed the bits of genetic material available from an ancestral specie that inhabited Asia nearly 30,000 years ago.

The most startling discovery in the study is the revelation about the third ancestral species of humans, something which the scientists were completely unaware of until now. This is sure to open doors to further genetic studies, trying to establish a clearer understanding of this third issue. In turn, that will improve our understanding of how we came to be they way we are today.

Source: Nature

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