Were the Denisovans a collection of 3 different species?

4-18-2019 k x tp x
Denisova Cave in the Altai mountains, Siberia, where the only known Denisovan remains were found. Image: Ruslan Olinchuk/Alamy Stock Photo

A new study using genetic data is offering an intriguing new look into the history of the Denisovans, revealing them as a people of far greater diversity, and reach, than ever before.

The now-extinct people that we call Denisovans actually consisted of three distinct groups of humans spread throughout Eurasia, the researchers say. And one of those groups might well even be considered its own species. Ancient humans would have interbred with all three of these lineages on multiple occasions, as Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo sapiens swapped genetic material in a process that has left Denisovan DNA still residing in our cells today.

As the researchers see it, one group of Denisovans would have lived in or around present day Siberia, Kazakhstan and in China just north of the Himalayas.


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But a different group of Denisovans lived in Southeast Asia, around present day Thailand and Vietnam. The third group called the islands of Indonesia home.

That means when modern humans made their way out of Africa, they were far from alone. Instead, they would have been the newcomers in many of the places they traveled to.


Read full, original post: The Denisovans May Have Been More Than a Single Species

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