Monday, March 29, 2010

Newly discovered species of humans in Siberia

Archeologists publishing in the journal Nature, have discovered the 40,000 year-old pinky bone of what appears to be a new species of human--in Siberia. (Actually, it's southern Siberia, but it's still SIBERIA). A DNA analysis revels that the, uh, owner--was neither directly related to humans or neanderthals of the era, but more likely a distinct offshoot of humans. From USAToday:
Analysis of the pinky bone discovered in a dirt layer about 40,000 years old yielded enough DNA for the gene study. It shows the creature's ancestry diverged from humans and Neanderthals roughly 1 million years ago. Dubbed "x-woman" by the researchers, despite its undetermined gender, the pinky owner may have belonged to an archaic human species such as Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis, known only from fossils, or an unknown pre-human species. From the size of the pinky tip, the team estimates its owner was a 5- or 6-year-old child.
Check out the full article or the article at Nature.com. Sharp readers will note that the image found at USAToday is a bit misleading as the pinky belonged to a child and the image is of an already known hominid.

Previously: Hobbits Discovered!

1 comment:

NetherWerks said...

I just finished reading Hogan's "Inherit the Stars," where they find a 50,000 year old corpse in a vacc-suit on the moon. The dead-guy turned out to be --but that would be a spoiler. It's a fun book.

Nice ot see more diversity arising in the past, not just the future...