August 11, 2011

Denisovans

From New Scientist:
Stone Age toe could redraw human family tree 
10 August 2011 by Colin Barras 
ON THE western fringes of Siberia, the Stone Age Denisova cave has surrendered precious treasure: a toe bone that could shed light on early humans' promiscuous relations with their hominin cousins. 
New Scientist has learned that the bone is now in the care of Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who revealed the first genetic evidence of interbreeding between ancient humans and other hominins (New Scientist, 30 July, p 34).
There are tantalising hints that the find strengthens the case for a third major group of hominins circulating in Eurasia at the same time as early humans and the Neanderthals. It might possibly even prove all three groups were interbreeding (see diagram). 
The Denisova cave had already yielded a fossil tooth and finger bone, in 2000 and 2008. Last year, Pääbo's DNA analysis suggested both belonged to a previously unknown group of hominins, the Denisovans. The new bone, an extremely rare find, looks likely to belong to the same group. 
It is a very exciting discovery, says Isabelle De Groote at London's Natural History Museum. "Hominin material from southern Siberia is rare and usually extremely fragmentary." 
The primitive morphology of the 30,000 to 50,000-year-old Denisovan finger bone and tooth indicates that Denisovans separated from the Neanderthals roughly 300,000 years ago. At the time of the analysis, Pääbo speculated that they came to occupy large parts of east Asia at a time when Europe and western Asia were dominated by Neanderthals. By 40,000 years ago, Homo sapiens was also moving around much of the region. But the Denisovans remain known only from the finger and tooth fossils - not enough information to formally assign them to their own species. 
That may change with analysis of the newly discovered toe bone. 

I hear a rumor that the pygmy negritos of the Philippines might be in the news by the end of the year or so.

19 comments:

theslittyeye said...

Wow, this is the second eye opening article I have read tonight so far... Third hominin group... That might be able to shed a bit light on the evolution of Mongoloid I hope?

"I hear a rumor that the pygmy negritos of the Philippines might be in the news by the end of the year or so"

How so? I am really curious right now... Those negritos are a myth, nobody really knows where they came from and how they got there among the Polynesians... what does it have to do with this finding?

Neanderthal Is Beautiful said...

This gives me ideas...

You know how Latinos who are mostly white with just a bit of Indian blood act like they are 'people of color' victims of white 'racist-imperialists'? Indeed, Latin-American whites play 'fellow victims' with the Indios of the Americas; the bad guy is the all-white Yanqui.

And blacks who are mostly white and have just a little bit of black blood also pretend to be totally black and act like 'victims' of white society. So, a 'black person' could be 90% white and only 10% black but still act like he or she's 100% black and victimized by whites.

Same thing with many American Indians who are actually mostly white and have maybe one drop of Indian blood. They might have blue eyes but still claim to be a Cheyenne victim of white folks.

Well, well...

it seems most of us non-black-African-folks are 1-3% neanderthal or denis-evans. How about we identify with the 1-3% of us that is neanderthal or denis-evans? Since neanderthals and denis-evans were wiped out, conquered, and/or absorbed by invading 'racist-imperialist' cro-maggot homo-sapiens, we can argue that we neanderthal-denis-evans folks had long and defamed been oppressed by people who came out of Africa 80,000 yrs ago.

So, we are all neanderthal-denis-evans victims of the homo-sapien invasion. We are the true victims of Africans.
Justice for Neanderthals and Denis-Evans folks now!!!

Indeed, 'neanderthal' is used derogatively. It is even a bigger N word than the other n world. But we are neanderthals and we are proud and we are finally standing for our heritage. Ugh!

Neanderthal Nationalist Justice Now said...

We must support and defend our neanderthal brothers in UK who are being attacked, robbed, and stripped by homo sapien mobs from the Carribean.

Neanderthal Liberation Front said...

80,000 yrs of oppression must end!!
Neanderthals, reclaim your land from pure-blooded 'racist-imperialist' homo sapiens(aka Africans)

josh said...

"Pygmy negritos" in the news? Oh no,theyre not rioting too, are they?

Anonymous said...

You can't tease us like that! What's the percentage?

Anonymous said...

A (bad) day in the life of Urg-Thargh Denisovan!

Thrasymachus said...

I thought Pääbo was fronting a thrash metal band these days.

Myths said...

Looking at pictures of those guys really makes you wonder about the origins of euro folklore- hobbits, dwarves, elves, goblins, trolls- who knows what kinds of cousins we had that inspired these myths that are long lost with maybe just little bits in our dna

Dutch Boy said...

The supposition that they may have interbred with H. sapiens suggests that they were merely a subspecies of H. sapiens (as were the Neanderthals). I will suspend excitement until the anthropologists can come up with more than a toe bone.

Anonymous said...

Breaking news....New species of Australopithecus found in Britain:

"A. tottenhamensis seems to have been mostly bipedal, which freed the upper limbs for throwing large objects at its prey, the lumbering and defenseless Anglopithecus extinctus."

Scientists denied reports of recent sightings of A. tottenhamensis in the Greated London area, but said that if confirmed, it would be a "wonderful step towards a truly diverse society".

Anon.

Steve Sailer said...

"I thought Pääbo was fronting a thrash metal band these days."

I just like saying "Svante Pääbo."

Jack Aubrey said...

"A. tottenhamensis seems to have been mostly bipedal, which freed the upper limbs for throwing large objects at its prey, the lumbering and defenseless Anglopithecus extinctus."

There is some debate over the species name. Other biologists are calling them Anglosaxonus soontobeextinctus.

Dennis Dale said...

Love the name, but it's three Ns.

Anonymous said...

Yes.
They put the word 'Hottentot' into Tottenham.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The big-ticket gene-selection item prior to the emergence of modern man about 12,000 years ago is still the Ice Age which forced us into smaller areas and likely bumped up our intelligence considerably.

This find, like the Neandertal ones, are interesting in that some scrap DNA may still be lurking in us. But it's small potatoes.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Roger Pearson long ago was a prescient and courageous voice mentioning this sort of interbreeding possibility vis a vis the Out of Africa model as a "final finding" of human origins.
It would be helpful to graduate students in particular to have an
scholarly retrospective done on the changing and competing viewpoints about human origins from Carleton S. Coon's work to the present. Part of the problem surely has been in relevant science that the passion for discovery has overtaken the virtue of humility.

Anonymous said...

Looking at pictures of those guys really makes you wonder about the origins of euro folklore- hobbits, dwarves, elves, goblins, trolls- who knows what kinds of cousins we had that inspired these myths that are long lost with maybe just little bits in our dna

I'll go one step further and speculate that many of these not-quite-human races were autistic geniuses with very real magical talents. They just couldn't breed and "socialize" (organize) as well as their Homo Sapiens / Cro-Magnon overlords.

divinryan said...

I wrote a law review article that dealt with the issue of how much favored blood one must have to logically, much less constitutionally, justify ethnic entitlements (and the grievance industry at large). One of my footnotes is copied below:

"For instance, approximately 230,000 years ago Neanderthals were the dominant hominid specie in the continent of Europe. Approximately 40,000 years ago Homo Sapiens began settling in Europe, and within 10,000 years completely displaced Neanderthals. See Neanderthals in Our Midst, SEED MAGAZINE, Nov. 7, 2006, available at http://seedmagazine.com/content/ article/neanderthals_in_our_midst/ (last visited Nov. 5, 2009) (―many experts have maintained that humans completely replaced the Neanderthals, consistently out-doing them and slaughtering them when they got in the way. Other anthropologists, however, believe that rather than dying out, the Neanderthals assimilated into early human populations through interbreeding, also known as admixture.‖); Ronald Bailey, The Neanderthal in Us – Neanderthal Genome Sequenced, REASON, May 6, 2010, available at http://reason.com/blog/2010/05/06/the-neaderthal-in-us-neanderth. Carbon-dated, anthropological evidence makes clear that Neanderthals are the indigenous hominid of Europe, at least with respect to Homo Sapiens. If an individual today could demonstrate that he/she possesses Neanderthal blood, which may actually be possible through mitochondrial DNA studies, he/she would theoretically possess inherent indigenous rights against Homo-Sapiens."

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1758956