The ancient hybrid child whose parents were from different human species

Anita Durairaj

One of the most interesting discoveries pertaining to the evolution of modern humans is the discovery of a 90,000-year-old human bone from Siberia.

The human bone was genetically analyzed and found to belong to that of a 13-year-old girl. The genetic analysis revealed that the child's mother was a Neanderthal and her father was a Denisovan.

The Neanderthals were a group of archaic humans who lived in Eurasia while the Denisovans were another group of archaic humans who lived in East and South Asia.

The girl who lived 90,000 years ago was a Neanderthal-Denisovan hybrid. She had equal amounts of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA.

The Homo-sapiens (modern humans), Neanderthals, and Denisovans were all sister groups that were distinct species but similar enough that they could have mated with each other. However, the Neanderthals and the Denisovans were more closely related to each other than to Homo sapiens. They were also less genetically diverse than modern humans.

The discovery of the hybrid child indicated that Neanderthals may have mated with Denisovans and that this interbreeding was not uncommon or unusual at the time. However, not all scientists are convinced that interbreeding was common.

The Denisovans and Neanderthals also interbred with modern humans. Today, some populations including the Melanesians and Australian Aboriginal people still carry traces of ancient Denisovan human genes. At least 3-5% of the DNA of aboriginal Australians consists of Denisovan DNA.

As for Neanderthal genes, all non-African humans carry traces of these genes due to pairings from 47,000 to 65,000 years ago.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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