Oldest Human Bones hidden in a Spanish cave – Mysterious Cousins of Neanderthals

According to a report in Nature, new tests on human bones hidden in a Spanish cave for some 4,00,000 years set a new record for the oldest human DNA sequence ever decoded and it may scramble the scientific picture of our early relatives. The finding shatters the previous record of 1,00,000 years. The genome could herald a missing link species taking us closer than ever to our common ancestor with the Neanderthals and their mysterious cousins the Denisovans. Deep inside the Atapuerca cave system in northen Spain, 30 metres beneath the surface, lies the Sima de los Huesos, or the “pit of bones”. The remains of at least 28 ancient humans have been found at the bottom of this 12 metre long vertical shaft. Now a thigh bone pulled out of the pit has yielded 4,00,000 years old DNA by far the oldest human DNA ever sequenced. It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans. (Source: Wisdom)


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