New human species found

2010-03-25 08:11
Leipzig - A new species of human life has been discovered in Russia, thanks to DNA tests on a finger bone that was excavated in Siberia, scientists based in Germany said late on Wednesday.

The person, estimated to have lived 30 000 years ago, did not belong to the Homo sapiens species, the only form of human life today, but also wasn't a Neanderthal, a species that died out 35 000 years ago.

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig made the discovery, which is reported in Thursday's issue of the science journal Nature.

The find suggests there was yet another emigration of hominid ancestors from Africa, where all Homo species have their ancestral roots. Previously it was thought that only Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Homo erectus managed that long-distance relocation.

The bone, which was found in 2008 in a cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, yielded enough mitochondrial DNA to be analysed by a team led by Johannes Krause and Svante Paabo.

Read more on:    archaeology
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