DISCOVERY OF A ‘TOOTH’
When our ancestors migrated from Africa approximately 60 thousand years ago, they were not alone. The journey was made by our two hominid cousins- Neanderthals and Denisovans. Denisovans are lesser known and a recent addition to the human family tree. We all know Neanderthals settled in Europe and parts of Western Asia. In 2008, paleoanthropologists digging in a cave in southern Siberia unearthed a 40,000-year-old adult tooth and an exquisitely preserved fossilized pinkie bone that had belonged to a young girl who was between five and seven years old when she died. Recent studies by scientists show the girl was closely related to Neanderthals, yet distinct enough to merit classification as a new species of archaic humans, which scientists named “Denisovan”.
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