Anewhu­man an­ces­tor?

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

In­dian and Span­ish sci­en­tists claim to have found ev­i­dence of a new hu­man an­ces­tor af­ter study­ing the DNA of two An­damanese tribes, Jarawas and Onges,

and com­par­ing them to an­cient ho­minids. A team of sci­en­tists from the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Bio-Med­i­cal Ge­net­ics ( NIBMG) in Kalyani, West Ben­gal, and the Pom­peu Fabra Univer­sity in Barcelona, Spain, col­lab­o­rated on the project. Their study has been pub­lished in Na­ture Ge­net­ics , a science jour­nal. Ac­cord­ing to con­ven­tional evo­lu­tion­ary science, Ho­mo­erec­tus, the ear­li­est-known ho­minid evolved in Africa two mil­lion years ago. Some 600,000 years ago, a new species branched from Ho­mo­erec­tus in Ethiopia—

Homo hei­del­berg en sis. Homo hei­del­berg en sis came out of Africa 400,000 years ago, and split into two lin­eages. One was the Ne­an­derthal, which moved from Africa to Europe through West Asia. The other was the Deniso­van, named af­ter the Denisova cave in Rus­sia. When com­par­ing the DNA se­quences of Jarawas and Onges with those of the Ne­an­derthal and Deniso­van, we found some no­table dif­fer­ences. By ex­plor­ing var­i­ous pos­si­bil­i­ties that could have given rise to these dif­fer­ences, we have con­cluded that these DNA frag­ments be­long to an ex­tinct ho­minid that shares a com­mon an­ces­tor with the Ne­an­derthal and the Deniso­van but has a dif­fer­ent his­tory, the sci­en­tists said.

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