Denisovan hominid

The denisovan. Is the name given to a possible new species of Homo, identified through analysis of the DNA from skeletal remains found in Siberia , whose discovery was announced in March of 2010 . It has been suggested that this new species lived between one million and 40,000 years ago, in areas where Neanderthals and Homo sapiens also lived , although its origin would be in a migration different from those associated with modern humans and Neanderthals.


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  • 1 Discovery
    • 1 Denisova Cave
    • 2 Pleistocene occupations in the Denisova cave
  • 2 Hominid
    • 1 Denisovan hominid
  • 3 Contribution to the genome of the Melanesians
  • 4 Sources


An international team of scientists, with Spanish participation , confirms in a study, which is published in the journal Nature , that the skeletal remains found in the Denisova cave, south of Siberia ( Russia ), belong to a new species of baptized hominid like Denisovans, and that they shared their common origin with Neanderthals.

Denisova Cave

Denisova Cave in Siberia, is an archaeological site dating from the Paleolithic . This cave is an important rock shelter from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic , located in the northwestern Altai mountains about 6 km from the village of Chernyi Anui , the site shows human occupation from the Middle Paleolithic (125 000 BC) to the Middle Ages .

The cave, formed by Silurian sandstone , is 28 meters above the right bank of the Anui River near its head. It consists of several short galleries that extend from a central chamber, with a total area around the cave of 270 square meters. The central chamber measures 9×11 meters, with a high vaulted ceiling.

Pleistocene Occupations in Denisova Cave


Cave located in the Altai Mountains , to the northwest and where the fossil remains of the Denisovan Hominid were found

Excavations in the central chamber of Denisova have revealed 13 Pleistocene occupations between 30,000 and 125,000 years BP. The chronological dates are in dates of great radiothermalluminescence (RTL) taken in the sediments, with the exception of strata 9 and 11, which have a handful of carbon radiocarbon dates . The RTL dates at the lowest are considered unlikely, probably only in the range of 125,000 years ago.


Equivalent to Hominina , grouping bipedal primates of which only Homo sapiens survives. This use of the term hominid is ancient, widespread and used even today.

Denisovan hominid

Among the excavations carried out has been the bone of a finger and a 30,000-year-old molar of a specimen that shared the planet with the Sapiens, Neanderthals and Floresiensis . The discovery has been made thanks to the sequencing of its DNA . The Denisovan hominin (also called Woman X) is the name given to a possible new species of hominin identified through DNA analysis whose discovery was announced in March 2010 . It has been suggested that this new species of Homo lived between 1 million agoand 40,000 years, in areas where Neanderthals and Homo sapiens also lived , although their origin would be found in a migration other than that associated with modern humans and Neanderthals.

Contribution to the Melanesian genome

Denisovans appear to have been a group of hominids that shared a common origin with ancient Neanderthals, but later had a different history and evolution. Unlike Neanderthals, Denisovans did not contribute to all of the Eurasian genes today. Instead, they appear to be more closely related to the modern populations of the Melanesian region of Oceania that includes the island of New Guinea , suggesting that there was interbreeding with the ancestors of the Melanesians. The current ones have between 4 and 6% of the genetic material of the extinct Denisovans. The fact that Denisovans have been discovered in southern Siberiaand that there are still traces of their genetic material in modern human populations in Southeast Asia, suggests that this group of hominids may have occupied much of Asia during the late Pleistocene (about 50,000 years ago).

After analyzing the nuclear DNA of the remains found, researchers have deduced that Denisov’s finger bone was that of a girl of about 6 or 7 years of age who belonged to a group of hominids that share a common genetic origin with Neanderthals and, at the same time, demonstrates a series of characteristics that argue for a different population history for this group of hominids. Analysis of a tooth from the same specimen shows a different morphology from Neanderthals and modern humans, in fact it looks much more like ancient forms of hominids such as Homo erectus or Homo habilis. Combined with the Neanderthal genome sequence published by the same team earlier this year, the Denisovan genome suggests a complex picture of genetic interactions between our ancestors and other different groups of ancient hominins that coexisted at the time.

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