Fossil Hominid4 - Fossil Hominids The Denisovans In 2008 a small fossil finger bone was found at the Denisova Cave in the Altai mountains in

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Fossil Hominids: The Denisovans In 2008, a small fossil finger bone was found at the Denisova Cave in the Altai mountains in southern Siberia. Nothing about the bone seemed unusual, and it was assumed to belong to one of the Neandertals living there in that time period, between 30,000 and 48,000 years ago. When the mitochondrial DNA of the bone was sequenced in May 2010 however, it belonged neither to a Neandertal nor to a modern human (Krause et al. 2010). The finger bone was nicknamed the X- Woman, X for 'unknown' and 'woman' because mtDNA is maternally inherited, but in fact it didn't necessarily belong to a female. Males have mtDNA too; they just don't pass it on to their children. Where Neandertals differ from modern humans by an average of 202 positions in the mtDNA genome, the Denisovan individual differed from modern humans by an average of 385 positions. This means that the most recent common mtDNA ancestor of the Denisovan, Neandertals and modern humans lived an estimated 1,000,000 years ago (with a large error margin), about twice as old as the most recent common mtDNA ancestor of Neandertals and humans. There was speculation that the Denisovan might belong to a previously unknown species, but it was also possible that it belonged to a relic Homo erectus , or to a Neandertal that had retained an archaic
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course GLY GLY1100 taught by Professor Jaymuza during the Spring '10 term at Broward College.

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Fossil Hominid4 - Fossil Hominids The Denisovans In 2008 a small fossil finger bone was found at the Denisova Cave in the Altai mountains in

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