, , , , ,


Skeleton of an early Neandertal ancestor from Sima de los Huesos, a unique cave site in Northern Spain.Javier Trueba, MADRID SCIENTIFIC FILMS

Published in Nature, last week, a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology carried out extremely sensitive tests on the DNA from two specimens found at the Sima de los Huesos site, along with analysis of mitochondrial DNA from one of them. The finding published, indicated these hominins belonged to the Neanderthal evolutionary lineage, being more closely related to the extinct species, than to the Denisovans. This suggests Denisovans and Neanderthals diverged before 430,000 years ago, consistent with a rather early divergence of 550,000 to 750,000 years ago of the modern human lineage from archaic humans.