World’s oldest human DNA, containing evidence of an unknown species, has been recovered from a 400,000-year-old thigh bone.
According to anthropologists, studying this DNA from human ancestors that are hundreds of thousands of years old shows a complex pattern of evolution in the origin of Neanderthals and modern humans.
The bone belongs to a human, but contains alien DNA. This remarkable finding is making scientists question everything they know about human evolution.
The bone discovered in Sima de los Huesos, a cave in northern Spain, contains one of the largest collections of hominin fossils ever discovered.
Now, this so-called “pit of bones” has also yielded the oldest hominin DNA ever sequenced.
Using a thigh bone from the cave, Matthias Meyer from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has sequenced the almost complete mitochondrial genome of one of Sima de los Huesos’ inhabitants, who likely lived around 400,000 years ago.
Image (source & detail – wikipedia) of Homo heidelbergensis Cranium 5 is one of the most important discoveries in the Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca (Spain). The mandible of this cranium appeared, nearly intact, some years after its find, close to the same location.
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