160,000 year-old remains of human relative found in Tibet

160000-Year-Old Jawbone Found in Tibet Cave, Sheds Light on Mysterious Ancient Humans

160000-Year-Old Jawbone Found in Tibet Cave, Sheds Light on Mysterious Ancient Humans

Researchers say the bone is 160,000 years old and came from a Denisovan.

The jawbone of slightly-recognized type of historical human has been found in western China. It is the first Denisovan specimen found outside the remote Denisova Cave.

The Denisovans are a mystery.

Denisovans are members of a hominin group who are now only known directly from fragmentary fossils, the genomes of which have been studied from a single site, Denisova cave in Siberia.

According to the scientists, the Denisovans had already adapted to living in this high-altitude setting significantly prior to the appearance of Homo sapiens. In short, they were a third kind of human. He gave it to the Sixth Living Buddha, a holy man there, who passed it on to scientists. Consequently, archaeologists can't be sure about its original location, so it'll be hard in the future to associate it with potential items of importance, such as stone tools, butchered animal bones, or even other yet-to-be discovered Denisovan bones.

Study author Jean-Jacques Hublin, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, told Newsweek he believes Denisovan populations-or Denisovan-like populations-were present over a large area in Asia.

The species were first revealed in 2010 when researchers sequenced the genome of a fossil finger bone and found that it belonged to a hominin group genetically different from Neandertals.

The cave is facing southeast and about 40 meters above the modern Jiangla riverbed which is located in front of it. It... "Yet, so far, the only fossils representing this ancient hominin group were identified at Denisova Cave".

Xiahe mandible, only represented by the right half, was originally found in 1980 in Baishiya Karst Cave. "I am certain the Baishiya Karst Cave will provide more discoveries in the course of planned excavations".

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The bone - half of the lower jaw or mandible - was found in a huge cave nearly 11,000 feet up in the plateau. Attached to the mandible was a heavy carbonate crust, and by applying U-series dating to the crust the researchers found that the Xiahe mandible is at least 160,000 years old. The jawbone is so well preserved that it allows for a virtual reconstruction of the two sides of the mandible.

She also notes that there were tools and animal bones bearing cut marks in the cave.

"We always knew that Denisovans had to live somewhere other than Denisova cave, but it's fantastic to finally have that confirmation".

The jawbone represents the most complete remains yet from the Denisovans and is also the first Denisovan specimen found outside the Siberian cave in which the hominin was found in 2010 - confirming suspicions that Denisovans were more widespread than the fossil record now suggests.

Most intriguingly, modern Sherpas and Tibetans appear to have inherited Denisovan genetic variants that help them cope with high altitudes. They developed the low-oxygen trait, after which sooner or later handed it on to people. Ganjia Basin can be seen in the end of the valley.

The discovery suggests that Denisovans - a sister group of Neanderthals - adapted to high-altitude, low-oxygen environments much earlier than the regional arrival of modern humans. "And now this particular jaw that's been identified as Denisovan is actually from the Tibetan Plateau, so it connects these dots".

"Clearly, modern humans have reaped the benefit of these adaptations that they acquired", Tocheri says.

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