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Are We Not Just Homo Sapiens, But A Mixed Species?

First Posted: Oct 26, 2016 06:25 AM EDT
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Modern humans have a bit of other hominins too in their genes according to research. (Image used for representation only)
(Photo : Ian Willms/Getty Images)

The relation between our ancient ancestors and other archaic human species belonging to the Homo family had been an intricate one, hundreds of thousand years ago. Now, a new research has reportedly found an even more interesting angle. An expert has suggested that multiple interbreeding existed within and outside of Africa.

As per reports, researcher Dr Ryan Bohlender came to the conclusion after analyzing the percentage of ancient hominin DNA still found in modern man. The expert presented his findings at Vancouver's American Society of Human Genetics. It is commonly known now that Homo sapiens used to have relations with Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis), as a result of which all of us outside Africa have a little bit of Neanderthal still in us. Now, it seems we may not only have Neanderthal genes but also those of other archaic Homo species.

The recent study also backs up earlier researches on the subject that suggest that the relation between ancient species of the Homo genus was quite muddled, and there could have been numerous crossovers as our early ancestors mated with at least two different human species during the course of time. Additionally the Denivosans (Homo sp. Altai), which also had the same root of origin as the Neanderthals, have been thought to contribute to two to five percent of the genomes found in aboriginal Australians. Furthermore, there is a reported genetic evidence that an unknown species of human also existed in Southeast Asia at the same time as the Denisovans. The existence of the still mysterious species was decoded after the genetic analysis of Pacific Islanders.

Researchers have not only detected evidence of ancient homo species in Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia and Oceania, but also in Africa though they have not been studied as much as the others.  "Africans have been underrepresented in genetics research, they are not as well studied as European and Asian populations, yet they are more diverse genetically than any other group," Dr Bohlender said. Irrespective of what further investigations will reveal in Africa or other parts of the world, for that matter, as far as the genes of modern human is concerned, we are quite a mixed species it seems on the basis of all the researches.

 

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