A tipster passed this on to me this AM when it was first published. Warned me that the Bigfooters would see this as somehow related to the current talk about Bigfoot being a hybrid. And, guess what… they did. Even Melba herself.
New genome sequences from two extinct human relatives suggest that these ‘archaic’ groups bred with humans and with each other more extensively than was previously known.
The ancient genomes, one from a Neanderthal and one from a different archaic human group, the Denisovans, were presented on 18 November at a meeting at the Royal Society in London. They suggest that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups living in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet unknown human ancestor from Asia.
Interbreeding was already known. This new data is more precise than what was used previously. This allowed for determination of a new find – a signature from a different genome from a lineage which we have no fossils remains.
The new Denisovan genome indicates that this enigmatic population got around: Reich said at the meeting that they interbred with Neanderthals and with the ancestors of human populations that now live in China and other parts of East Asia, in addition to Oceanic populations, as his team previously reported. Most surprisingly, Reich said, the new genomes indicate that Denisovans interbred with another extinct population of archaic humans that lived in Asia more than 30,000 years ago, which is neither human nor Neanderthal.
And, yes the Bigfooters picked up on this in relation to Ketchum’s results that Bigfoot living right now is a human-unknown primate hybrid from 15,000 years ago. She puts this up on Facebook:
Perhaps some anthropologist or actual geneticist can explain to me how this validates her study, because I don’t see it. This new finding does not relate to Bigfoot. But, some will cherry pick what looks like relevant and interesting data to bolster their case to the less than knowledgeable public. Remember Ketchum’s DNA was lemur and all sorts of other things and did not fit into the evolutionary record like this find does.
It is a surprise, but not incredible, since we now have five different kinds of hominids contributing to the modern human population (in about the last 300,000 years; Neanderthals and modern humans emerge about 200,000 years ago). A sixth hominin, H. floresiensis, is known but it was isolated on an island. We don’t have the genetics (yet) to show evidence of inter-breeding, but they appear to be more like an offshoots of H. erectus. [Note: "Hominin" represents the group consisting of modern humans, extinct human species and all our immediate ancestors (including members of the genera Homo, Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Ardipithecus). Source ]
These current results tell us that the populations mixed rather freely, did not stay isolated. And they also suggest the fossils will be found for this new population. It also reinforces the idea that human evolution was a complicated evolutionary bush with genetic mixing. I’ll leave the interpretations to scientists (paleoanthropology specialists) who know what they are doing.
Meanwhile, Melba is still trying to stay relevant saying her stuff is peer reviewed and valid. Nature rejected her study for being poor. I guess the scientific community likes this hybrid idea better. I don’t wonder why.
Big Thanks to Jeb Card for the tip and the background info