3 Awesome Facts About Denisovans explains denisova hominins were discovered in 2010 when bones were found in a cave in Siberia. Mitochondrial, or evolutionary DNA showed the bones belonged to neither modern human or neanderthal. It was something else all together, the Denisovan and it helped us get the clearest picture yet of our close but extinct relatives. Here’s 3 awesome things we know about them.
1. Denisovan DNA is only found in people living on islands in South East Asian Islands and Oceania
All Modern Humans have some Neanderthal DNA in them, meaning some crossbreeding went on at some point between our species. Denisovan DNA is found solely in people living in south east Asian Islands with the highest population located in Papua new guinea. As it turns out, Denisovans had a lot of Neanderthal DNA too, so the eventual gene flow probably came from neanderthals having sex with humans, not denisovans.
2. Denisovan women had alleles for dark brown skin, brown hair and brown eyes
While it isn’t safe to say this is what they all looked like, they did exhibit incredibly little genetic diversity. So it’s probably safe to say most denisovans did look like this, they had a lot to compete with when other species of humans cam into being and probably dies out quite quickly.
3. It Helped Us Reveal More About Humanity
When the bones of Denisovans were discovered scientists wen searching for patterns in the DNA of all primates dating back as far as 800,000 years to find where they fit on the evolutionary scale. It revealed that most changes in the development of humanity has taken place in the brain. While we already basically knew this, it’s thanks to Denisovans that we confirmed it.