A new species of ancient human that lived side by side with Homo sapiens and Neanderthals as recently as 30,000 years ago has been discovered, rewriting the history of humanity’s spread around the world.
The creature, nicknamed “X-woman” by researchers, is the first human cousin to be identified purely from a DNA sample — extracted from a bone fragment of a little finger found two years ago in a Siberian cave.
The discovery, which has amazed and delighted scientists, shows that the human family was more diverse in prehistoric times than had been appreciated. It suggests that many different kinds of humans left Africa separately and then thrived for thousands of years, before Homo sapiens emerged as the sole survivor.
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