A fourth type of hominid, besides Neanderthals, modern humans and the "hobbit", was living as recently as 40,000 years ago, according to research published in the journal Nature .
The discovery by Svante Pääbo and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is based on DNA sequences from a finger bone fragment found in a Siberian cave.
It further enriches the scientific picture of human life in the recent geological past. "Forty thousand years ago, the planet was more crowded than we thought," said Terry Brown, an expert in ancient DNA at Manchester University.
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