Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fossil may be evidence of unknown hominid

A fossilised finger found in a Siberian cave contains mitochondrial DNA that may come from a previously unknown human ancestor.

Research published online today describes mapping the DNA from what appears to be a youngsters little finger. Either that or the middle finger of a Hobbit. The digit was found in 2008 in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia.

The sample was compared to the DNA of 54 modern humans and six Neanderthals - none matched. The boffins think the Siberian shared a common ancestor with modern humans - and Neanderthals - until about a million years ago.

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