SECTIONS

 — Sponsored by Ghost Hunter Apps

 

Scientists Just Confirmed The Discovery of The First Ever Denisovan Skull Fragments

Nicola Jones, 03/11/2019

A chunk of a Denisovan skull has been identified for the first time  

A chunk of a Denisovan skull has been identified for the first time - a dramatic contribution to the handful of known samples from one of the most obscure branches of the hominin family tree.

Paleoanthropologist Bence Viola from the University of Toronto will discuss the as-yet-unpublished discovery at the upcoming meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Cleveland, Ohio, at the end of March.

Very little is known about the Denisovans, an extinct branch of hominins that was a sister group to Neanderthals. Only four individual Denisovans had been identified previously, all from one cave in Siberia.

The first Denisovan was described in 2010 from the fragment of a pinky finger bone, and three more were identified from teeth. This skull piece, excavated about three years ago in that same Siberian cave, represents a fifth individual.

"It's very nice that we finally have fragments like this," says Viola. "It's not a full skull, but it's a piece of a skull. It gives us more. Compared to the finger and the teeth, it's nice to have." But, he adds, it's hardly a full skeleton.

"We're always greedy," he laughs. "We want more."

The new discovery consists of two connecting fragments from the back, left-hand side of the parietal bone, which forms the sides and roof of the skull. Together, they measure about 8 cm by 5 cm.

DNA analysis proves that the piece is Denisovan, though it's too old to date with radiocarbon techniques. Viola and colleagues have compared the fragments to the remains of modern humans and Neanderthals, according to the conference abstract, although Viola is unwilling to discuss the details of what they learned until the work is published.

"This is exciting," says Chris Stringer, a paleoanthropologist at the Natural History Museum in London, UK., who wasn't involved with the work but will be presenting in the same upcoming conference session about Denisovans.

"But, of course, it is only a small fragment. It's as important in raising hopes that yet more complete material will be recovered."

Sadly, the newfound piece is not large enough to use to identify other skulls found elsewhere as Denisovan without genetic information to back the diagnosis up.

Researchers are still waiting for a find like that, which would likely help to boost their collection and understanding of Denisovans. Researchers think the extinct hominins once roamed widely across Asia, but since most fossils aren't well enough preserved to allow for genetic analysis, it has been hard to identify Denisovans elsewhere.

In 2017, some researchers wondered whether two partial skulls found in China might be Denisovan, but this remains unconfirmed. "It should be possible to see how well this [new find] matches with Chinese fossils such as those from Xuchang, which people like me have speculated might be Denisovans," says Stringer.

Nicola Jones is a freelance science journalist living in Pemberton, British Columbia.

 
HEADLINES
IN THE NEWS

Beneath Antarctica’s Ice Is a Graveyard of Dead Continents
Data from a European satellite has revealed the tectonic underworld below the frozen southernmost co...
— S. Rogan (strangeradiocentral.com)

Man who set up camera to catch a ghost instead catches girlfriend's affair with his 16-year-old son
The father had set up a camera to capture ghosts he believed were haunting his house....
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

The FBI looked into Bigfoot legend, and you can read the documents
Get ready to join the bureau's X-Files division...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

What Is a Satoshi?
It is the Smallest Unit on the Bitcoin Blockchain. But there is more to know....
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

A Mythical Form of Space Propulsion Finally Gets A Real Test
Scientists have debated for decades whether the propulsion concept known as EmDrive is real or wishf...
— S. Rogan (strangeradiocentral.com)

U.S. and Australian navy pilots struck by lasers in South China Sea
China denied that its forces targeted military aircraft...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

MORE NEWS

Mongols motorcycle gang fined $500K — but get to keep logo
Genghis Khan might ride again...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

Australian finds a $69,000 (USD) gold nugget using metal detector
The 1.4kg nugget is estimated to be worth about $69,000 (USD)...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Nutritionist says pizza is better for breakfast than most cereals
What's better to eat for breakfast: pizza or cereal?...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

Truth about the mysterious black cube UFOs seen draining energy from Sun
As far as UFO claims go, this one has been one of the most bizarre...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Has anyone tried the Impossible Burger? Is it SAFE?
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

She's Back: Could America's First Stealth Plane Still Fight?
Or should the F-117 stay retired?...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Enormous 2000kg Great White shark chokes to death on sea turtle
A Great White shark has choked to death on a sea turtle, a fisherman dramatically revealed on Facebo...
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

UFO sighting: Does Google Mars photo show crashed alien UFO on the Red Planet?
A UFO has been spotted on the surface of Mars, an alien conspiracy theorist has claimed....
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Earth's magnetic north pole is moving too fast for experts to keep up.
Now scientists might know why....
— A. Leaf (strangeradiocentral.com)

Time traveller from 2075 warns of GREAT FLOOD crippling Los Angeles
A SELF-TITLED time traveller from the year 2075 has bizarrely claimed a great flood will wipe out Lo...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

Trump Is Literally Killing Us
A guest on Fox News representing farmers said that Trump’s trade war is driving some to suicide....
— S.E. Rogue (strangeradiocentral.com)

ALIENS? Stargazers in northern Norway enjoyed an unexpected light show.
NASA says mysterious dancing blue lights spotted over the Arctic Circle were caused by vapor tests a...
— Finn Sawyer (strangeradiocentral.com)

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
SPREAKER |  TWITTER |  FACEBOOK |  SOUNDCLOUD |  YOUTUBE

STRANGERADIOCENTRAL.com
"Quality Internet Radio and Podcast Production."
© Copyright - AO2 IT CORP. - 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy

 
StrangeRadioCentral.com