\ BigfootResearch.com
If you have seen a bigfoot or believe you have ongoing activity in your area that is bigfoot related, please complete our Report Form to report your sighting.
Tom Yamarone, Chair
Monica Rawlins, Vice-Chair
Dave Osborne, Secretary
Kathy Strain, Treasurer
Sean Forker, Sgt. at Arms
Bob Strain, Director
Don Stockton, Director
Daniel Falconer, Director
Robert Swain, Director
Peter Wilson, Director

Welcome Anonymous


Latest: ReginaA
New Today: 0
New Yesterday: 0
Overall: 940

People Online:
Members: 0
Visitors: 27
Total: 27
Who Is Where:
01: Home
02: Archive
03: Archive
04: Your Account
05: Archive
06: News and Reports
07: News and Reports
08: Archive
09: Archive
10: News and Reports
11: News and Reports
12: Archive
13: Your Account
14: Archive
15: Search
16: Archive
17: Your Account
18: News and Reports
19: Archive
20: News and Reports
21: Archive
22: News and Reports
23: News and Reports
24: Your Account
25: Archive
26: News and Reports
27: Your Account

Staff Online:

No staff members are online!

image courtesy of Paul Willison

Listen In!
ID: 30301

Let's Talk Bigfoot is a archived Internet radio show endorsed by AIBR.

On each episode are the Who's Who of bigfoot research.

Powered by TalkShoe

Listen to the show on iTunes
Listen to the show on Yahoo
Listen to the show on Google
News › New Human Species?
New Human Species?

A New Species? Scientists Discover a Distant Human Relative

In 2008, a team of archaeologists discovered a fossilized fragment of a pinkie finger in the secluded Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia. The finger was buried with bracelets and other artifacts typical of early human sites dating back about 35,000 years. It was sent to the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, for routine genetic analysis. When the results came back, Johannes Krause, a researcher at the institute, called his colleague Svante Pääbo on his cell phone. "You'd better sit down," he said. "The finger is not human."

Genetic analysis of the finger bone has since indicated that it was a remnant of a previously unknown hominin, distinct from both early modern humans and Neanderthals — the heavily muscled Homo species that cohabited with Homo sapiens in the region from 50,000 to 30,000 years ago. Early modern humans, the results suggested, shared parts of Eurasia not only with Neanderthals but a totally different human-like creature, and all three probably came into contact (the finger bone was found within 65 miles of known Neanderthal and modern human sites).

Krause and Pääbo's analysis, published online on Wednesday by the journal Nature, is the first to identify a novel hominin based on genetic analysis alone — without fossilized remains to offer anatomical reference. But the researchers stop short of declaring the human-like creature a brand-new species. Instead of giving it a Latin name, they refer to the creature publicly as "the Denisova hominin" and in internal e-mails and discussions simply as "X." But privately, scientists at Max Planck — a world leader in the painstaking process of separating genomes from other DNA (of viruses and bacteria, for instance) that typically contaminate fossils — believe that the sequencing of the Denisova hominin's nuclear genome, which will offer a complete genetic picture, will confirm a new species. Krause says the sequencing has begun, and will be complete within a few months.

Wednesday's results come from an analysis of the creature's so-called mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from the mother, and therefore does not give as complete a picture as nuclear genome sequencing. "In terms of mitochondrial DNA alone, this hominin was twice as distant from us as Neanderthals," says Krause. "The evidence is already very strong that we are looking at a previously unknown hominin, and possibly a new species."

Scientists have no idea what the Denisova hominin looked like or how it behaved and interacted with early modern humans, and perhaps never will without a more complete fossil record. But even the preliminary genetic analysis has already shed new light on human ancestors' exodus from Africa and subsequent spread across the globe. The dominant theory holds that various hominin species left Africa in a series of distinct migrations, beginning with Homo erectus or a close relative a little under 2 million years ago, followed by the lineage that gave rise to Neanderthals, and finally the ancestors of modern humans about 50,000 years ago. The mitochondrial DNA of the Denisova hominin suggests its ancestors left Africa around 1 million years ago, at a time not previously associated with migration.

"I speculate that we may discover that it is an oversimplification to talk about particular exodus events from Africa," says Pääbo. "There might have instead been a continuous gene flow and migration."

Pääbo says that because the Denisova hominin is assumed to be human, it's possible that there are many other unknown hominin fossils waiting to be discovered. He says paleontologists will continue to scour for remnants in Siberia and other northern regions, where cold weather helps preserve ancient DNA. Most early hominin fossils are from equatorial and tropical regions, where conditions for DNA survival are poor (indeed, although fossil records suggest a distinct hominin species, Homo floresiensis, co-existed with humans in Indonesia, genetic confirmation has proved elusive).

Ian Tattersall of the Department of Physical Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, who was not involved in the research, calls the Denisova hominin a "significant addition" to the emerging picture of our past — one we now know we shared with a number of other hominin species. "We are the only hominin around today, so we tend to think that's how it's always been. But the evidence is accumulating that the human evolutionary tree is quite luxuriantly branching. There were multiple species that competed in the evolutionary arena, rather than a single lineage that was honed from primitiveness to perfection."

Indeed, the discovery and genetic mapping of the Denisova hominin may also shed further light on the mystery as to why our species thrived while so many of our close genetic relatives succumbed to extinction. "We wish to find out which genes have changed since we split from these other human forms. Those changes are what makes us human — it's the biological reason for the great success of our species," says Krause.

The fossils of early modern humans have been discovered alongside artifacts — such as bracelets and necklaces — that indicate they had culture. And Krause says the location of the Denisova hominin — among artifacts assumed to be human — raises the possibility that the Denisova hominin was similarly advanced. "The fossil was found with modern technology and ornaments, including a very beautiful bracelet," he says. "It's a big step to argue that the Denisova hominin created them — if you find a Coca-Cola bottle near a mummy's tomb, you don't assume that the mummy invented Coke. But the coincidence is tantalizing."

Krause says he does not spend much time engaged in such speculation. At the moment, he and his colleagues are preoccupied with sequencing the Denisova hominin's nuclear genome. Using high-tech lab equipment and supercomputers, they are trying to make sense of this strange and startling discovery, in much the same way that their ancestors might have done tens of thousands of years ago, when they peered out into a windswept Siberian clearing and saw creatures at once familiar and foreign moving through the snow.

Other related articles:


Fox News

Discovery News

Posted by Kathy.Strain on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 (21:15:27) (9814 reads)
Average Score: 4.83
Votes: 6

Please take a second and vote for this article:

Very Good

Monday, March 07
Northern California Audio Event (0)
Friday, March 04
Charcoal, Eggplants, and Small Hairy Hominoids (0)
Thursday, March 03
The role of circumstantial evidence in the discovery of new species of primate (0)
Tuesday, February 15
Ichnotaxonomy of the Laetoli trackways: The earliest hominin footprints (0)
Friday, January 14
Giant Asian Ape and Humans Coexisted, Might Have Interacted (0)
Friday, January 14
Sasquatch Summit: A Tribute to John Green (0)
Friday, January 14
The Board Of Advisors (0)
Friday, January 14
Bigfoot sightings expected in Ketchum Sun Valley (0)
Wednesday, January 12
Find the AIBR on Facebook! (0)
Wednesday, December 22
The Alliance of Independent Bigfoot Researchers (0)
Sunday, October 17
Bigfoot in Santa Cruz County?: Enthusiasts make their case during Bigfoot Discov (0)
Thursday, June 24
Sasquatch Phonetic Alphabet (SPA) (0)
Thursday, April 22
Barefoot Running – A Pain for Us Footers (0)
Wednesday, March 24
New Human Species? (0)
Wednesday, September 09
Sasquatch Investigations at the Pinecrest Site, California (0)
Wednesday, November 19
Our Ancestors Had Floppy, Flexible Feet (0)
Tuesday, March 18
Man had daytime sighting in the Blue Ridge Parkway (0)
Tuesday, March 18
Woman has early morning sighting near Curtin, Oregon (0)
Tuesday, March 18
Young Girls Have Sighting Near Lake Huron (0)
Tuesday, March 18
Man hears strange sounds near Frederick, Maryland (0)
Wednesday, March 12
Digitally Simulated Bigfoot Recordings Now Available! (0)
Tuesday, January 29
Beliefs and Experiences with Sasquatch and Corresponding Coping Strategies (0)
Wednesday, January 16
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is..... (0)
Tuesday, January 15
Witness Sees Hairy Creature Near Swan Hills, Alberta (0)
Tuesday, January 01
How Reliable are Sasquatch Databases? (0)
Tuesday, October 23
Lake Chelan Sighting with Photographs (0)
Tuesday, July 17
Nests and Bedding Areas (0)
Tuesday, June 26
Possible Food Sources For Sasquatch In Oregon (0)
Wednesday, June 20
Abominable Snowmen Are Here! - Ivan T. Sanderson (0)
Friday, May 25
Soldier Has Late-Night Encounter at Quantico Marine Base, Virginia (0)
Friday, February 23
Hunting chimps may change view of human evolution (0)
Thursday, February 01
Archaeologist digs for proof of Sasquatch (0)
Sunday, January 14
How to Video or Photograph a Sasquatch (0)
Tuesday, November 21
An Anatomy Professor Tracks Bigfoot (0)
Thursday, November 02
Protocols and Tools for the Bigfoot Researcher (0)
Thursday, November 02
Get a Cool podcast About Bigfoot! (0)
Thursday, July 27
Research Note: Comments regarding the identity of a hand of unknown origin (0)
Friday, July 21
Creature seen near Hayman Falls Park, Wisconsin (0)
Friday, May 26
ABOM: A Bigfoot Online Museum (0)
Friday, May 26
“Wild Man” Images in European Art (0)
Monday, May 22
Dmitri Donskoy: Biomechanical Analysis of the 1967 Patterson Film (0)
Saturday, May 20
What’s in an Image? (0)
Saturday, May 20
Chimpanzee and human ancestors may have interbred (0)
Saturday, May 20
Shouting monkeys show surprising eloquence (0)
Saturday, May 20
DNA Study Maps Human-Chimp Split (0)
Saturday, May 20
'Hobbit' Species Discovery Challenged (0)
Saturday, May 20
Apes Shown to Be Able to Plan Ahead (0)
Saturday, May 06
Dem Bones (0)
Monday, April 24
Setting the Record Straight: the Penn & Teller "Sonoma" Video (0)
Friday, April 21
Scott Schubbe is trying to solve the puzzle of Big Foot (0)

Older Articles

Interactive software released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy
Azul-Carbon theme and related images designed by Jamin