DNA belonging to Denisovans – the ancient human ancestor – discovered in a Tibetan cave may be only 45,000 years old, scientists say.
The ancient Denisovan mitochondrial DNA was recovered in sediments from Baishiya Karst Cave, a limestone cave at the northeast margin of the Tibetan Plateau, 3,280 meters above sea level.
Samples indicate Denisovans occupied the high-altitude cave from around 100,000 to 60,000 years ago, and also possibly as recently as 45,000 years ago.
If the DNA is indeed only 45,000 years old, the species would have lived alongside modern humans in northeast central Asia.
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