Moderns said to mate with late-surviving Denisovans

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Science  05 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6435, pp. 12-13
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6435.12

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The elusive Denisovans, the extinct cousins of Neanderthals, are known only from a handful of bones and teeth they left in Siberia's Denisova Cave in Russia and the genetic legacy they bequeathed to living people across Asia. A new study of that legacy in people from New Guinea now suggests that, far from being a single group, these mysterious humans were so diverse that their populations were as distantly related to each other as they were to Neanderthals. In another startling suggestion, the study implies that one of those groups may have survived and encountered modern humans as recently as 15,000 to 30,000 years ago—tens of thousands of years later than researchers had thought.