Strange bedfellows for human ancestors

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Science  21 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6480, pp. 838-839
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6480.838

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The story of human evolution is full of ancient trysts. Genes from fossils have shown that the ancestors of many living people mated with Neanderthals and with Denisovans, a mysterious group of extinct humans who lived in Asia. Now, a flurry of papers suggests the ancestors of all three groups mixed at least twice with even older "ghost" lineages of unknown extinct hominins. Taken together, the studies build a strong case that even before modern humans left Africa 60,000 years ago or so, it was not uncommon for different human ancestors to meet and mate.

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