Tuesday, May 2, 2017

DNA from Extinct Humans Discovered in Caves

Throughout the world, there are many different archaeological excavation sites throughout Europe and Asia that have given us tools and human made artifacts that give of us information of how the people of these periods lived. However when it comes to skeletal and other human remains left behind, the number is much lower. Recently, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany have discovered new ways to obtain human DNA. Over four different archaeological sites including the Vindija Cave in Croatia in the picture above, these scientists have extracted the DNA of a variety of mammals, including our human ancestors. They also collected several samples of Denisovan DNA sediments from the Denisova Cave in Russia. With the collection of these DNA samples, we now know how to collect genetic affiliations of the humans that inhabited several previously found excavation sites with no yield of human remains.

The excavation as well as the analysis of the genetic composition of these emains of gives us a clearer understanding of our own evolutionary history. There are a small amount of human remains, however, a small sample of the DNA can tell us a lot. The scientists found the DNA to twelve different mammalian families that include extinct species such as the woolly mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, the cave bear and the cave hyena. With more research done with the skeletal remains of ancient humans and other mammals, the more we will know about human evolution and the evolution of the world over the past 10 of thousands of years.




1 comment:

  1. I read about this and thought it was fascinating. thank you for the post!