Wednesday, March 24, 2010

From Siberia: Another Human Species?

A bone found in Siberia has, in the first round of DNA and physical analysis, been categorized as neither modern human nor Neanderthal. Sometime between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago, a child aged around six years died in a remote cave. Interestingly, both modern humans and Neanderthals lived in the same area at around that time. The discoverers were careful to say they were not claiming a new species just yet, but the evidence suggests there was another offshoot to the human family tree, one that did not lead directly to us but coexisted the relatively recent past.

COMMENT: This location is well north of the Pamir region, where a humanlike primate called the almas has long been reported, but it does make me wonder. There's a great deal of eyewitness evidence for the almas, although no physical evidence (the skull of an alleged almas-human cross has been argued about forever, with some cryptozoological researchers saying it's out of the human range and others saying there's no significant difference.) One problem with the almas being a real creature is that locals in some areas make the animal sound common, almost boringly so. Good physical evidence should have been relatively easy to come by, even given the ruggedness of its habitat.

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