December 22, 2013

400,000-year-old Hominin bones from cave in Spain

Excavations in caves in northern Spain have revealed hominin fossils that range in age from the early Pleistocene to the Holocene.The caves are in the Sierra de Atapuerca.

One site was found to contain the world’s largest collection of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils, from at least 28 individuals4 dated to over 300,000 years ago.

The DNA has baffled scientists as the bones share a number of morphological features with fossils classified as Homo heidelbergensis and also show distinct Neanderthal-derived traits. This Sima de los Huesos hominin seems closely related to the lineage of Denisovans, an eastern Eurasian sister group to Neanderthals, from southwest Siberia.

The fossils were found in the 1990s but this news only came out in Dec 2013.

Info from Nature letter.See another write up in Nature .

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