A Pygmy Negrito Tribe In The Philippines Is Found To Be 5% Archaic Denisovan
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A Pygmy Negrito tribe in the Philippines is found to have 5% of their DNA descended from the archaic quasi-extinct Denisovan mystery quasi-species.

Denisovans are somewhat as if they are to the East Eurasian/Pacific what the much more famous Neanderthals are to West Eurasia: a hominid group distinct enough from anatomically modern humans to be considered a distinct species, but close enough to have mated with modern humans and, apparently, contributed some useful genes to many (but not all) modern genomes. (Geneticists also now theorize that modern sub-Saharans have similar single digit percentages of genetic ancestry from one or more still-undiscovered archaic “ghost populations.”

Denisovans were unknown until a decade ago when a few bones were found in Siberia and their DNA extracted.

From Science News:

An Indigenous people in the Philippines have the most Denisovan DNA
Indigenous Ayta Magbukon people get 5 percent of their DNA from the mysterious ancient hominids

… Papua New Guinea highlanders — estimated to carry close to 4 percent Denisovan DNA in the new study — were previously thought to be the modern record holders for Denisovan ancestry. But the Ayta Magbukon display roughly 30 percent to 40 percent more Denisovan ancestry than Papua New Guinea highlanders and Indigenous Australians, Jakobsson says. That calculation accounts for recent mating of East Asians with Philippine Negrito groups, including the Ayta Magbukon, that diluted Denisovan inheritance to varying degrees.

It sounds like they are trying to estimate what this tribe’s ancestry would be if they were still pure-blooded Negritos rather than somewhat admixed with their southeast Asian neighbors, so maybe they don’t really deserve pride of place as the Denisovanest of them all?

A book recounting complex, interweaving genetic history of our species and/or genus could be entitled Our Horny and Not Very Choosy Ancestors.

[Comment at Unz.com]

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