Study brings lifestyle of enigmatic extinct humans into focus

by | Jul 3, 2024 | Science

By Will Dunham(Reuters) – Thousands of bone fragments discovered in a cave on the Tibetan Plateau in China are offering rare insight into the lives of Denisovans, the mysterious extinct cousins of Neanderthals and our own species, showing they hunted a wide range of animals from sheep to woolly rhinoceros in this high-altitude abode.Researchers studied more than 2,500 bones found inside Baishiya Karst Cave, which is situated 10,760 feet (3,280 meters) above sea level and previously had yielded Denisovan fossil remains.They used ancient protein analysis on these remains to reveal that the Denisovans exploited various animals for their meat and skins, and also excavated and identified a rib bone from a Denisovan individual dating to 48,000-32,000 years ago – the youngest Denisovan fossil yet known.Most of the bones were identified as belonging to blue sheep, also called bharal, a goat species still seen on high slope mountains and cliffs in the Himalayas. Other bone remains came from woolly rhinos, yaks, small mammals like marmots, birds, and even from the spotted hyena, a large carnivore that prowled the region called the Ganjia Basin.It was a grass landscape with small forested areas, teeming with life despite harsh condit …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnBy Will Dunham(Reuters) – Thousands of bone fragments discovered in a cave on the Tibetan Plateau in China are offering rare insight into the lives of Denisovans, the mysterious extinct cousins of Neanderthals and our own species, showing they hunted a wide range of animals from sheep to woolly rhinoceros in this high-altitude abode.Researchers studied more than 2,500 bones found inside Baishiya Karst Cave, which is situated 10,760 feet (3,280 meters) above sea level and previously had yielded Denisovan fossil remains.They used ancient protein analysis on these remains to reveal that the Denisovans exploited various animals for their meat and skins, and also excavated and identified a rib bone from a Denisovan individual dating to 48,000-32,000 years ago – the youngest Denisovan fossil yet known.Most of the bones were identified as belonging to blue sheep, also called bharal, a goat species still seen on high slope mountains and cliffs in the Himalayas. Other bone remains came from woolly rhinos, yaks, small mammals like marmots, birds, and even from the spotted hyena, a large carnivore that prowled the region called the Ganjia Basin.It was a grass landscape with small forested areas, teeming with life despite harsh condit …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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