A Three-rooted decrease molar, a uncommon trait primarily present in trendy Asian lineages, was beforehand thought to have advanced after Homo sapiens dispersed from Africa. A brand new evaluation of the so-called Xiahe mandible, a 160,000-year-old fossilized Denisovan jawbone from Baishiya Karst Cave, the Tibetan Plateau, China, factors to a distinct evolutionary path.
The three-rooted decrease molar is uncommon — lower than Three.5% prevalence — in non-Asians.
In distinction, its presence in Asian-derived populations can exceed 40% in China and the New World.
“The trait’s presence within the fossil suggests each that it’s older than beforehand understood and that some trendy Asian teams obtained the trait by way of interbreeding with Densiovans, a sister group of Neanderthals,” mentioned New York College’s Professor Shara Bailey, the lead creator of a paper revealed within the Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences.
In a earlier examine, Professor Bailey and colleagues analyzed the Xiahe mandible and concluded that Denisovans occupied the Tibetan Plateau lengthy earlier than Homo sapiens arrived within the area.
The brand new examine centered on the molar within the specimen, with the intention of understanding the connection between archaic people who occupied Asia greater than 160,000 years in the past and trendy Asians.
“In Asia, there have lengthy been claims for continuity between archaic and trendy people due to some shared traits. However lots of these traits are primitive or usually are not distinctive to Asians,” Professor Bailey mentioned.
“Nevertheless, the Three-rooted decrease molar trait is exclusive to Asian teams.”
“Its presence in a 160,000-year-old archaic human in Asia strongly suggests the trait was transferred to Homo sapiens within the area by way of interbreeding with archaic people in Asia.”
Shara E. Bailey et al. Uncommon dental trait gives morphological proof of archaic introgression in Asian fossil document. PNAS, revealed on-line July eight, 2019; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1907557116