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In Photos: New Human Ancestor Possibly Unearthed in Spanish Cave

  • Mysterious Ancestor?

    illustration of an extinct species of humans
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    CREDIT: Javier Trueba, MADRID SCIENTIFIC FILMS
  • Old Thigh

    The thighbone of the 400,000-year-old hominid from Sima de los Huesos, Spain.
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    CREDIT: Javier Trueba, MADRID SCIENTIFIC FILMS
  • Hominid Bones

    Here, a skeleton of a <em>Homo heidelbergensis</em> from Sima de los Huesos, a unique cave site in Northern Spain.
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    CREDIT: Javier Trueba, MADRID SCIENTIFIC FILMS
  • Pit of Bones

    an image of hominid bones from a cave site dubbed Pit of Bones
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    CREDIT: Javier Trueba, MADRID SCIENTIFIC FILMS (screengrab)
  • Digging Deep

    scientists descending into northern spain cave called pit of bones.
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    CREDIT: Javier Trueba, MADRID SCIENTIFIC FILMS (screengrab)
  • Bone Sample

    The thighbone of the 400,000-year-old hominid (<em>Homo heidelbergensis</em>) from Sima de los Huesos, Spain.
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    CREDIT: Javier Trueba, MADRID SCIENTIFIC FILMS (screengrab)
  • Neanderthal?

    an illustration of a Neanderthal face
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    CREDIT: Mauro Cutrona
  • Denisovan?

    teeth from a new branch of ancient humans
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    CREDIT: David Reich et al., Nature.
  • More Bone Needed

    thighbone sample from hominid species
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    CREDIT: Javier Trueba, MADRID SCIENTIFIC FILMS (screengrab)
The oldest known human DNA found yet reveals human evolution was even more confusing than before thought, researchers say. The genetic material came from the bone of a hominin living in what is now the Sima de los Huesos in Northern Spain approximately 400,000 years ago during the Middle Pleistocene.

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