Chinese fossil sheds light on mysterious Neanderthal kin
NEW YORK (AP) – Nearly 40 years after it was found by a monk in a Chinese cave, a fossilized chunk of jawbone has been revealed as coming from a mysterious relative of the Neanderthals.
Until now, the only known remains of these Denisovans were a few scraps of bone and teeth recovered in a Siberian cave. The new discovery was reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.
That extends the known range of Denisovans, but it’s still not known where they first appeared.
The fossil is the right half of a jawbone with teeth. Scientists said it provides new anatomical details that might help them identify other fossils as Denisovan.