Do you remember those school science posters that depicted human evolution with a primate standing up and becoming a modern human? Of course you do, but you may not have noticed that these posters never showed any years – and that is because until this new scientific paper scientists were unclear about when, where, and how we mated our way out of Africa. But now, fossilized genes have demonstrated that some of our ancestors, referred to as “super archaic” humans, mated with Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestors, a long, long time ago.
Several new scientific studies have suggested the ancestors of all three groups had mixed at least twice and evidence has been provided of even older “ghost lineages,” from unknown extinct hominins. These new studies greatly lean on models of inheritance and population mixing, showing a confused pattern with the identities of our ancestors’ ancient mates remaining unknown, and precisely when and where these sexual encounters took place ‘was’ a long standing scientific mystery. Until now.