by Peter Dockrill, ScienceAlert
Nobody knows who she was, just that she was different: a teenage girl from over 50,000 years ago of such strange uniqueness she looked to be a ‘hybrid’ ancestor to modern humans that scientists had never seen before.
Only now, researchers have uncovered evidence she wasn’t alone. In a new study analyzing the complex mess of humanity’s prehistory, scientists have used artificial intelligence (AI) to identify an unknown human ancestor species that modern humans encountered – and shared dalliances with – on the long trek out of Africa millennia ago.
“About 80,000 years ago, the so-called Out of Africa occurred, when part of the human population, which already consisted of modern humans, abandoned the African continent and migrated to other continents, giving rise to all the current populations”, explains evolutionary biologist Jaume Bertranpetit from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain.