Findings Belonging To ‘Ghost’ Human Species Appeared in West Africa
Findings Belonging To ‘Ghost’ Human Species Appeared in West Africa Scientists have come up with findings that point to a mysterious human species that lived in Africa at least half a million years ago and whose genes have survived to the present day. It is stated that one-fifth of the genes of the West African people may have come from this species.
According to the news of the Guardian newspaper published in England, the traces of ancient people that scientists call “ghost species” were found during a gene study in West Africa.
Earlier research had shown that Homo sapiens (modern humans) interbred and hybridized with Neanderthals and Denisovans after migrating from Africa.
But little was known about the existence of ancient hominin genes in people whose ancestors never left Africa.
According to experts, this was largely due to the difficulties of collecting data on old DNAs that deteriorate in hot climates.
405 gene sequences were examined in 3 countries
Sriram Sankararaman and Arun Durvasula from the University of California compared 405 West African genomes to Neanderthal and Denisovan gene sequences by computer modeling to overcome this barrier.
Within the scope of the research, modern and old segments in the genes of Yoruba people living in Ibadan region of Nigeria were examined.
As a result, more genetic variations were found in older segments than in genes belonging to Neanderthals and Denisovans.
According to experts, this indicates that the source of the genome variation is not Neanderthal or Denisovan.
The same findings were found in the genomes of the Mende people living in Sierra Leone and the Esan people living in the western regions of Nigeria and Gambia.
It is estimated that between 2 and 19 percent of these communities’ genes come from older gene groups.
Experts emphasize that the findings are uncertain as there is no bone or gene in the middle.
However, scientists estimate that these “ghost” people broke from the ancestors of Neanderthals and modern people 360 thousand to a million years ago. It is believed that this species hybridizes with the ancestors of modern West Africans at some point in the 124.000-year time frame.