Ancient DNA Puts a Face on the Mysterious Denisovans, Extinct Cousins of Neanderthals

A recently developed way to glean clues about anatomy from ancient genomes enabled researchers to piece together a rough composite of a young girl who lived at Denisova Cave in Siberia in Russia 75,000 years ago. The results suggest a broad-faced species that would have looked distinct from both humans and Neanderthals. Ludovic Orlando, a molecular archaeologist at the University of Copenhagen who wasn’t involved in the work, calls the approach “clever.” But he and others caution against making specieswide generalizations based on a single individual.

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