A single cave in the mountains of Siberia has produced a string of remarkable archaeological discoveries. In 2008, scientists there found a 41,000-year-old pinky bone, whose DNA matched neither humans nor Neanderthals. Instead, it belonged to a previously unknown group of hominins they named Denisovans. Three Denisovan teeth also turned up in the cave. Since then, traces of Denisovan DNA have been found in humans living today in Asia and Melanesia—suggesting that long ago, humans and Denisovans met, had sex, and had children.
That was, until now, the sum total of our knowledge on the mysterious Denisovans.
A remarkable new discovery—also in the Denisova cave—paints an even more interesting picture, telling us that Denisovans also interbred with Neanderthals.