Researchers in Sweden have found that the PH ethnic group, Ayta Magbukun, has the highest level of Denisovan ancestry in the world.

For hundreds of thousands of years, Denisovans were a group of archaic humans who coexisted with modern humans and other archaic human species, such as Neanderthals. Neanderthal and Denisovans have interbreed in multiple occasions in the past as analyzed in the modern human genomes.

The first Denisovan individual was identified in 2010 from the Siberian Denisova Cave. From there, it was estimated that Denisovans went extinct at an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 years ago.

Multiple evidence shows that modern humans interbred with archaic Denisovans in Southeast Asia where their studies have taken them.

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Study Highlights:

  • Archaic ancestry of 2.3 million genotypes from 118 Philippine ethnic groups were analyzed
  • Ayta Magbukon have showed to have 30%–40% greater Denisovan ancestry than Australians and Papuans
  • Australians: 3–5%
  • Papuans: 7-8%

The highest level of Denisovan ancestry is explained by a distinct admixture event into Negritos from Denisovans.

There is also the recent Homo luzonensis, a new species of ancient human discovered in the Philippines.

This discovery together with the result of this study may lead us to believe that prior to modern humans, multiple archaic species have inhabited the Philippines including Islander Denisovans.

As our country is a beautiful and abundant place, it would be very possible to consider that ancient species have settled here.

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