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Sunday, June 28, 2015

All Human beings have Two things in Common: Mitochondrial Eve and the LM3 Insertion

What is it that separates us all from archaic humans such as Neanderthal, Heidelberg and Denisovan?
Since the finding of archaic introgression and and a Y Chromosome lineage that split off 325 thousand years ago or longer, that question has become harder to answer.
Our anatomy is the most obvious answer, since everyone on the planet today shares an anatomy with homo sapien sapiens who lived 115 thousand years ago or longer in Africa, West Asia, and  Southern China. Descent from a common mother who lived in Africa 200k ago or whose earliest divergent lineage is now confined to Africa is another obvious answer.
But is there anything else?
Mitochondrial Eve was likely chinless but otherwise anatomically modern..
Y DNA Adam on the other hand is now a known archaic, since anatomical moderns are not known from 325k ago.
We can of course hypothesize that 325 thousand year old y haplogroup A00 is an example of introgression a population with it's suite of anatomical features already intact, so this is not necessarily cause to dismiss Y Adam as a needed component for modernity.
However, there is something else besides mito Eve that every population on earth has in common, and that is evidence of a past presence of mtDNA haplogroup LM3.

LM3 is a maternal haplogroup that split off from our own about the same time as Y haplogroup A00.
It was the haplogroup of Mungo Man, a fossil anatomically modern human (with a chin) from Australia that is dated to between 40k and 60k ago. Some have claimed that it is the fearliest indisputably modern fossil we have, though this idea has fallen out of favor. It is more gracile than later and even possible modern Australian aborigines with height estimates that range from 6'4 to 6'6.
Though it's maternal lineage is extinct, an erroneous insertion of it's mtDNA is widespread across the globe.
It's lowest frequency is in African pygmies, and it's highest in Japanese (Ainu?) and an isolated population of South American Indians.
So what does this all mean?
Looking at the chart above, since none of our ancestors really seem to match up with our nuclear DNA tree...could we have gotten our shared traits from a ghost population?

Joe Lyon Layden is a prehistoric fiction author and primitive musician. To receive a free copy of this entire novella "The Man from Parkho Khatune Bears Favor," as well as three free songs and monthly updates, freebies, and discounts on Joe's ongoing work, please sign up for the newsletter below.

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