New research has uncovered that humans living in Africa have distinct genomes from a possible, previously unknown, archaic hominins.
Humans living outside of Africa have long been known to have traces of genomes inherited from now-extinct humanoid species, including Neanderthals and Denisovans.
The new research compared Neanderthal and Densiovan DNA with that from four contemporary populations from West Africa. They then built a statistical model to explain the relationships between the archaic hominins and modern Africans.
They found that 6%-7% of the genomes of West Africans is archaic in origin but not from the Neanderthal or Denisovan.
This is expected to have happened around half a million to a million years ago. It has not been determined whether this ancient group lived in Africa or were outside of Africa, interbred with those outside of the continent who then migrated back to the Buldge.
The researchers have acknowledged the need for further analysis of a more diverse pool of contemporary and ancient DNA.