In 2010, archaeologists found evidence of a previously unknown hominin, the Denisovans, in a Siberian cave.

This Denisovan mandible was discovered nearly 40 years ago by a monk who was wandering through Baishiya Karst Cave in Xiahe, China.

We suspected this day would come, and it’s finally happened—the first fossil evidence of this species outside of Denisova cave, which is located in the Siberian Altai Mountains.

Today, bits of Denisovan DNA linger on in present day Asian, Australian, and Melanesian populations.

Indeed, a remarkable and puzzling aspect of Denisovan DNA is the presence of an allele known as EPAS1.

This genetic mutation confers resistance to hypoxia, otherwise known as altitude sickness.

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