The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database

Homo sp. nov. 'Denisovans'




Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Homo sp. Altai (source); Homo sapiens ssp. Denisova (source); Homo denisovan; Homo sapiens denisovan; Homo altai; Homo altaensis (used by Agadjanian & Shunkov, 2018); Homo denisensis (used by Agadjanian & Shunkov, 2018)


Conservation Status

c. 39,000 BC?















Adel, Susan, Kakularam, Kumar Reddy, Horn, Thomas, Reddanna, Pallu, Kuhn, Hartmut and Heydeck, Dagmar. (2015). Leukotriene signaling in the extinct human subspecies Homo denisovan and Homo neanderthalensis. Structural and functional comparison with Homo sapiens. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 565: 17-24.

Agadjanian, A. K. and Shunkov, M. V. (2018). Paleolithic Man of Denisova Cave and Zoogeography of Pleistocene Mammals of Northwestern Altai. Paleontological Journal 52(1): 66-89. [Abstract]

Bower, Bruce. (2012). Denisovan DNA reveals history of enigmatic group: Extinct Neandertal relative lived about 75,000 years ago. ScienceNews 182(6): 5-6. [Abstract]

Brown, S. et al. Identification of a new hominin bone from Denisova Cave, Siberia using collagen fingerprinting and mitochondrial DNA analysis. Sci. Rep. 6, 23559 (2016).

Browning, Sharon R. et al. (In Press, 2018). Analysis of Human Sequence Data Reveals Two Pulses of Archaic Denisovan Admixture. Cell.

Fahu Chen, Frido Welker, Chuan-Chou Shen, Shara E. Bailey, Inga Bergmann, Simon Davis, Huan Xia, Hui Wang, Roman Fischer, Sarah E. Freidline, Tsai-Luen Yu, Matthew M. Skinner, Stefanie Stelzer, Guangrong Dong, Qiaomei Fu, Guanghui Dong, Jian Wang, Dongju Zhang & Jean-Jacques Hublin. A late Middle Pleistocene Denisovan mandible from the Tibetan Plateau. Nature, 2019 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1139-x [Abstract]

Cooper, A. and Stringer, Chris B. (2013). Did the Denisovans cross the Wallace line? Science 342(6156): 321-323. [Abstract]

Dannemann M, Andrés AM, Kelso J (2016) Introgression of Neandertal- and Denisovan-like Haplotypes Contributes to Adaptive Variation in Human Toll-like Receptors. Am J Hum Genet 98(1): 22-33.

Gibbons, Ann. (2012). Ancient DNA. A crystal-clear view of an extinct girl’s genome. Science 337(6098): 1028-1029.

Gibbons, Ann. (2017). Ancient skulls may belong to elusive humans called Denisovans. Science 355(6328): 899.

Gibbons, Ann. (2019a). Moderns said to mate with late-surviving Denisovans. Science 364(6435): 12-13. [Summary]

Gibbons, Ann. (2019b). Ancient jaw gives elusive Denisovans a face. Science 364(6439): 418-419. [Summary]

Gibbons, Ann. (2020). Denisovan DNA found in cave on Tibetan Plateau. Science 370(6516): 512-513. DOI: 10.1126/science.370.6516.512 [Summary]

Gokhman, David et al. (2014). Reconstructing the DNA Methylation Maps of the Neandertal and the Denisovan. Science 344(6183): 523-527. [Abstract]

Greer, Cory et al. (2021). Deleterious variants in genes regulating mammalian reproduction in Neanderthals, Denisovans and extant humans. Human Reproduction 36(3): 734-755. [Abstract]

Gunbin, Konstantin V. et al. (2015). The evolution of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis miRNA targeting genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain. BMC Genomics 2015 16(Suppl 13): S4.

Gupta, Deepak, Ambalavanan, Sivanoli and Bangaru, Pandu Ranga Rao. (2016). Connecting The Dots in Theoretical Anthropology: Was This One of The Earliest Contemplation About Homo sapiens sapiens' Fight for Survival and Interactions with Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova? WebmedCentral PRIMATOLOGY 7(9): WMC005184.

Hawks, J. (2013). Significance of Neandertal and Denisovan genomes in human evolution. Annual Review of Anthropology 42: 433-449.

Jacobs, Zenobia et al. (2019). Timing of archaic hominin occupation of Denisova Cave in southern Siberia. Nature 565: 594-599. [Abstract]

Krause, Johannes; Fu, Qiaomei; Good, Jeffrey M.; Viola, Bence; Shunkov, Michael V.; Derevianko, Anatoli P. & Pääbo, Svante. (2010). The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia. Nature 464(7290): 894-897. [Abstract]

Li, Zhan-Yang et al. (2017). Late Pleistocene archaic human crania from Xuchang, China. Science 355(6328): 969-972. [Abstract]

Lowery RK, Uribe G, Jimenez EB, Weiss MA, Herrera KJ, Regueiro M, Herrera RJ (2013) Neanderthal and Denisova genetic affinities with contemporary humans: introgression versus common ancestral polymorphisms. Gene 530: 83-94.

Meyer, M., Kircher, M., Gansauge, M. T., Li, H. et al. (2012) A high-coverage genome sequence from an archaic Denisovan individual. Science 338(6104): 222-226.

Neubauer, Fernanda. (2014). A Brief Overview of the Last 10 Years of Major Late Pleistocene Discoveries in the Old World: Homo floresiensis, Neanderthal, and Denisovan. Journal of Anthropology 2014(581689): 1-7.

Oikkonen, Venla. (2019). Entanglements of Time, Temperature, Technology, and Place in Ancient DNA Research: The Case of the Denisovan Hominin. Science, Technology, & Human Values. DOI: 10.1177/0162243919879991

Pennisi, E. (2013). More genomes from Denisova Cave show mixing of early human groups. Science 340(6134): 799. [Abstract]

Petr, Martin et al. (2020). The evolutionary history of Neandertal and Denisovan Y chromosomes. bioRxiv preprint. doi:

Price, Michael. (2019). Face of the mysterious Denisovans emerges. Science 365(6459): 1232. [Abstract]

Reich D, Green RE, Kircher M, Krause J, Patterson N, Durand EY, Viola B, Briggs AW, Stenzel U, Johnson PLF, Maricic T, Good JM, Marques-Bonet T, Alkan C, Fu Q, Mallick S, Li H, Meyer M, Eichler EE, Stoneking M, Richards M, Talamo S, Shunkov MV, Derevianko AP, Hublin J-J, Kelso J, Slatkin M, Pääbo S. (2010). Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia. Nature 468: 1053-1060.

Reich D, Patterson N, Kircher M, Delfin F, Nandineni MR, Pugach I, Ko AM, Ko YC, Jinam TA, Phipps ME, Saitou N, Wollstein A, Kayser M, Pääbo S, Stoneking M. (2011). Denisova admixture and the first modern human dispersals into Southeast Asia and Oceania. Am. J .Hum. Genet. 89: 516-528.

Rogers, Alan R. et al. (2019). Neanderthal-Denisovan ancestors interbred with a distantly-related hominin. bioRxiv preprint. doi:

Sankararaman S., Mallick S., Patterson N. et al. (2016). The Combined Landscape of Denisovan and Neanderthal Ancestry in Present-Day Humans. Current Biology 26(9): 1241-1247.

Sawyer, Susanna et al. (2015). Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences from two Denisovan individuals. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112(51): 15696-15700. [Abstract]

Skoglund, P., and M. Jakobsson. (2011). Archaic human ancestry in East Asia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108: 18301-18306.

Slon, Viviane et al. (2017a). A fourth Denisovan individual. Sci. Adv. 3, e1700186.

Slon, Viviane et al. (2017b). Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from Pleistocene sediments. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9695

Slon, Viviane et al. (2018). The genome of the offspring of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father. Nature 561: 113-116. [Abstract]

Srinivasan, Amrutha. (2020). A reevaluation of the phylogenetic tree for the genus Homo: a reclassification based on contemporary evidence. Honours thesis, University of Texas.

Stewart J.R., Stringer C.B. 2012 Human evolution out of Africa: The role of refugia and climate change. Science 335(6074), 1317-1321.

Stringer, Chris and Barnes, Ian. (2015). Deciphering the Denisovans. PNAS. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1522477112 [Abstract]

Taylor, John S. (2014). Did Neanderthals and Denisovans have Our De Novo Genes? Journal of Molecular Evolution 78(6): 321-323.

Teixeira, João C. et al. (2021). Widespread Denisovan ancestry in Island Southeast Asia but no evidence of substantial super-archaic hominin admixture. Nature Ecology & Evolution. doi: [Abstract]

Tikhonov, D. G., Zakharova, A. E. and Neustroeva, T. S. (2018). Does Yakut folklore contain information on Neanderthals and Denisovans? Istoricheskaya etnologiya – Historical Ethnology 3(1): 14-28.

Tucci, Serena et al. (2018). Evolutionary history and adaptation of a human pygmy population of Flores Island, Indonesia. Science 361(6401): 511-516. [Abstract]

Vernot, B., S. Tucci, J. Kelso, J.G. Schraiber, A.B. Wolf, R.M. Gittelman, M. Dannemann, S. Grote, R.C. McCoy, H. Norton, L.B. Scheinfeldt, D.A. Merriwether, G. Koki, J.S. Friedlaender, J. Wakefield, S. Pääbo and J.M. Akey. 2016. Excavating Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from the genomes of Melanesian individuals. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aad9416

Vogel, Gretchen. (2018). Ancient DNA reveals tryst between extinct human species. Science 361(6404): 737. [Abstract]

Waddell, P. J., J. Ramos, and X. Tan. (2011). Homo denisova, Correspondence Spectral Analysis, Finite Sites Reticulate Hierarchical Coalescent Models and the Ron Jeremy Hypothesis. arXiv (Quantitative Biology) 1112.6424, pp 1-43.

Williams, Sloan R. (2019). The Neanderthal and Denisovan Genomes, pp. 69-88. In: O'Rourke, Dennis H. (ed.). A Companion to Anthropological Genetics. John Wiley & Sons. [Summary]


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