The have found the DNA of a ‘ghost species’ of an ancient chimpanzee that live half a million years ago.
Scientists have found the genetic information of a ‘ghost species’ of chimpanzee which lived in the forests of central Africa half a million years ago.
While there are no physical remains of the previously unknown ancient bonobo ancestor, it was detected through DNA analysis.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) May 28, 2018
The name “ghost species” is usually given to animals discovered through genetic analysis, after their extinction.
The newly discovered ape is believed to have lived some 400,000 years ago, and has left behind genetic traces that survived in living bonobos
They were discovered when scientists were comparing genomes of bonobos and other chimps, and found strange genetic material that weren’t mutations nor the result of crossbreeding.
It was Martin Kuhlwilm from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona that found this new species.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) May 25, 2018
In a research posted in the New Scientists, it is suggested that there was a third species of chimpanzee that interbred with the ancestors of the modern bonobo before going extinct.
However, the genetic material belonging to the newly discovered species has not been found in other chimps.
Unfortunately, the DNA fragments found make up only 3 percent of the ape’s genome, making it difficult to conclude much about it.
Environment changes and other difficult factor often push animals to interbreed. Most recently, scientists have observed grizzly bears and polar bears mating to create hybrid offspring.