Evolution takes Asian refuge | Science News

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Evolution takes Asian refuge

Ice age safe zones may have enabled humanity’s rise

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2:05pm, March 16, 2012

After ancient people left their African homeland, they migrated into Asia and Europe, taking refuge from ice age conditions in areas isolated from other populations, two new reports suggest. That isolation may have prompted the evolution of new Homo species, including a mysterious Asian population dubbed Denisovans and possibly an unusual-looking humanlike group now identified in China.

Ice age asylums “are critical to understanding the expansion of H. sapiens out of Africa, the extinction of Neandertals and Denisovans, and interbreeding between these populations,”

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