Ancient humans saved giant pigs and Komodo dragons from extinction

Giant megafauna developed alongside mysterious ancient humans - Shutterstock

Ancient humans saved giant pigs and Komodo dragons from extinction, scientists at the Natural History Museum have found.

Researchers have been long searching for fossil evidence of our mysterious ancient cousins, the Denisovians, who are mainly known from traces of their DNA.

In analysing where this was found, they have discovered that large animals which evolved alongside early humans had a genetic advantage over those which didn’t. Scientists believe that this is because while our early ancestors learned to hunt, megafauna including Komodo dragons developed and selected for defence mechanisms which helped them survive.

Parts of the world, such as Australia, where there were not thought to have been these ancient humans, lost their megafauna when modern-day man landed.

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