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Oh, so you thought meetings at the Royal Society, with all those scientific types would be boring, sterile affairs? Not so! Look at the raunchy subject matter those lascivious lab-coats are drooling over at the moment:

New genome sequences from two extinct human relatives suggest that these ‘archaic’ groups bred with humans and with each other more extensively than was previously known.

The ancient genomes, one from a Neanderthal and one from a different archaic human group, the Denisovans, were presented on 18 November at a meeting at the Royal Society in London. They suggest that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups living in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet unknown human ancestor from Asia.

“What it begins to suggest is that we’re looking at a ‘Lord of the Rings’-type world — that there were many hominid populations,” says Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London who was at the meeting but was not involved in the work.

Pretty sure the Lord of the Rings comment isn’t meant to imply that the Flores hobbits were the ‘mystery humans’ that joined in the pants-less free-for-all, though it does conjure up some imagery…

Link: Mystery humans spiced up ancients’ rampant sex lives