A DNA test on an American hoping to trace his family tree has come up with a stunning result - the roots of the human tree date back much further than previously thought.
Researchers were shocked when they analysed the DNA of Albert Perry, a recently deceased African-American from South Carolina.
'This lineage diverged from previously known Y chromosomes about
338,000 years ago, a time when anatomically modern humans had not yet
evolved,' said Michael Hammer of the University
Either interbreeding with Neanderthals
or other populations led to the unusual genetic makeup, he said, or
humans evolved far earlier than the extant fossil record suggests.
The new divergent lineage - which was found when Mr Perry contacted Family Tree DNA, a company specializing in DNA
analysis to trace family roots - branched from the Y chromosome tree
before the first appearance of anatomically modern humans in the fossil
The DNA analysis proves last common Y
chromosome ancestor lived 338,000 years ago, even though oldest fossil
of modern man is only 200,000 years old