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Anthropologists didn't have much to work with on this paleontological puzzle — just a piece of a pinky finger discovered in a cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia. But what most surprised scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Germany was the DNA inside that finger — specifically, mitochondrial DNA, which is found in every human cell. It's rare to be able to isolate DNA that's 40,000 years old, so when researcher Johannes Krause finally did, he called his boss, anthropologist Svante Paabo. "Johannes called me when I was in the U.S. and told me about this, and it was absolutely amazing," Paabo says. "At first I didn't believe him, and I thought he was pulling my leg." What the DNA showed was that whoever that finger belonged to was not a human like us. Nor was it a Neanderthal, the only other member of the human line known to be living in Europe at the time, according to research described in the journal Nature.