Los Angeles Times

Mystery solved: Tiny skeleton belonged to a human girl with a combination of rare genetic defects

In the 14 years since it was found in an abandoned mining town in Chile's Atacama Desert, the bizarre 6-inch skeleton has inspired fervid speculation, including theories of unearthly origins.

It had 10 pairs of ribs - two fewer than the normal human complement - and an elongated skull with a pronounced point. Despite its diminutive size, the proportion of its limbs and torso suggested this was a human. Was this a stillborn baby? A nonhuman primate of some sort? An alien being?

Now, genetic science has given these mummified remains a species (Homo sapiens), a gender (female),

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