This is a blog detailing the creation/evolution/ID controversy and assorted palaeontological news. I will post news here with running commentary.
What exactly makes people think these skulls represent blended traits? Might these simply represent the basal appearance of Denisovans? If they are equally removed from both Neanderthals and us as we are from Neanderthals, it would stand to reason that a "pure" Denisovan would appear to have a blend of traits from both, as well as novel features.
There is some suspicion, at least on the part of some researchers, that these skulls do, in fact, represent Denisovans. The evidence for blended traits is there, however. The characteristics that are Neandertal are definitely Neandertal. They just don't show up in any other population group. The intriguing thing to me about the skulls is where the maximum cranial breath is. It is very, very low, just above the ears. That is a very, very ancient trait. The Dali and Mapa skulls, which are a little bit later in time, do not possess this trait. It is clear, however, from these skulls that some did.