Fossil From Last Common Ancestor Of Neanderthals And Humans
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Sep27-08, 06:28 PM
This may also cause some hand waving:
40,000-year-old skull shows both modern human and Neandertal traits
(results from southwestern Romania)
By comparing it with other skulls, Professor Zilhao and colleagues found that Oase 2 had the same proportions as modern human crania and shared a number of modern human and/or non-Neandertal features.
However, there were some important differences: apparently independent features that are, at best, unusual for a modern human. These included frontal flattening, a fairly large juxtamastoid eminence and exceptionally large upper molars with unusual size progression which are found principally among the Neandertals.
Professor Zilhao said: "Such differences raise important questions about the evolutionary history of modern humans. They could be the result of evolutionary reversal or reflect incomplete palaeontological sampling of Middle Paleolithic human diversity.
"They could also reflect admixture with Neandertal populations as modern humans spread through western Eurasia. This mixture would have resulted in both archaic traits retained from the Neandertals and unique combinations of traits resulting from the blending of previously divergent gene pools.