Fossil From Last Common Ancestor Of Neanderthals And Humans

  1. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Fossil From Last Common Ancestor Of Neanderthals And Humans Found In Europe, 1.2 Million Years Old
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403185958.htm
    Wow. :cool:

    U-M researchers involved in oldest European human fossil find
    http://www.ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=6434
     
  2. jcsd
  3. I would like to find out more about Homo Heidelbergensis, but cannot find much anywhere. It seems to be thought that he branched off to modern man in Africa but to Neanderthals in Europe (although N man has also been found around the Southern Mediterranian. Another interesting factor is that both Homo Sapien and Homo N have the same DNA (currently) known requisite for human speech and both have the hyoid bone physically requisite for speech. This leads one to believe the two arose from H.B. This leads to all kinds of possibilities for the capabilities of Homo Heidelbergensis.

    Anyone have any more info sources on H. B.?
     
  4. Since I posted this, I have come across a lot more information. I find it most interesting that there is such a wide disparagy between dates of existance. Homo Erectus was thought to only go to 100,000-300,000 years ago then fossils were found in Java that were only 30,000 years old. Neanderthals have been quoted from 230,000-300,000 years as origin but mtDNA suggests 500,000-700,000 years since origin. Homo Heidelbergensis was thought to go back to 600,000 years then a fossil was found that was 1.2 million years old. We have a lot to learn, still. Sometime this year, the DNA mapping of the Neanderthals will be completed and the comparisons to Homo Sapiens should be very interesting. I keep seeing articles saying there was no breeding between the two and more articles on fossil finds showing a combination of the two. Some DNA work showing more commonality than we thought is accused by some to be cross contamination with our own human DNA. The next couple of years should be interesting, especially if DNA work on H Erectus and H Heidelbergensis is done.
     
  5. This Sunday will see a TV program on how the Neanderthals may have bred into modern humans. We know from DNA analysis that this is bunk, but there it is.

    There is another recent finding to this end by a team who took measurements of our and their skulls to determine there no N is present humans.

    But the TV is likely derived from the Geico ads and current public interest.
     
  6. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    Very cool Astronuc.

    I just happened across the latest (Sept.08) conceptual rendering based on DNA evidence gleaned from a 43,000 year old specimen of a Neanderthal woman. She's my "older" girlfriend now!

    And here's the photo from my wallet!

    Let's note that the DNA evidence shows a disposition toward blonde hair. Let's also note how the "brow" isn't as pronounced as so many artists in the past have represented the Neanderthal. If this wasn't my girlfriend I'd think it was my mum!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...The-face-Neanderthal-woman-revealed-time.html

    edit:PS. I think the Neanderthals knew how to wash their faces:rolleyes:.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  7. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    Hello Peter,

    There is also a controversial suggestion and some proof that has been mucked with over time that shows how the Neanderthal were probably the people who erected most of the Megalithic structures on Malta.

    I will get back with those suggestions and proofs at a later time, especially if you are not familiar with the controversy.
     
  8. Hey, BW, I haven't heard of the Malta controversy. I'd love to read some articles.

    Until recently, the tools N used were thought to be inferior to early humans, but the knives, when tested, were found to be as efficient if not more so than early humans. Having lived very long in Europe (Northern lattitudes) it is understandable that N would be light skinned (and many blondes as well as the redheads discovered). Perhaps the number of blondes is the answer for them dying out (terrible thing for me to suggest :rolleyes::rofl::wink: ). Humans DNA suggests humans evolved blondes (blue eyes at about the same time) about 8,000-12,000 years ago.
     
  9. I saw the TV show tonight. It was rather pathetic. Lots of blather, but the only scientific finding that they attempted to convince us "proved" that we had bred with them was our exactly common FOXP2 "speech" gene. There was no other facts offered for our consideration.

    So let us consider FOXP2.

    Yes, it is considered exactly the same as our FOXP2 gene, and yes, Neanderthal did have a hyoid bone and both are needed for speech. However, Homo Sapiens have had both since our beginning 200,000 years ago and we were physically separated from Neanderthals until likely so sooner than 50,000 years ago. Neanderthals also had the same FOXP2 long before that time. Current paleontology suggests that both Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthalis evolved from Homo Heidelbergensus. I find it logical to assume we both received the same FOXP2 from grandpa. The recernt mitochondrial DNA mapping of Neanderthals leads us to the conclusion that we are separate species and we have not resulted from interbreeding.

    The TV show started with a premise and went from there with no thought of scientific investigation.

    The interesting factor continually raised by a common FOXP2 in H Sapiens and H Neanderthalis is that Homo Heidelbergensis likely also could speak. And he had been around for 1.2 million years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  10. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    Let's start with this one. I think you may have to pay to get beyond the abstract.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v101/n2543/abs/101404a0.html

    This discovery came before "inundation maps" showed Malta as being attached to the mainland by an isthmus before the last glacial maximum and three "meltwater pulses" that changed so many of the world's coastlines, taking away the equivalent of a continent of land.

    I can only find this one example showing the entire planet's missing coastlines.

    Here's a bit more of the article by Sir Arthur Keith on the Discovery of Maltese Neanderthal (my term!)

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/2843720
     

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  11. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    On a side note, today's news has the startling discovery (not really) about how...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7630042.stm

    Concerning the interbreeding and co-existence of the Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal species, you might want to find this lecture

    http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/troufs/anth1602/video/Secrets.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  12. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

  13. I could not get into all of them, but those I could were quite interesting. I didn't see anything that related the Malta megalithic structures to Neanderthals. The little I saw mentioned of the structures described them as neolithic which I believe is post Neanderthal. That may have simply been that author's belief. But ANYONE making such structures 24-30,000 years ago would be VERY interesting.

    Since with large amounts of land available...even with ice age times (with which the N men were used to), I doubt there was very much warfare going on. I wonder if disease was the main issue. Tropical areas have much of it and the N men likely would not have had the natural immunities of the Southern boys coming North. Europeans/Early Americans revisited.
     
  14. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    First of all, it was a major accomplishment to show how the Neanderthals were in Malta at around the last glacial maximum. The record had been tampered with at the London Museum and the teeth switched with neolithic type dental work. It is thought that the Maltese elite did not want Malta's inhabitants associated with the Neanderthals for some reason. Also I think some anthropological/archaeological theories were at stake.

    To prove the structures, which are extremely weathered, are from 11,000 years ago or earlier, expeditions are underway off the coast of Malta looking for similar structures in up to 20 to 40 metres of water. The finds like this put the engineering and erection of these megaliths at around the time of inundation which was generally 11,000 ybp.

    So far there is some evidence that similar structures to the above water exist at these depths. But just look at the weathered state of the structures. That looks to me to be much older than the 4-5000 years of age that they are claimed to be.
     

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  15. Well, even if the structures were 11,000 years old, that would be a major accomplishment predating other megastructures by a significant amount. But they would have to be much older yet (perhaps 13,000-17,000 more years) to have been made by Neanderthals. It would seem that you would need a LOT of people properly motivated to make something of this nature. That means more than hunter/gatherers. It means serious agriculture to build communities of any size which there is no evidence of that far back of which I am aware. Doesn't seem logical from a lot of points of view. Digs around the structures themselves for fire pits or other items that could be carbon dated would seem easier that underwater structures which could be explained by local earthquake subsidences. But in any event, neat structures.
     
  16. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    From Astronuc's link

    My guess is that 1.2 or even 1 million years is long enough for a build up of the population of the Neanderthal and for the development of their "colonization" techniques... ie: social, foraging/agricultural and cultural achievements.
     
  17. The 1.2 million year old fossil was not Neanderthal. It was Homo Heidelbergensis who it is thought by most was the progenerator of both Neanderthal and modern man. Through DNA aging techniques, it is estimated that man is 200,000 years old and Neanderthal is 500-750,000 years old. Moreover, it is estimated that there were only about 2500-5000 Neanderthals throughout Europe and the Levant at any one time. That is a lot of area even when considering ice ages reduced it. Early man was reduced to about the same number during the severe ice age of 75,000 years ago. The numbers just are not great enough.
     
  18. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    Reduced from what number? It seems highly unlikely that there were only 5000 Neanderthals at any one time. Do you have some links to the studies on the Neanderthal population estimates?

    There's still some debate about the American Neanderthal (and were it a reality, this would certainly boost the numbers) and no specifically certified excavations looking into this possible phenomenon. When I was working with Dr. Charles Borden of the U of BC he would often remark on the morphology of the skulls we were finding at excavations and relating them to the "primitive" Neanderthal. We also found cobble tools on the highest terrace of the Fraser River near Yale BC that also suggested paleolithic origin. Cobble and Spalding tools are made from river cobble stones by percussion flaking and simply throwing the cobble against another rock. There was no evidence of pressure flaking as is seen in the Clovis period points until excavating the lower terraces. The upper terrace dates back to 13,000 ybp.
     
  19. The Clovis points are commonly now thought to be of European origin. The early Asian points/knives were quite different. It would be interesting to see the "cobble" points you mentioned and what % these were in an area. Might be some kids practicing. The N's had different and more primitive looking points, but they were as if not more effective than their contemporary early modern humans. Do you have photos which can be compared? You have not yet given us anything to judge logically, simply emotionally. The latter doesn't cut it. But show us something to judge scientifically, and this can change. As for population numbers, they are throughout the literature.
     
  20. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    Do you have a link to a reference about Neanderthal population estimates "throughout the literature?". If its so available then that should be an easy request to fulfill.

    On the other hand, Dr. Charles Borden is only somewhat widely published and photo-documents of the excavations at Yale, on the web, are extremely rare or non-existent. I can produce some photos or illustrations of cobble stone tools but they aren't from the same excavation or from the same continent.
     
  21. Sorry, BW, but you are beginning to become boring. If you wish to elaborate on your views, fine. Do so with evidence, not emotion. If you wish to contradict more established theories, you need more compelling evidence than the competing theories. First you state megalithic structures may have been made by Neanderthals but state no evidence that they were either made by Neanderthals or that they were even old enough to be made by them...just that "they sure look worn". That is simply silly. It shows no logic.

    As for Neanderthals in North America, don't you would think that would be rather topical if proper evidence existed? Again, we don't see any time evidence other than humans were here about 15,000 years ago and no evidence of Neanderthals proven any newer than about 28,000 years.

    As for population numbers, I don't see you as being serious enough to look these sources up, but for your information, the most common estimates are no more than about 2500 breeding pairs estimated for Neanderthals. And this same number is estimated for humans during the vicious ice age of about 75,000 years ago (lasting an estimated 2,000 years) caused by volcanic eruptions in SE Asia.
     
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