Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Neanderthals, separate species or subspecies

  1. Jul 12, 2012 #1

    lavinia

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I just watched a PBS series on human origins called "Becoming Human". The last episode described research on Neanderthal man and left open the possibility that modern humans and Neanderthals interbred. What is the current consensus among paleo-anthropologists?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2012 #2

    atyy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    http://www.sciencemag.org/site/special/neandertal/feature/index.html
    "Although some researchers once thought they were our immediate ancestors in Europe, most now agree that Neandertals and modern humans most likely shared a common ancestor within the last 500,000 years, possibly in Africa."

    The Neandertal Genome Project
    The Neandertal in us (press release)
    The Neandertal in us (science video)
    A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome (free article)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19391204
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22099691
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22048314
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22048311
    http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v100/n6/full/hdy200814a.html (free review)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  4. Jul 12, 2012 #3

    lavinia

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Thanks for the links.

    So the evidence for interbreeding is a slightly greater genetic similarity between Neanderthals and non-African homo sapiens.

    One article postulated that the interbreeding occurred early on before Europe and Asia were occupied.

    Maybe another possibility is that there were parallel adaptations to colder climate.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Neanderthals, separate species or subspecies
  1. New spider subspecies? (Replies: 2)

  2. Redhead Neanderthals (Replies: 1)

  3. Subspecies vs species (Replies: 1)

Loading...