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Neanderthals, separate species or subspecies

  1. Jul 12, 2012 #1


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    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?
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  3. Jul 12, 2012 #2


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    "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.nature.com/hdy/journal/v100/n6/full/hdy200814a.html (free review)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  4. Jul 12, 2012 #3


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    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.
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