Modern Humans Interbred With Neanderthals

Posted: Jun 23 2015, 6:37am CDT | by , in Misc


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Modern Humans Interbred with Neanderthals
Photo Credit: Svante Pääbo/Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Evidence found of Modern Human interbreeding with Neanderthal

Evidence of the modern human having a great percentage of Neanderthal DNA found to the surprise of researchers.

While recording the timeline of human evolution, one sees the events in a linear order rather than a sequential one. That is that it is assumed that the net pedigree of human lineage formulated after the extinction or evolution of the last.

It was not assumed before that the two evolutionary types of human evolutionary line might have co-existed at the same point in time, let alone breed with one another.

From a jawbone found in 2002 inside the cave system of Peștera cu Oase in south-west Romania, researchers extracted DNA and tested and sequenced its genetic components. They found a major part of that DNA component (6 to 9%) to be composed of Neanderthal DNA.

Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig noted that they were indeed lucky to have found a specimen with such a large chunk of Neanderthal DNA. The researchers said that; “We found seven huge pieces of chromosomes that seemed to be purely of Neanderthal origin.”

This helps in depicting a timeline of the modern human. The researchers have predicted that the Neanderthals interbred with modern human Homo sapiens in Middle East but it also depicts that the interbreeding might also have taken place when the Homo sapiens went North.

The discovery of the scale is evidence that the modern human had Neanderthal ancestors. Today’s human DNA contains merely 2 to 4% of that DNA marker which could be contributed to long evolutionary processes but to find a specimen this close to Neanderthal ancestry is really a very lucky phenomenon.

This specimen might have had a great great grandfather who was a Neanderthal which links the modern human directly to the Neanderthal instead of an extended evolutionary form. This means that the Neanderthal and modern human co-existed some 5,000 years together before the dominance of the superior Homo sapiens.

“It’s an incredibly unexpected thing,” said Prof David Reich, a co-author of the paper from the Harvard Medical School, “In the last few years, we’ve documented interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans, but we never thought we’d be so lucky to find someone so close to that event.”

The study published in Nature journal.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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