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Human, Neanderthal hybrid discovered

Posted on Friday, 29 March, 2013 | Comment icon 61 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 3.0 Rawansari

The skeletal remains of what is thought to be a cross between a human and a Neanderthal have been found.

The remains date back to between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago and are believed to represent the first direct evidence of human and Neanderthal interbreeding. A genetic analysis suggests that the individual was the offspring of a female Neanderthal and a male human. It has long been thought that the two species interbred and that even today's human population still contain traces of Neanderthal DNA.

Modern humans and Neanderthals were thought to have both lived in Europe for several thousand years before Neanderthals eventually disappeared around 30,000 years ago. The ways in which the two species interacted while living alongside one another is a topic of continued interest for scientists.

"The skeletal remains of an individual living in northern Italy 40,000-30,000 years ago are believed to be that of a human/Neanderthal hybrid, according to a paper in PLoS ONE."

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 Source: Discovery News

  Discuss: View comments (61)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #52 Posted by DieChecker on 2 April, 2013, 0:45
Genetic drift is just a change in frequency of a particular sequence of DNA (be it a gene/allele or just haplogroup markers) in a population. So we can imagine a population of UP humans in Europe with a small percentage (say 10%) Neanderthal mtDNA. Over some thousands of years, certain individuals leave that population and join another, new individuals join that population, certain individuals in that population are more reproductively successful, and certain individuals have few or no children. The population will now have different percentages of various mtDNA haplogroups. We would probably ... [More]
Comment icon #53 Posted by Everdred on 2 April, 2013, 1:42
I think that is the whole point, you can't have 10% neanderthal mDNA. It is the mothers mDNA, and so you have neanderthal mDNA or you don't. There is not 50/50 or fractions in mDNA. At least not as I understand it. There obviously can be mutations going forward, but those would still have a neanderthal mDNA as the origin. Probably obviously so. Sorry, I meant 10% of the hypothetical population had Neanderthal mtDNA.
Comment icon #54 Posted by DieChecker on 2 April, 2013, 2:50
Yeah. I can agree that the percentage of the population can rise and fall, but for it to disappear completely, over an area the size of Asia and Europe seems unlikely. Possible, but not likely. I see how you are refering to Genetic Drift now.....
Comment icon #55 Posted by Parsec on 7 April, 2013, 14:50
So your racist remark is referring to Neanderthal females being stereotyped as "ugly"? They aren't stereotyped as ugly, they were indeed ugly, at least from our point of view. I borrow a definition R. Dawkins wrote "Where we have sexual reproduction a species can be objectively defined as a group of organisms which reproduce sexually amongst themselves but don't reproduce with members of other species." Ashiene, would you mate with a gorilla, or do you find it sexually attractive? I guess your answer is "no". This is because you don't recognize the gorilla as a suitable mate for reproduction, ... [More]
Comment icon #56 Posted by DKO on 8 April, 2013, 0:38
It's pathetic to try and turn a joke about a neanderthal into a racist remark.
Comment icon #57 Posted by minera on 14 April, 2013, 15:48
The neanderthal wax figure is shown as cross eyed and brutish. We can speculate on their social skills and group interactions but it is not necessarily fact. If you go by looks and behavior we probably have more neanderthals than homo sapiens in today's population. Also why are there so many diverse groups with different physical appearance in today's homo sapiens? Why so many genetic variations?
Comment icon #58 Posted by DieChecker on 14 April, 2013, 19:00
Also why are there so many diverse groups with different physical appearance in today's homo sapiens? Why so many genetic variations? Culturally specific aesthetic values. If one group likes tall men, then that group will end up having more tall men. If another group values paler/darker skin tones, or green eyes, then that skin tone or eye color will come to be more and more represented in that group. But, like dogs, horses and other animals that are bred for looks, humans are still humans, regardless of how they appear.
Comment icon #59 Posted by Nefer-Ankhe on 21 April, 2013, 9:08
Well it was inevitable that these species would interbreed...
Comment icon #60 Posted by angi chiesa on 26 June, 2013, 8:53
This pr0ves my previous thoughts expressed here. No died out ,just a load of interbreeding. I see many Neanderthals walking the streets,or at least very stocky humans .
Comment icon #61 Posted by Asadora on 26 June, 2013, 13:49
I think when it comes to 'mating' in this regard, that looks or skills doesn't come into much for procreation. I reckon that maybe it was more of a: 'I will go spread my seed into whatever garden is out there.' Kind Regards Great thread, OP

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