Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Evidence of recent Neanderthal ancestry at surprisingly late dates

arroba Email

We are now informed that the ancient human lineages “commonly interbred”:

Like all present-day people whose ancestry isn’t solely African, these early Eurasians carried Neanderthal DNA. Researchers thought that probably originated from mixing between the groups in the Middle East 50,000–60,000 years ago. But a 2015 study3 of the genome of the 40,000-year-old Romanian individual, from a site called Pe tera cu Oase, held a surprise: a Neanderthal ancestor in the past four to six generations, suggesting that humans interbred with Neanderthals in Europe, too.

It was not clear from the Oase man’s genome whether interbreeding was common in Europe. He lived around the time when Neanderthal populations, already sparse, were beginning to vanish from the region …

By measuring these segments, the researchers estimated that the Bacho Kiro individuals had Neanderthal ancestors as recently as the past six or seven generations — and probably in Europe, not the Middle East. “We saw these huge chunks. It was completely amazing,” says Hajdinjak, who is now at the Francis Crick Institute in London and was part of the team that identified the same patterns in the Oase man’s genome. “What are the chances of finding them again?”

Ewen Callaway, “Oldest DNA from a Homo sapiens reveals surprisingly recent Neanderthal ancestry” at Nature

It’s not really that amazing if we don’t start with certain assumptions about Neanderthals. But it’s a lot of fun.

This is the Oase cave where the remains were found:

But turn off the awful music.

I enjoy watching seriously SKILLED people at work. Those explorers truly know what they're doing. Every move is confident and exact. polistra

Leave a Reply