“Virtual Paleontology” Provides Insight into Last Common Ancestor with Neanderthals

The Human Evolution Blog

One of the most interesting times in the history of the human species is the period when fully modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) lived alongside and interacted with the Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis or H sapiens neanderthalensis, depending on your perspective). It is now widely accepted that there was some interbreeding and that all non-African populations have some contribution of Neanderthal DNA in their genomes.

original Drawing from the Smithsonian Institution

However, preceding the period when humans and Neanderthals reunited, the two groups must have been separated for quite a long time indeed. We know this because partitioning is absolutely necessary for speciation to occur. If the populations that would give rise to Neanderthals and modern humans were in close contact, they would have merged, rather than remaining distinct. Even a small trickle of gene flow would have kept the two species together, especially considering how similar their lifestyle…

View original post 1,536 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: