History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Human & Neanderthal Interbreeding

February 29th, 2012 · No Comments

What Were the Consequences of Early Human & Neanderthal Interbreeding?
Ealy modern humans left Africa about 80,000 to 50,000 years ago. The question has long been whether the physically stronger Neanderthals, who possessed the gene for language and may have played the flute, were a separate species or could have interbred with modern humans. The answer is yes, the two lived in close association.

In July 2011, an international team of researchers led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center announced that the human X chromosome originated from Neanderthals and is found exclusively in people outside Africa, which confirmed recent findings suggesting that the two populations interbred,” said Labuda. His team places the timing of such intimate contacts and/or family ties early on, probably at the crossroads of the Middle East.

Neanderthals, whose ancestors left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 years ago, evolved in what is now mainly France, Spain, Germany and Russia, and are thought to have lived until about 30,000 years ago.

“In addition, because our methods were totally independent of Neanderthal material, we can also conclude that previous results were not influenced by contaminating artifacts,” added Labuda.

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