NEANDERTHALS AND HUMANS MAY HAVE INTERBRED AS EARLY AS 100,000 YEARS AGO -- MUCH EARLIER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
Early humans may have had romantic rendezvous with Neanderthals much earlier than previously thought. While scientists have long known that some ancient humans intermingled with our stocky cousins, a new study suggests that the relations could have started tens of thousands of years earlier than previously suggested.
Genomic analysis of a Siberian Neanderthal women discovered in the Altai mountains revealed bits of modern human DNA, Will Dunham reports for Reuters, which scientists traced back to hominid trists roughly 100,000 years ago.
In 2010, scientists discovered strands of Neanderthal DNA still lingering in modern Europeans and Asians—as much as one to two percent, reports Carl Zimmer for The New York Times. This genetic mark is a remnant of the ancient European and Asian ancestors who journeyed out of Africa into Neanderthal territory around 50,000 to 65,000 years ago.
But the latest study, published in the journal Nature, identifies a much older period of hominid coupling and DNA exchange, reports Colin Barras for New Scientist. Since Neanderthals never made it to Africa, it may represent an early wave of human explorers.
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/humans-may-have-had-romantic-rendezvous-neanderthals-100000-years-ago-180958164/#Vs3pQTwlwiQe6vdF.99