Scientists learn when humans started interbreeding with Neanderthals 15:56

An international team of scientists from Germany and the United States has determined when modern humans’ ancestors began interbreeding with Neanderthals and how long it took. The study was published on: portal non-peer-reviewed scientific materials BioRxiv.

Neanderthals were among the closest extinct relatives of our species, Homo sapiens. The ancestors of both lineages diverged about 500 thousand years ago.

More than a decade ago, experts discovered that Neanderthals interbred with ancestors of modern humans who migrated from Africa. Today, the genomes of human populations outside Africa contain between 1% and 2% Neanderthal DNA.

In a new study, anthropologists analyzed more than 300 genomes of modern humans from the last 45 thousand years.

The team found that the best explanation for most of the Neanderthal DNA found in the modern human genome is a period of major interbreeding that occurred about 47 thousand years ago and lasted about 6.8 thousand years.

Scientists also learned how Neanderthal DNA was preserved over time in the modern human genome. The longer a piece of Neanderthal DNA survived, the more likely it was to provide some sort of evolutionary benefit to modern humans. Conversely, rapidly sorted out Neanderthal DNA likely created some sort of evolutionary disadvantage.

Surviving Neanderthal genes were found to be associated with skin colour, metabolism and the immune system; This likely provided immediate benefits to modern humans facing new evolutionary pressures outside Africa.

The team found that by the time the period of interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals ended, more than 5% of the modern human genome was of Neanderthal origin. So approximately one in every 20th Homo sapiens had a Neanderthal as their parent.

Previous scientists I learnedhow different types of ancient people cared for their children.

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Source: Gazeta

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