Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research on teeth shows

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Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research on teeth shows

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Thu May 16, 2019 10:54 am

Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research on teeth shows

Date: May 15, 2019
Source: University College London
Summary: Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, substantially earlier than indicated by most DNA-based estimates, according to new research.

Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, substantially earlier than indicated by most DNA-based estimates, according to new research by a UCL academic.

The research, published in Science Advances, analysed dental evolutionary rates across different hominin species, focusing on early Neanderthals. It shows that the teeth of hominins from Sima de los Huesos, Spain -- ancestors of the Neanderthals -- diverged from the modern human lineage earlier than previously assumed.

Sima de los Huesos is a cave site in Atapuerca Mountains, Spain, where archaeologists have recovered fossils of almost 30 people. Previous studies date the site to around 430,000 years ago (Middle Pleistocene), making it one of the oldest and largest collections of human remains discovered to date.

Dr Aida Gomez-Robles (UCL Anthropology), said: "Any divergence time between Neanderthals and modern humans younger than 800,000 years ago would have entailed an unexpectedly fast dental evolution in the early Neanderthals from Sima de los Huesos."

"There are different factors that could potentially explain these results, including strong selection to change the teeth of these hominins or their isolation from other Neanderthals found in mainland Europe. However, the simplest explanation is that the divergence between Neanderthals and modern humans was older than 800,000 years. This would make the evolutionary rates of the early Neanderthals from Sima de los Huesos roughly comparable to those found in other species."

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Re: Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research on teeth shows

Post by OlegTheBatty » Thu May 16, 2019 8:26 pm

The presence of N genes in modern humans means the species were still interfertile ca 30k years ago. At least as interfertile as lions and tigers, where the hybrids are often sterile, but not always. There are plenty of f2's in zoos.
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Re: Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research on teeth shows

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Thu May 16, 2019 9:55 pm

Yeah, but the fundamental difference began at that time. The commonalities didn't go away, so we could interbreed.
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Re: Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research on teeth shows

Post by OlegTheBatty » Thu May 16, 2019 10:35 pm

Lions and tigers diverged about 3.9 million years ago, so 800k doesn't seem like all that much.
I thought that the divergence might have been more recent because of shared habitat in Asia until very recently (lions and tigers are both still extant in India, but their habitats no longer intersect).
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Re: Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research on teeth shows

Post by TJrandom » Thu May 16, 2019 11:56 pm

I don’t see it as having to have been so early - as after all, Texans and steers still breed, or attempt to. 🤗

Suspect that is what creates some of them that there politicians. 😊

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Re: Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, research on teeth shows

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri May 17, 2019 12:16 am

Of note: only 4000 Tigers left in the world. More in zoos than in the wild.

All part of the Anthropocene that continues unchecked.
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