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Earth Science

DNA Analysis Probes the End of Human-Neanderthal Sex 160

Posted by timothy
from the if-you-buy-their-claim-that-it's-ended dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Modern Europeans may have interbred with Neanderthals as recently as 37,000 years ago, after modern humans with advanced stone tools expanded out of Africa, according to a new study. In an attempt to understand why the Neanderthals are more closely related to people from outside of Africa, researchers from Harvard and the Max Planck Institute estimated that while the last sex between Neanderthals and modern humans may have occurred 37,000 to 86,000 years ago, it is most likely that it occurred 47,000 to 65,000 years ago."
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DNA Analysis Probes the End of Human-Neanderthal Sex

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  • Re:Racist Idiocy (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 07, 2012 @11:45AM (#41576857)

    Except that Neanderthals were also homo Sapiens. But they were more primitive in their technology, for whatever reason.

    Maybe, that's debatable [wikipedia.org].

    Either way, they were either Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis or Homo Neanderthalensis, but most certainly not Homo Sapiens Sapiens, which is our species. They differed not only in culture and technology, they were a separate species.

    And yes, different, but closely related species, can still interbreed and have viable offspring. That definition of species is not used anywhere above high school biology, because things get a lot more complicated once you take into account ring species [wikipedia.org].

  • Re:Racist Idiocy (Score:5, Informative)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday October 07, 2012 @12:06PM (#41576949) Journal

    I don't think that taxonomy has been in use for a long time. I haven't heard any researcher refer to Neandertals as a subspecies of H. sapens for many years. Nor would it make much sense considering they are likely both daughter species of H. erectus.

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