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Thread: Q&A: Where did the Neanderthals go?77 days old

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    Default Q&A: Where did the Neanderthals go?

    https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/ar...915-017-0414-2

    Abstract

    Genomic evidence has demonstrated that humans and Neanderthals interbred. Today, the genomes of most individuals outside Africa contain 2–3% Neanderthal DNA. However, it is still hotly debated why the Neanderthals went extinct and if humans contributed to the Neanderthal extinction. In this Q&A we explore what genomic data might have to say about this issue.
    Since humans outnumbered Neanderthals by approximately 10-to-1 during the interbreeding period, it is possible that Neanderthals did not truly die off at all, but simply melted together with the human species. One could perhaps argue that Neanderthals did not disappear due to warfare or competition—but due to love.

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    Based on the evidence at the El-Sidron site in southern Spain, it is a good possibility that Homo Erectus killed them off. At that site, some 50,000 years ago, 12 Neanderthals were killed, butchered and eaten. That was 10,000 years before Cro-Magnon man was known to be in Europe. Evidence shows that Homo Erectus hunted and ate a hominid called Australopithecus Robustus. His bones were found in Homo Erectus firepits.

    I read the article in the link. It is an excellent article. Scientists have gone into looking at just where this 2 to 3% of Neanderthal DNA is located in modern humans. Only 2% of our DNA codes proteins to make new shapes and new traits. The other 98% is in an area called "junk DNA". They think that most of this 2 to 3% is in the Junk DNA area. They also think that our DNA is gradually removing any remaining Neanderthal DNA to the junk DNA area. That 2% of our DNA amounts to 25,000 genes.

    There is also another line of thinking by some anthropologists. Some models show that this 2 to 3 % of Neanderthal DNA in us may have come from a common ancestor to both Homo sapiens and Neanderthals. This makes sense because there must be some DNA we share with other species from ancestors millions of years ago. There is a similar situation with Pacific islanders and Aborigines. They share 6 to 8% of their DNA with an ancient hominid called Homo Denisovan. Yet they lived thousands of miles apart. This DNA had to come from a common ancestor.

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    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...nderthals.html
    What killed off Neanderthals around 40,000 years ago has long puzzled scientists.

    +
    Some have suggested that as humans migrated from Africa they out-competed Neanderthals for resources, while others claim climate change finished them off.

    Now, a new study shows that - whatever it was that drove Neanderthals to extinction - the species was doomed from the start.

    A computer simulation showed that the slow but continuing trickle of humans coming from Africa to Eurasia meant they outlasted the Neanderthals.

    Even without human competition or a wavering climate, Neanderthals would have died out thanks to random genetic drift, the research found.

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