Scientific Methods

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

NEANDERTHALS MATED WITH MODERN HUMAN

Neanderthals are best known and least understood in all of human ancestors. Neanderthals were powerfully-built species and they were evolved to cope with the changing climate of Ice Age Europe. Their brains were larger than modern human and they were more robust and heavily built than human (3).

The scientists found a hybrid skeleton of a four year old boy (which was found in Portugal and the skeleton had both human and Neanderthals characteristics (3). The skeleton had a pronounced chin and teeth of modern human, but its sturdy limbs were more characteristics of the Neanderthals. From the skeleton found the scientist believe that Neanderthals interbreed with modern human.

Mark Stoneking of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany did a genetic variation between modern human and Neanderthals and the DNA showed that the two species were interbreeding(1). Some researchers said that modern human and Neanderthals did not interbreed because they were reproductively incompatible (2). Professor Lupo (4) said that Neanderthals interbred with some of the modern humans and that there is a little bit of Neanderthals in each person.

Neanderthals were powerfully-built species and they were evolved to cope with the changing climate of Ice Age Europe. Their brains were larger than modern human and they were more robust and heavily built than human (3).
Some researchers said that modern human and Neanderthals were physically isolated from each other so it was difficult for them to have interbreeded with each other (2).

From the skeleton that they have found it shows that modern human and Neanderthals interbreeded because the skeleton had both features of a modern human and Neanderthals. The skeleton inherited the features of both but other scientists do not agree that modern human and Neanderthals mate.

Reference:
1. www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/ 20050223/news_1c23neander.html
2. www.discover.com/issues/ sep-95/features/theneanderthalpe558/
3.
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20050919/neanderthal.html
4.
www.wsu.edu/DrUniverse/nean.html
 
 
Lethabo Mosomane
CSIR
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Tel: 27 12 841 2133
Fax: 27 12 842 3676

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