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And Now, This Neanderthal News Update

Posted on Feb 27, 2012
Wikimedia Commons / FunkMonk (CC-BY-SA)

Here’s a shot of a Neanderthal footprint, preserved and on display at the Natural History Museum in Prague.

Take this one to the Creation Museum: A team of researchers has advanced the idea, in a new journal article published in Molecular Biology and Evolution, that our Neanderthal cousins had mostly died out by the time we Homo sapiens entered the evolutionary scene in full force. The BBC has more.


DNA analysis suggests most Neanderthals in western Europe died out as early as 50,000 years ago - thousands of years before our own species appeared.

A small group of Neanderthals then recolonised parts of Europe, surviving for 10,000 years before vanishing.

The work is published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.

An international team of researchers studied the variation, or diversity, in mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones of 13 Neanderthals.

This type of genetic information is passed down on the maternal line; because cells contain multiple copies of the mitochondrial genome, this DNA is easier to extract from ancient remains than the DNA found in the nuclei of cells.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, March 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

Is this idea of intra-species cannibalism speculation on your part</b>Bill Desmond,</b> or have you seen proof from fossils? Humans have shown during conditions of famine to resort to eating one another. All the way up to present time. Certainly if they can have sexual intercourse with one another they might eat one another or each other as well.

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By Bill Desmond, March 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Modern humans kill and eat higher apes- those that we
share about 98% of our DNA with.
It doesn’t take too much imagination to see that
Neanderthal didn’t just “die out”, but were hunted
down, and likely eaten.
Human beings, then as now, are not all that pretty
under the thin wrapper of so called civilization.
Witness the Congo, Rwanda, Syria, Libya, and
Afghanistan, on all sides.
Or Alabama during the lynchings.

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By Night-Gaunt, February 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

From the available evidence, Neanderthals were more rigid an less flexible than our ancestors were an are in dealing with climate changes. Not as many brain types either as we have. So that means less flexibility to deal with such changes. They were too close to being monogenetic. A racist’s dream come true an like all such they are weak from a survival/Evolutionary perspective. Maybe not in muscle power or even brain power but they just weren’t flexible an they were too well adapted to just one type of climate did them in.

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By Magic Lacrosse Sex, February 29, 2012 at 7:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even though Neanderthals were reeling from near extinction caused by
sudden change it still seems that the modern neanderthal sapien hybrid
got some important characteristics beyond immunity from our neanderthal

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By Maani, February 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

This vindicates the fundamentalists, who believe that we cohabited the planet with dinosaurs!  LOL.

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By gerard, February 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Oops!  Neanderthal.  Excuse misspelling, and never trust me with the fearsome red button!

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By gerard, February 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Gives you something to think about:  Will we post-Nenderthals be the first humanoid types to commit species suicide, one way or another?

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By Night-Gaunt, February 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

The researchers note that the loss of genetic diversity in west European Neanderthals coincided with a climatic episode known as Marine Isotope Stage Three, which was characterised by several brief periods of freezing temperatures.

These cold periods are thought to have been caused by a disturbance of oceanic currents in the North Atlantic, and it is possible that they had a particularly strong impact on the environment in western Europe, note the researchers.

Over the last few decades, research has shown that Neanderthals were undeserving of their brutish reputation.

Researchers recently announced that paintings of seals found in caves at Nerja, southern Spain, might date to 42,000 years - potentially making them the only known art created by Neanderthals. However, this interpretation remains controversial.

Even so humans have been pushed back as far as 250,000 years appearing in Africa then migrating. At least twice. The second 20,000 years after the mount Toba super volcano erupted ? 75,000 to 70,000 years ago. Depending on both the X an Y chromosomes measured throughout the world an also language too. There is much about pre-history we can still learn.

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