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Thread: New Fossil Findings suggest, Asian Neanderthals, Humans Mated

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    New Fossil Findings suggest, Asian Neanderthals, Humans Mated



    Asian Neanderthals, Humans Mated

    THE GIST
    • The oldest modern human remains from East Asia have been found and date to at least 100,000 years ago.
    • The structure of the fossils and age all suggest that modern humans interbred with Neanderthals.
    • The findings also reveal that modern humans were established in East Asia much earlier than in Europe.

    Early modern humans mated with Neanderthals and possibly other archaic hominid species from Asia at least 100,000 years ago, according to a new study that describes human remains from that period in South China.
    The remains are the oldest modern human fossils in East Asia and predate, by over 60,000 years, the oldest previously known modern human remains in the region.
    The fossils -- a chin and related teeth -- belonged to a modern human that also featured more robust Neanderthal-type characteristics, indicates the study, published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
    Co-author Erik Trinkaus, who is one of the world's leading experts on Neanderthals, told Discovery News that the new findings mean "there was mating between these 'archaic' and 'modern' groups across Asia, and not just in Europe and the remainder of Africa."
    "Of more interest than who had sex with whom is the fact that modern humans had spread across southern Eurasia by 100,000 years ago, and yet archaic humans remained across the more northern areas, and even displaced the modern humans in Southwest Asia for an additional 50,000-70,000 years," added Trinkaus, a professor of physical anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. "It argues for very little adaptive advantage on the part of these modern humans."
    He and his colleagues studied the newly discovered remains, which were unearthed at Zhirendong, a cave in Chongzuo City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in South China. The fossils are well dated, based on isotopic analysis of the site and associated remains of now-extinct mammals and other animals.

    Trinkaus and his team now believe that after anatomically modern humans first emerged in equatorial Africa, they either began to disperse into Asia 102,000 to 130,000 years ago, or gene flow through populations caused their biology to wind up in South China during the Late Pleistocene. Either way, the researchers argue that modern human interbreeding with regional archaic populations, such as Neanderthals, must have happened.
    In terms of what happened to the Asian Neanderthals, Trinkaus believes "that eventually they were partially absorbed into expanding modern human populations" around 40,000 years ago. He said, "We don't know why those modern humans expanded then, after remaining in Africa and southern Asia for 50,000 plus years."
    It's also presently unclear why, despite the likely interbreeding, the various hominid populations in Eurasia, including our own, remained distinct for so long.
    "This is the first paper to document that they did," Trinkaus said.
    Fred Smith, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Illinois State University sees the paper as "a major contribution to paleoanthropology."
    "It is very important to have solid evidence concerning the appearance of the earliest modern people everywhere in the Old World," Smith said. "The Zhirendong mandible tells us that modern people appear far earlier in East Asia than many, including me, would have thought."
    He concluded, "Hopefully this discovery will usher in more finds that will more completely tell the story of early modern humans in this part of the world."

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    I'm surprised that modern humans where in south china so early. I would wait for other finds to confirm it. One could be a fluke, a mutation, a hoax.
    If it's true, it means that moderns for some reason where stuck for 50 thousand years in south, before figuring out how to move north. Interesting.

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    Interesting. You always hear theories on European Homo Sapiens interbreeding with Neanderthals so this throws this up in the air. Its been thought that Neanderthals had Red hair Blue eyes and infact passed those traits on to modern humans. Could it be that Neanderthals in Asia were different race to those in Europe!?
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    Yes they were different, and they look more like modern east Asians. This is where they got their Asians distinctive features.

    Neanderthals in Europe might have had white skin.
    Give it a time Cro Magnon could have evolve white skin by themselves. But how much easier and faster is to pick it up if you interbreed. This logic made me believe they interbreed even though previous genetic research was against this idea. Now we know they did. Sweet, I'm not crazy, lol.

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    It is very interesting and although the genetic evidence points to an out of Africa scenario for the population of Asia, these Neaderthals or Neanderthal analogs might have developed from the Asian strain of Homo Erectus. This strain could have been instrumental in some of the specific characteristics seen in Asian populations.
    Although I think looking at the evidence for the population of Europe and the relatively major changes in skin color and appearance seems to support rather rapid evolutionary changes due to environmental conditions.
    However the recent genetic findings of portions of the Neanderthal genome found in modern Asian and European population would have to have originated in an earlier common ancestor to both European and Asian Neanderthals.
    There is so much that we don't know and so much left to discover that I expect we will continue to see findings that give us a better picture of our origins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bud View Post
    Interesting. You always hear theories on European Homo Sapiens interbreeding with Neanderthals so this throws this up in the air. Its been thought that Neanderthals had Red hair Blue eyes and infact passed those traits on to modern humans. Could it be that Neanderthals in Asia were different race to those in Europe!?
    The article says that Homo Sapiens in Asia mated with other archaic hominid species from Asia. This includes the descendants of the East Asian Homo Erectus (Peking Man), which probably gave modern East Asians some of their facial features (slanted eyes, broad face...).

    I have long predicted that Homo Sapiens intermingled with Neanderthals in Central Asia (near the Caspian Sea), and their descendants would have been the red- or blond-haired and blue-eyed Indo-Europeans.

    So far there was no evidence that Neanderthals lived beyond Central Asia. Apart from this new hybrid hominid, there is still no evidence of Neanderthal in East Asia.
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