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Thread: Prevalence of Neanderthal Traits amongst Australian Aborigines?

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    Prevalence of Neanderthal Traits amongst Australian Aborigines?



    What potential reason might there be for the prevalence of Neanderthal traits found so commonly amongst Australian Aboriginees? They often are found to have these distinguishing features that they share in common with Neanderthal man:

    Recessed chins
    Pronounced brow ridges
    Occipital buns

    However, as far as I know there was no Neanderthal man in Australia and the Aborigines were there fairly early, too. Could there have been fairly heavy interbreeding between the ancestors of the Aborigines and local Neanderthals when they passed through the Middle East c. 50,000 BC?

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    Australian Aborigines are mixed with Denisovans. It's said that Denisovand were related to Neanderthal species.

    Later research suggests modern-day descendants of Denisovans range wider afield than Melanesia. Mark Stoneking, molecular anthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, led the research team which found genetic evidence that, in addition to Melanesians, Australian Aborigines, and some small, scattered groups of people in Southeast Asia, such as the Negrito Mamanwa in the Philippines, share varying levels of Denisovan ancestry. However, not all Negritos were found to possess Denisovan genes; Andaman Islanders and Malaysian Jehai, for example, were found to have no Denisovan inheritance. With their results, they challenged the belief that the Denisovans interbred in mainland Asia before spreading to the island from Southeast Asia, Melanesia, and Australia. They said their data "can be most parsimoniously explained if the Denisova gene flow occurred in Southeast Asia itself."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denisova_hominin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goga View Post
    Australian Aborigines are mixed with Denisovans. It's said that Denisovand were related to Neanderthal species.
    That's fascinating, actually Thank you very much for the article link. I have not heard of this.

    That's a huge amount of DNA, too. Larger by 1-3 points over the average European mixture of Neanderthal DNA. That would definitely explain the Neanderthal-esque traits.

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