How much of a Neanderthal are you ?


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I explained in this thread that scientists have found numerous evidences that our Homo Sapiens ancestors from Africa intermingled to some extent with the indigenous Neanderthal of Europe and the Middle East. The strongest evidence of interbreeding were found in Eastern Europe, where the blond-haired and blue-eyed "Aryans" (Celts, Germans, Slavs...) originated before taking over the rest of Europe after the end of the Ice Age. It is thus possible that modern Europeans (and people of European descent) still have a tiny percentage of Neanderthal DNA, and thus also some physical characteristics of Neanderthal usually not found in other humans on the planet.

Wikipedia lists here the Neanderthal physical traits. As they are written in technical terms, let me rephrase below the ones that can easly be found by self-inspection. Please do not compare with your relatives as they are genetically similar to you.

- Occipital bun : a protuberance of the occipital bone (back of the head) that looks like a hair knot. You have it if you can feel a rounded bone just above the back of your neck (same height as the ears).

- Low, flat, elongated skull : What matters here is especially the "elongated skull", as opposed to the back of the skull being almost vertical, like East Asian people.

- Retromolar space posterior to the third molar : i.e. an empty space behind the "wisdom teeth".

- Supraorbital torus : protruding eyebrow bone (including big deep eye cavity between the eye and eyebrow).

- Bigger, rounder eyes than average.

- Broad, projecting nose : angle of the nose bone going more upward than average (not falling straight like a "Greek nose").

- Bony projections on the sides of the nasal opening : i.e. nose bone making a "triangle" between the nose and cheeks/orbits.

- Little or no protruding chin

- Larger mental foramen in mandible for facial blood supply : this means that the side jaw and cheek are bigger or better supplied in blood than average. This increased blood supply could result in the cheeks being red (like blushing) when doing physical exercise or when the weather is cold.

- Short, bowed shoulder blades : i.e. shoulder bones curving toward the front more than average.

- Large round finger tips : typically "flat" and wide finger tips, especially the thumb (e.g. if your thumb is more than 1.5 cm wide).

- Rufosity : i.e. having red hair, or brown hair with red pigments, or natural freckles.

- Fair skin, hair and eyes : Neanderthals are believed to have had blue or green eyes, as well as fair skin and light hair. Having spent 5x longer in northern latitudes than Homo Sapiens, it is only natural that Neanderthals should have developed these adaptive traits first, and that the first modern humans that arrived in Europe inherited the whole package through interbreeding.

Other details on the cranum shape or peculiarities are too difficult to examine by oneself for laymen, so we will limit our observations to the 12 above characteristics.

If you are a Caucasian (i.e. of European descent), how many of these physical traits do you have, and how marked are they ?

I have almost all of them, apart from the low, flat skull (it is in fact taller than average, although a bit elongated). I only have red hair in some parts of my body, but also a bit of natural freckles. My nose isn't broad, but slightly projecting.

The most obvious characteristics for me are the occipital bun, the broad and flat fingers, and the retromolar space (enough space for 2 more teeth behind my grown wisdom teeth !).
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Interesting! :D I have hardly any :souka:... I have a bit of a supraorbital torus :giggle: and big roundish eyes, as well as large flat fingertips (of the 'spatulate' kinda shape) but that's about all I think... :D
I think that the "Neanderthal characteristics" are more obvious in Caucasians when compared to East Asian (e.g. Japanese) people. All the characteristics I have are much less marked than in actual Neanderthals, but they become apparent when I compare by body to the one of my Japanese wife, who doesn't have any such characteristics.
I always like to joke with my girlfriend that I am part Neanderthal because I have the Occipital Bun and Supraorbital Torus. Now I can add my projecting nose onto the list. :)

Well, I've got freckles galore, red-blond hair, flat finger tips...but that's it.
I've got all the characteristics except for the round-flat finger tips.
My hair used to be a very light shade of white-blond when i was young but gradually it became darker as i was growing up and now it's a dark-warm shade of blond with red pigments, especially at sunlight they look even more red. My eyes are big and deep blue and u have to look very close to see my few freckles :p My cheeks are constantly rosy and i have a projecting nose.

Ive asked my parents and brother if they have those characteristics, cause I look nothing like them, and they have only 2-3 each.

Both my parents come from Crete, Greece.
Oh my GOD I saw a NEANDERTAL!!!

Now let's not get carried away... just because you share some trait with neandertals doesn't mean it is from the same gene. I do believe that the red-haired gene in H. sapiens has been identified as originating in a separate mutation from that of neandertals... so red hair therefore means nothing in terms of inter-species relationships.

I think it is at this point indisputable that hybrids were produced... the Czech and Portuguese examples notably indicate this. How much of that hybrid ancestry persisted and survived until the present is still an open question... so, this does not in itself prove that neandertal genes survive in any modern humans.

I had a student... I think about 8th grader... when I first saw him, my jaw dropped. He had the football-shaped braincase, the nose, the big eyes, the small forehead vs large face, and even a suggestion of heidelbergensis/neandertal type of arching browridges... and I was sitting there thinking NEANDERTAL!!!... I would have LOVED to have had his genome analyzed...

He was of Mexican ethnicity but very lightskinned and without noticeable Native traits, so I assume he was mostly of Spanish ancestry... and of course Iberia was the last refuge of neandertals...

Well this is very subjective and means nothing, but I swear, seeing that kid was one of the things that made me stop being a strict Out-of-Africa believer and acknowledge the possibility of some mixing which might have survived. My wife insists that she has known some neandertals... and she means literally, not in the colloquial sense...

We shall see...
You need to add to your lists of neanderthal caracteristics the teeth! Because they had very differently shaped teeth. The top of the molars had different fissures and contact points. Newest rays are able to screen the enamel of the teeth and also add to the knowledge of the differences in these neanderthal specific features, including the root chanels and the pulpa size.
This is very interesting!

Although, the problem is that it will be a bit hard for us forum members to compare :p
Only a few traits...
I think this is one of the cases, in which molecular genetics could be extremely useful.

I read not so long ago, that altough modern humans and Neanderthal co-existed in Europe, the hybridation between this groups was very, very small... and currently, it is thought that Neanderthals became extinct without significantly contributing at all, with the genetic of modern Europeans...

The process by which the Neanderthals were replaced by modern humans between 42,000 and 30,000 before present is still intriguing. Although no Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineage is found to date among several thousands of Europeans and in seven early modern Europeans, interbreeding rates as high as 25% could not be excluded between the two subspecies. In this study, we introduce a realistic model of the range expansion of early modern humans into Europe, and of their competition and potential admixture with local Neanderthals. Under this scenario, which explicitly models the dynamics of Neanderthals' replacement, we estimate that maximum interbreeding rates between the two populations should have been smaller than 0.1%. We indeed show that the absence of Neanderthal mtDNA sequences in Europe is compatible with at most 120 admixture events between the two populations despite a likely cohabitation time of more than 12,000 y. This extremely low number strongly suggests an almost complete sterility between Neanderthal females and modern human males, implying that the two populations were probably distinct biological species.

Sorry, but doesn't everyone have a gap past their wisdom teeth?

And what's the research behind the blue-eyed and light/red haired Neanderthal speculation here?
The jury is still out on how much mixing there really was.
Neanderthal SNP?

In 23andme, someone did some research and posted that Rs1864325, of the MAPT gene, was linked to possible Neanderthal DNA.

C = H1 homosapian line
T = H2 proposed Neanderthal line

I was disappointed to find mine was CC, but my looks do not suggest Neanderthal DNA. My son's is also CC, which surprised me since he shares his father's wide nose and heavy browridge, which looks remarkably like Neanderthal traits on Neanderthal models posted here on another thread.

The original post was about red curly hair. (I'm the only one with red-just highlights though)
In 23andme, someone did some research and posted that Rs1864325, of the MAPT gene, was linked to possible Neanderthal DNA.

C = H1 homosapian line
T = H2 proposed Neanderthal line

I was disappointed to find mine was CC, but my looks do not suggest Neanderthal DNA. My son's is also CC, which surprised me since he shares his father's wide nose and heavy browridge, which looks remarkably like Neanderthal traits on Neanderthal models posted here on another thread.

The original post was about red curly hair. (I'm the only one with red-just highlights though)

According to the NCBI, about 39% of Europeans have CT for this allele (no TT in the database so far). Asian and African populations have 100% of CC.

A single SNP doesn't mean much though. There are surely thousands of them inherited from Neanderthal (as opposed to 40,000 year-old Homo Sapiens).

The first full Neanderthal genome is not yet complete, and only a few hundreds modern people have had their whole genome tested. Unfortunately, even with one or several complete Neanderthal genomes available for comparison, there is no way of knowing what we inherited from them. We need to know what the genes of Middle Paleolithic Homo Sapiens (prior to the encounter with Neanderthal in Europe) looked like.

It is almost certain now that the first Homo Sapiens to penetrate in Europe had black skin, hair and eyes. So they were obviously genetically different from modern Europeans. Being hunter-gatherers they also lacked many mutations found in modern Europeans that allow to digest lactose, cope with the high-sugar diet of agricultural societies, and a long series of immune system adaptations to better resist new diseases that arose from life after domestication or in crowded cities.

It is not as simple as to say that we got x % of DNA from early Homo Sapiens and y % from Neanderthals. The total isn't 100%. So many new mutations arose just in the last 10,000 years (some useful, other with no effect) that it is very possible that something like 1 or 2% of the genome of a modern European would be at odd with both early Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals.

That's why I am eagerly waiting for early Homo Sapiens samples to have their genome sequenced.
I have these:

- Occipital bun
- Retromolar space posterior to the third molar
- Supraorbital torus
- Larger mental foramen in mandible for facial blood supply
- Rufosity (only when stay for a long time in sunny places)
- Fair skin
- Light eyes
- Bigger, rounder eyes than average.
I dont understand these:

Short, bowed shoulder blades
Large round finger tips
Broad, projecting nose
Bony projections on the sides of the nasal opening

Have you any picture?
Neanderthal theory autism, ADHD, Aspergers?

Has anyone debated this on this website?

Personally, I find it intriguing though I can see how the evidence can be refuted. I'd like to know what other's think. I'd post it on 23andme but it's way too contraversial for that.

Beware...if you're easily offended, you may not want to read it.
Someone has recorded a TT for the SNP at 23andme. I don't know how to highlight someone's text...but Maciamo indicated there were no TT's in the database. There is one at 23andme!

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