Friday, November 02, 2012

Asking the Provocative Question: "Who Didn't Have Sex With Neandertals?"

FoxNews also has an article on the North African evidence for Neandertal/modern hybridization. Charles Choi writes:
"The only modern populations without Neanderthal admixture are the sub-Saharan groups," said researcher Carles Lalueza-Fox, a paleogeneticist at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at Barcelona, Spain.

The researchers say their findings do not suggest that Neanderthals entered Africa and made intimate contact with ancient North Africans. Rather, "what we are saying is that the contact took place outside Africa, likely in the Near East, and that there was a back migration into Africa of some groups that peopled North Africa, likely replacing or assimilating some ancestral populations," Lalueza-Fox told LiveScience.
If there was a back-migration into Africa then the interbreeding had to have been significant enough to establish some sort of Neandertal/modern hybrid genome that can be picked up now, some seventy to one hundred thousand years later.  These were no one-night stands.  It may lend credence to Trinkaus' arguments about Lagar Velho, in Portugal being a result of long-term interbreeding.  This may have been happening everywhere.  Somewhere, I hope Fred Smith is smiling.  

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