Article: Neanderthals 'not close family'

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Robert Karl Sto, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. Neanderthals 'not close family' By Paul Rincon

    The Neanderthals were not close relatives of modern humans and represent a single species quite
    distinct from our own, scientists say. 3D comparisons of Neanderthal, modern human and other primate
    skulls confirm theories that the ancient people were a breed apart, the researchers report.

    Others claim Neanderthals contributed significantly to the modern gene pool.

    Details of the research are published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy
    of Sciences.

    "If we accept that Neanderthals were not the same species, what we're really saying is they did not
    contribute at all to modern human populations and in particular modern Europeans," co-author Dr
    Katerina Harvati of New York University, US, told BBC News Online

    Ancestral contribution

    Researchers collected data on 15 standard "landmarks", or features, on over 1,000 primate skulls.
    Computer software transformed this data into 3D coordinates for each skull and superimposed them on
    each other.

    Using statistical analysis, they compared differences between modern human and Neanderthal skulls
    with those found between and within 12 primate species.

    The results support the view that Neanderthals were indeed a distinct species.

    However, other researchers view Neanderthals as a sub-species or population of Homo sapiens that
    passed on genes to modern humans either by evolving into them or by interbreeding with them.

    Read the rest at BBC

    Comment: Interbreeding with Neanderthals? This may be evidence of dimly lit stone age pubs (it would
    take a strong brew to make a hairy chested Neanderthal chick look attractive - and when they get
    that inebriated, even chimp and gorilla would be getting Cromagnon guys horny).

    Posted by
    Robert Karl Stonjek.