Interbreeding Between Neandertals and Modern Humans Essay

Interbreeding Between Neandertals and Modern Humans Essay

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The human archaeological record is a long and undefined story that may be the most complex question researched today. One of the big questions in human history is the disappearance of the Neanderthal people from the archaeological record around 30,000 BP. While for thousands of years Neanderthals and Anatomically modern humans crossed paths and perhaps lived in close relations, we have yet to really understand the degree to which they lived together. My hypothesis is that these two hominids, Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Humans, interbred exchanging genes after Modern Humans dispersed from Africa and creating like cultures and material remains. The differences between Neanderthal and Modern humans are not only physical but also genetically evolved and this research will determine an estimated amount of admixture between the two groups.
My research strives to answer the presence and degree of interbreeding between Neanderthal and Modern humans. Researchers use different comparisons of the fossil record, phylogenetic, morphological, and genetic methods to explore these questions in more detail. The literature provided many positive correlations to my hypothesis that Neandertals and Modern Humans interbred on a small-scale basis after the dispersal of modern humans from Africa. The literature also predicts a time frame of likely interbreeding. To explore this question it is important to research article’s explaining the statistical, genetic, and physical evidence associated with possible interbreeding.
The literature does provide evidence for my hypothesis and also provides a clearer picture as to how frequent and to what extent the interbreeding is believed to occur. Examining these articles will introduce the new findin...


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Neves, A. M., & Serva, M. (2012). Extremely Rare Interbreeding Events Can Explain Neanderthal DNA in Living Humans. Plos ONE, 7(10), 1-10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047076

Price, Douglas. " Chapter2: The First Europeans, Chapter 3: The Creative Explosion." In Europe before Rome: A Site-by-site Tour of the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. Oxford University Press, 2013. 15-122.

Sankararaman S, Patterson N, Li H, Pa ̈a ̈bo S, Reich D (2012) The Date of Interbreeding between Neandertals and Modern Humans. PLoS Genet 8(10): e1002947. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002947
Trinkaus, E. (2007). European early modern humans and the fate of the Neandertals. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 104(18), 7367-7372. doi:10.1073/pnas.0702214104
ZIMMER, C. (2013). INTERBREEDING With Neanderthals. (Cover story). Discover, 34(2), 38-44.

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