Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Half human, half Neanderthal?

This is a fossil archaeologists have been looking for for a long time, with varying expectations.  It is, according to a paper just published, a hybrid between Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens  neantherthal.  (Interestingly, this was a plotline on the TV show Bones earlier this season.)
According to the researchers, both the jaw structure and DNA analysis bear out the hybrid identity. The remains are, speifically, those of the offspring of a “female Neanderthal who mated with a male Homo sapiens.” This doesn't mean everyone else will agree with the identification, but it is certainly, as the famous paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall said, "very intriguing and one that invites more research.”




5 comments:

Laurence Clark Crossen said...

It seems that the trend of the evidence continues to favor those scientists who have held that Neanderthals were fully modern humans.

omegaman66 said...

"The remains are, speifically, those of as a “female Neanderthal who mated with male Homo sapiens."

Don't you mean the remains of the offspring of a female Neanderthal who mated with a male Homo sapiens?

Matt Bille said...

Clark, it depends how you define the terms. A bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale have proven their ability to create viable offspring, and they're not even in the same GENUS.

Laurence Clark Crossen said...

You are correct. It does not prove the identity. I just have a theoretical perspective that inclines me to regard Neanderthals as robust modern humans.

Matt Bille said...

Omega, you're right. I typed that sloppily.