Category Archives: Denisovans

Hominid genetics get more complex

The human genetic story now goes back to times from which there is little or no archaeological record. It seems that some Neanderthals may well have had speech even if not any well developed language. The control of fire goes back some 400,000+ years ago. Stone tools were around from around 1.8 million years ago. Perhaps the beginnings of modern humans does not have to start so far back, but it does look like the story of homo sapiens now needs to be pushed backwards into time to at least the common hominin ancestor from around a million years ago. Continue reading

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Posted in AMH, Ancestors, Denisovans, Evolution, Neanderthals | Tagged | 1 Comment

80,000-120,000 year old modern humans in S China confirm many and older Out of Africa events

The single Out of Africa event for modern humans is clearly far too simplistic. It is also clear that there were many back to Africa movements as well. Humans expanded sometimes because their old habitats were no longer viable. But, it seems, humans also explored and expanded into new territories from regions of plenty and where they maintained some contact with where they had come from. Probably, just because they could. Continue reading

Posted in AMH, Denisovans, Neanderthals, Peopling the world | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Our Neanderthal genes may have come mainly from their females

So I imagine the decline of the Neanderthals taking some 20-30,000 years as AMH expanded westwards and the decline of the Denisovans probably starting a little later but taking somewhat less time. The encounters and admixing probably only occurred with the tribes and bands at the frontiers. Continue reading

Posted in AMH, Ancestors, Denisovans, Neanderthals, Peopling the world | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Chinese teeth support pre- and post-Toba dispersals of modern humans

It is becoming increasingly likely that there were at least two major dispersals of modern humans Out of Africa and through Arabia (Out of Africarabia). The first was prior to the Toba eruption of 74,000 years ago and possibly around 130,000 years ago and the second, post-Toba expansion around 60-70,000 years ago. Continue reading

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Neanderthal genes are everywhere

Neanderthals may have provided the genes favourable to cold resistance which were then selected forin Northern climes. They may also have thus provided the genes for skin and hair colour changes. But they also provided the genes which increased the susceptibility to some new diseases. Hybrid Neanderthal – modern human males may have been infertile and so the assimilation of Neanderthal genes may primarily have been through the hybrid females. All this probably between 80,000 years ago and 40,000 years ago – over about 2,000 generations. Continue reading

Posted in AMH, Ancestors, Denisovans, Homo Erectus, Homo Neanderthalensis, Peopling the world | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Promiscuity in the Pleistocene

At some point there must have been children who were 50% Neanderthal and 50% AMH. And some who were 50% Neanderthal and 50% Denisovan. How did they survive? What kind of society existed in these ancient times that would permit such offspring not only to survive but also to mate and produce offspring in their turn? But however it happened, our ancestors in the pleistocene were a promiscuous lot. Continue reading

Posted in AMH, Ancestors, Denisovans, Evolution, Homo Erectus, Homo Neanderthalensis, Homo Sapiens | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

DNA from a 400,000 year old hominin from Spain decoded

The Max Planck team have now taken a giant leap backwards in time in extracting and analysing an almost complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a 400,000-year-hominin. The specimen is from Sima de los Huesos, a unique cave site in Northern Spain. The results show that it is related to the mitochondrial genome of Denisovans, extinct relatives of Neandertals in Asia. Continue reading

Posted in Denisovans, Evolution, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo Neanderthalensis | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment