Ancient Skull Teases History of Early Humans And Migration - Update

Ancient Skull Teases History of Early Humans And Migration - Update

Researchers may have found the first location where humans and Neanderthals lived together... and perhaps really got to know each other.

Update: Scientists state that this discovery could help determine when early humans left Africa for the Middle East, Europe, and parts beyond. They argue that the skull represents a bridged gap between the early humans of Africa, and the neanderthal's found farther north. After these species met and started to interbreed, the offspring would eventually spread across Europe.

"Before now we had a theory, but we didn't have the evidence. We didn't have the smoking gun," said Israel Hershkovitz, leader of the study, and professor of anatomy at Tel Aviv University. "This is the first specimen that connects the continents."

Early humans and neanderthals are believed to have come from the same distant relative in Africa hundreds thousands of years before, only to break off from one another (both in features and in location). The re-merging of the two later on was always believed, but never definitively proven.

The 55,000-year-old mark was reached via radioactive dating. Other caves in Israel hold human remains that go back even further -- 100,000 years, give or take.

The human-neanderthal co-mingling is still in theory territory, as scientists search for additional evidence in the region. A site with both neanderthal and human remains has yet to be found.

Original story:
If you watched X-Men: First Class, perhaps you remember Charles Xavier's thesis, which suggested humans and Neanderthals wiped each other out due to innate differences. It's a theory science actually believed for a very long time, but increasingly it seems our ancestors took a different approach - a sexy approach. Genetic studies have uncovered evidence that some humans and Neanderthals interbred instead of fighting, creating a mixed species that influenced modern humans. Now a new paper suggests a possible location for where this merge first began: Galilee, Israel.

The conclusion is based on a 55,000-year old human skull uncovered in a cave in western Galilee. The skull itself, dubbed "Manot", represents the first human living in the region during an era when Neanderthals dominated the region. "Manot clearly shows that Neanderthals and modern humans lived side by side in Israel for a long period of time," Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University explained.

There's still a great deal we don't know Manot - we're pretty sure the skull was female, but the missing brow ridge makes it hard to tell for sure. It's also not entirely clear whether Manot was part of a wave colonizing Europe and Asia, or came from an earlier colonization effort that failed. We're also still waiting to see if Manot is a human-Neanderthal descendant, which needs to be confirmed by DNA anaylsis. Either way, she marks the earliest point when humans and Neanderthals lived side-by-side, a likely time frame for some inter-species loving.

Even if Manot personally wasn't interested in human-Neanderthal fun time, we know it occurred in the era. Genetic studies in 2010 proved that 2% of genomes in Europeans and Asians consist of Neanderthal DNA. Later research determined that some amount of interbreeding happened 50,000-60,000 years ago, which fits Manot's lifespan. Hopefully this discovery will shed more light on their history of our ancestors... even if all we learn about are their bedroom habits.

Source: Nature, via Washington Post

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I remember this being drilled to me at school :P ...

As the most likely reason for us being what we are now.

I think that ever since the Internet got widespread we discovered that us humans could have a fetish for anything.

Fanghawk:
snip

Please note that you misspelled the name of my country: It's Israel, not Isreal.

Durc? Is that you?

Welp, I guess this is relevant.

Doom972:
I think that ever since the Internet got widespread we discovered that us humans could have a fetish for anything.

Fanghawk:
snip

Please note that you misspelled the name of my country: It's Israel, not Isreal.

Ah! A typo in its native habitat.

Thanks.

Mmmmm, stuff like this makes me nervous. It's accepted widely in the scientific community that interbreeding happened so evidence pointing toward a widely accepted theory isn't much in the way of news. Them having overlapping habitats is also not a new idea. But, anything scientifically proven is much better than scientifically accepted.

More fodder for people looking for confirmation bias of their "euro-superiority" belief. The genetic diversity this interbreeding resulted in can only be traced to skin pigmentation and body hair; which influences heat management and UV resistance.

Light skin results from less blood flow to the skin producing less pigment (brown skin colour), less blood flow to the skin means less heat loss. Light skin is more sensitive to UV light though. Body hair is also useful for retaining heat.

Yet, I encountered people who believe that these findings prove their belief that "light skinned Europeans and Asians" are "more evolved" by being "more intelligent" than others like Africans. One of the main points they argue are old IQ tests which suffered some pretty noticeable confirmation bias and skull size findings. They correlate that larger skulls = more brain = more IQ = better and that the "neanderthal DNA" gave them larger skulls.

Which is where the whole thing falls apart, skull size is not so easily tied to Genetics, our ancestor species had larger skulls than other apes because we have a mutation that prevents our Jaw muscle from growing very big. Because of that, we cannot put as much pressure on our skull which results in a longer period of time before our skull plates can fuse. This gives us more time to grow a skull (takes around 18-20 years for our plates to fuse, vs the 1 year or so for many apes.)

But they never respond to that and start calling me a "lib-fag" at that point. =P

PerfectDeath:
More fodder for people looking for confirmation bias of thhomiro-superiority" belief. The genetic diversity this interbreeding resulted in can only be traced to skin pigmentation and body hair; which influences heat management and UV resistance.

Light skin results from less blood flow to the skin producing less pigment (brown skin colour), less blood flow to the skin means less heat loss. Light skin is more sensitive to UV light though. Body hair is also useful for retaining heat.

Yet, I encountered people who believe that these findings prove their belief that "light skinned Europeans and Asians" are "more evolved" by being "more intelligent" than others like Africans. One of the main points they argue are old IQ tests which suffered some pretty noticeable confirmation bias and skull size findings. They correlate that larger skulls = more brain = more IQ = better and that the "neanderthal DNA" gave them larger skulls.

Which is where the whole thing falls apart, skull size is not so easily tied to Genetics, our ancestor species had larger skulls than other apes because we have a mutation that prevents our Jaw muscle from growing very big. Because of that, we cannot put as much pressure on our skull which results in a longer period of time before our skull plates can fuse. This gives us more time to grow a skull (takes around 18-20 years for our plates to fuse, vs the 1 year or so for many apes.)

But they never respond to that and start calling me a "lib-fag" at that point. =P

Those people are also forgetting the fact that ALL non Africans have Neanderthal or other DNA from other archaic hominids.

. . . . Wasn't this already well known? I mean that I was taught about this in middle school, and then it was quickly glossed over for the rest of my early schooling. Well I guess its good that we now have more ,substantial?, evidence towards our development of species.

Why is the thing that really jumps out at me from this article is the Professor said 'we had a theory' instead of hypothesis/etc? he's not helping people understand that 'theory' means something different to science.

"Early humans and neanderthals are believed to have come from the same distant relative in Africa hundreds thousands of years before, only to break off from one another (both in features and in location). " The name of that common ancestor is homo heidelbergensis.

PerfectDeath:
More fodder for people looking for confirmation bias of their "euro-superiority" belief. The genetic diversity this interbreeding resulted in can only be traced to skin pigmentation and body hair; which influences heat management and UV resistance.

Light skin results from less blood flow to the skin producing less pigment (brown skin colour), less blood flow to the skin means less heat loss. Light skin is more sensitive to UV light though. Body hair is also useful for retaining heat.

Yet, I encountered people who believe that these findings prove their belief that "light skinned Europeans and Asians" are "more evolved" by being "more intelligent" than others like Africans. One of the main points they argue are old IQ tests which suffered some pretty noticeable confirmation bias and skull size findings. They correlate that larger skulls = more brain = more IQ = better and that the "neanderthal DNA" gave them larger skulls.

Which is where the whole thing falls apart, skull size is not so easily tied to Genetics, our ancestor species had larger skulls than other apes because we have a mutation that prevents our Jaw muscle from growing very big. Because of that, we cannot put as much pressure on our skull which results in a longer period of time before our skull plates can fuse. This gives us more time to grow a skull (takes around 18-20 years for our plates to fuse, vs the 1 year or so for many apes.)

But they never respond to that and start calling me a "lib-fag" at that point. =P

I don't get that, I mean if any racial supremacists benefit in this situation it would be Africans.

Eurasians interbred with neanderthals (and Native Americans, they're ancestors got jiggy with some neanderthals in Siberia too), and I'm pretty sure east asians have another sub-species mingling with them around this time frame (please don't make me spell it, I think it starts with S but its latin), which means the only race that is 100% homo sapien sapien would be Sub-Saharan africans.

Kinda ironic that a while ago that black people were classed as sub-human, yet genetically are the most human of all the races.

Just as long as they don't find a 12-million year-old skull in Kenya, buried in an old lava bed (The Fendahl), we'll be fine.

OT: Co-mingling was always possible. I would say, having read this, that the killing and co-mingling would have occurred, though in different areas. The brow ridge - or evidence thereof - in later human remains isn't exactly prominent, else we'd have stumbled upon co-mingling as a theory long before now.

Josh123914:
I don't get that, I mean if any racial supremacists benefit in this situation it would be Africans.

Eurasians interbred with neanderthals (and Native Americans, they're ancestors got jiggy with some neanderthals in Siberia too), and I'm pretty sure east asians have another sub-species mingling with them around this time frame (please don't make me spell it, I think it starts with S but its latin), which means the only race that is 100% homo sapien sapien would be Sub-Saharan africans.

Kinda ironic that a while ago that black people were classed as sub-human, yet genetically are the most human of all the races.

Oh yea, there is a tonne of inbreeding throughout all of us:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOiV6pUF6lI

This video basically mentions about how blonde hair and blue eyes requires a LOT of inbreeding in order for some countries to have ~80% of their population with that trait.
When I mention this to the euro-supremacists, they basically say that "their inbreeding was better"...

Honestly, I have found that biology has very little influence over who we are and how smart we are. Its all the 'environment' what we experience, external stuff, etc.

For a quick example, if you have two populations with genetic adaptations to a warmer climate and a colder climate. The people living in the warmer climate will have an easier time getting food since growing seasons are all year; however, there are a lot more diseases like malaria.

Malaria won't bother people as much in colder climates, so when it does get bad, it is because of things like over population and poor irrigation methods. Hence why, Rome, which suffered some bad malaria from stale water in their irrigation and sewage developed infrastructure to bring clean water. They had the population to support specialists in things like engineering. If your malaria is bad from the beginning it curbs pop growth.

Just one example. There are more, like when it is cold half the year, you will develop more logging and clothing production. Over time, this can lead to innovations in sailing ships. I can't find where "the DNA did it" directly.

 

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