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Evidence suggests that the Neanderthal and Homo sapiens lineages began to diverge about 600,000 years ago, after which they evolved largely separately in Eurasia and Africa. Neanderthal fossils have been found in the southern parts of Siberia, as well as throughout Asia and Europe. Meanwhile, our species' ancestors evolved in Africa.
A new study suggests that Homo sapiens may be responsible for Neanderthal extinction. extinction.
According to the findings, interbreeding with our ancestors may have reduced the number of Neanderthals, eventually leading to their extinction. The authors admit that this hypothesis may be refuted when the Neanderthal genome is completely deciphered.
So far, only 32 Neanderthal genomes have been sequenced that lack Homo sapiens DNA, which may just be a sampling quirk.
Scientists suggest that regular interbreeding with Homo sapiens could have led to the extinction of the Neanderthals. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about how Neanderthals looked and behaved. The language barrier could be reinforced by the individual characteristics of both species, and comparison of Neanderthal and Homo sapiens suggests that the brain and vocal apparatus of these species were different. Neanderthal genomes also show that almost 600 genes, especially those associated with face and voice, are fundamentally different from the genes of our ancestors.
In addition, the process of hybridization in nature leads to unequal consequences for each of the crossing species. Hybrids can predominantly inherit the traits of one of the parents, and males and females born as a result of crossing can have different fecundity. , and hybrid males were less fertile than females, led to the extinction of the Neanderthals. However, at the moment there is not enough evidence to confirm the hypothesis.
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