I Always Suspected…
Looking an various family members, I’d always suspected there was some ‘inner Neanderthal’ at work … ;-)
We have the revelation that, having sequenced the Neanderthal genome, and done a comparison to “modern” DNA from several populations, some of us have 1% to 4% Neanderthal genes. (For some of us, I suspect it’s even higher…)
Family traits? Short legs, “robust” nose (thankfully skipping me…), large wide set eyes, very high grip strength with large hands and coarse fingers, “can’t jump” well and “can’t throw” well (hips have a Neanderthal character), and even a bit of the Neanderthal skull shape. Oh, and a slightly furry character to chest with “significant” hair on arms, legs, etc. Yeah, I can see it…
Look at what makes a European a European, and it looks a lot like the Neanderthal list.
This suggests that Neanderthals bred outside Africa with Homo sapiens, who migrated out of that region about 100,000 years ago. On the basis of the fossil record of human migrations, the team proposes that this took place in the eastern Mediterranean.
Therefore, they say, modern humans from Europe and Asia are closer genetically to Neanderthals than are those from sub-Saharan Africa.
This agrees with the findings of a separate study presented at a conference last month. That study examined 2,000 modern human genomes that showed two interbreedings with Neanderthals: the first about 60,000 years ago, also in the eastern Mediterranean, and then again about 45,000 years ago in eastern Asia (see ‘Neanderthals may have interbred with humans’).
From this link:
Fossil remains and anatomical reconstructions indicate that the typical Neandertal had a stocky muscular body with short forearms and legs, a large head with bony brow ridges and a brain slightly larger than ours, a jutting face with a large nose, and perhaps reddish hair and fair skin. Neandertals made and used a diverse set of sophisticated tools, controlled fire, organized their living spaces, hunted and fed on game of various sizes, and occasionally made symbolic or ornamental objects.
Other than having rather longer than usual forearms and a somewhat less “jutting” face, that’s pretty much my lineage. Even down to the reddish hair.
Oh, and the large hat size too. All of us take large hats…
But at least now it’s official and I can now recognize my “Inner Neanderthal” without folks asserting that it could never be…