On the News | ‘Patchwork’ Early Human Fossils Suggest Intermixing @ Live Science


On the News @ Live Science


Title: 

‘Patchwork’ Early Human Fossils Suggest Intermixing


Excerpt:

“Fossils unearthed in China appeared to be strange patchworks of extinct and modern human lineages, with the large brains of modern humans; the low, broad skulls of earlier humans; and the inner ears of Neanderthals, a new study reported.

Two partial skulls (shown here in a digital reconstruction) of an early human were discovered at an archaeological site (shown here) in Xuchang in central China.
Credit: Xiu-Jie Wu (@source)

These new fossils suggest that far-flung groups of ancient humans were more genetically linked across Eurasia than often previously thought, researchers in the new study said.

“I don’t like to think of these fossils as those of hybrids,” said study co-author Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “Hybridization implies that all of these groups were separate and discrete, only occasionally interacting. What these fossils show is that these groups were basically not separate. The idea that there were separate lineages in different parts of the world is increasingly contradicted by the evidence we are unearthing.”

Modern humans first appeared in Africa about 150,000 to 200,000 years ago, and recent archaeological and genetic findings suggest that modern humans first migrated out of Africa starting at least 100,000 years ago. However, a number of earlier groups of so-called archaic humans left Africa beforehand; for instance, Neanderthals lived in Europe and Asia between about 200,000 and 40,000 years ago.” (…) READ MORE

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http://www.livescience.com/58087-patchwork-early-human-fossils-discovered.html