Researchers have several different theories on why ancients became extinct. Although some believe that Neanderthals were killed off by humans, a new report suggests it was more complicated than that. It appears that Homo neanderthalensis may have mated with our ancestors, which led to their eventual demise.
According to a new research by German scientists, Neanderthals interbred with early humans on a regular basis. This is evident in the genetic analysis of three different fossilized remains. The remains belonged to a Neanderthal, an early human as well as a modern human. Interestingly, it revealed that interbreeding may have been the true cause of the extinction of Homo neanderthalensis.
Neanderthals possibly mated themselves into extinction.
Svante Paabo is a professor of evolutionary genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. He stated that Neanderthals kept interbreeding with humans to the point that their own species was eventually wiped out.
“It means they were incorporated, which is why we see so many of their genes living on in modern Europeans,” he said. “If we look at a few thousand genomes we can pick out 15,000 Neanderthal genes — so at least half their genome is walking around in people today.”
A different report also revealed that the Neanderthal genes are still present in the modern population. The study suggests that people with Neanderthal genes are likely to have skulls similarly shaped to Neanderthals.
A Neanderthal exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London.
Neanderthals roamed the Earth between 430,000 to 450,000 years ago and were wide-spread across Eurasia until the arrival of modern humans. The introduction of the new species is believed to have affected our ancient cousins to the point that it caused their extinction 40,000 years ago.
There is still much to be learned about Neanderthals. Further research could reveal if we are truly evolved from the ancient species and whether their genetic influence still affects us today.
Smart Kid Invents Amazing Way of Recycling Styrofoam
This kid just solved two global problems with one solution.
Aside from plastic pollution, the world also has a big problem when it comes to styrofoam – those ubiquitous materials often used as disposable coffee cups, coolers, or as protective packaging cushion for appliances and others.
Suffice it to say that styrofoam is considered an environmental hazard since they create a lot of waste. In California, for example, only 1% of styrofoam is being recycyled, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
Fortunately, one boy is doing something about the problem.
We Are The “Last Generation” Who Can Save Nature, Warns WWF
“We cannot continue with business as usual,” according to experts.
By now it's already common knowledge to everyone that our planet is in a very terrible shape. Pollution still remains a serious concern in many countries and climate change has been causing intense weather conditions across the globe. It's sad and disturbing but it's the reality that we have to live with.
Recently, experts have even specified recycling isn't exactly the best solution to end the problem, especially since single-use plastics are causing more harm than good.
Further raising the stakes, World Wildlife Fund is now warning the world that we are actually the "last generation" who can save nature.
Scientists Confirm Two New ‘Dust Moons’ Orbiting Earth
The Kordylewski clouds have been around since the 1960s!
Have you ever wondered if we truly are alone in the universe? Although aliens can't be confirmed just yet, we now know that our moon has some new companions. Scientists have just confirmed the existence of two "dust moons" that are orbiting our planet.
A team of Hungarian astronomers and physicists have officially confirmed the strange clouds of dust that can be found around 400,000 kilometers from Earth. The two satellites were only recently photographed although they have already been spotted back in the 1960s.
The binary suns of the planet Tatooine in 'Star Wars'.