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How 2021 research showed mating across groups drove human evolution

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Evidence that intercontinental communication events in the Stone Age underpinned human evolution in 2021.

A long standing argument that sane man It originated in East Africa before moving elsewhere and being replaced by Eurasia to turn down Species such as Neanderthals have come under increasing fire over the past decade. This year, research supported an alternative scenario H. sane It developed across vast geographical areas, first within Africa and later outside it.

The process would have worked like this: Many to turn down The groups lived during a period known as the Middle Pleistocene, about 789,000 to 130,000 years ago, and were closely related to their distinct species. These groups would occasionally intermarry with each other while traveling through Africa, Asia, and Europe. A variety of structural differences on a human theme emerged among the remote communities. Proponents of this scenario say that human anatomy and DNA today contain the remnants of this complex legacy of networks.

It is not clear exactly how often or how often groups may mix and mingle during this period. But within this framework, there is no clear genetic or physical dividing line that separates the middle Pleistocene populations who are usually classified as H. sane From Neanderthals, Denisovans and other antiquity to turn down population.

Middle Pleistocene to turn down “The groups were human,” says paleoanthropologist John Hawkes of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Humans today are a mixture of these ancient ancestors.”

New fossil evidence in line with this idea came from Israel. A cone and mandibular cut that contains a molar that was discovered at a site called Nesher Ramla dates back to between 140,000 and 120,000 years ago. The features of these discoveries indicate that Eurasia was not known before to turn down Number of people living in the site (SN online: 24/6/21), reports a team led by palaeoanthropologist Israel Hershkowitz of Tel Aviv University. Fossils have been found with stone tools resembling those made around the same time by Middle Easterners usually classified as H. sane, which suggests that the two groups mixed culturally and may have intermarried.

Such interactions may have facilitated enough interbreeding between mobile devices to turn down Population To prevent the population of Nesher Ramle and other Eurasian groups from developing into separate species, Hershkowitz suggested.

But another report provided a reminder that opinions remain mixed on whether or not it was the Middle Pleistocene. to turn down Evolution has shown related populations that all belong to the same species or distinct species. Researchers studying the unusual combination of features of a nearly 146,000-year-old Chinese skull dubbed a new species, Homo longi (SN online: 6/25/21). After reviewing this claim, however, another investigator grouped the skull, nicknamed Dragon Man, with several other middle Pleistocene epochs. to turn down Fossils from northern China.

If so, Dragon Man – like Nesher Ramla to turn down – May descend from one of many closely related to turn down The lines sometimes intermarried with each other as some groups moved through Asia, Africa and Europe. From this perspective, the Middle Ice Age Homeo Groups developed unique traits during periods of isolation and common traits as a result of cross paths and interbreeding.

Chinese Homo skull
Skull at least 146,000 years old from China (shown far right next to other Chinese to turn down skulls from about the same time) have entered into discussions of how Stone Age humans moving through Africa, Asia, and Europe affected human evolution.Kai Jing

Migration back and forth by to turn down Groupings between Africa and Asia began at least 400,000 years ago, finds in Saudi Arabia indicate (SN: 10/9/21 and 10/23/21, p. 7). Monsoon rains periodically turned what is now a desert into a green gorge covered with lakes, wetlands and rivers, according to archaeologist Huw Groucutt of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, and colleagues. Each of the five ancient lake basins identified at a Saudi site once hosted hunters and gatherers who left behind stone tools.

Invasions occurred sporadically about 400,000 to 55,000 years ago. About 200,000 years ago, stone tools at one of the lake bottoms were similar to those made around the same time H. sane in Northeast Africa. Grockett suggests that some of these Africans may have stopped a bit in the verdant Arabia before traveling to southwest Asia.

As for H. sane Or Neanderthals made stone tools that were discovered on the smallest lake bed. Neanderthals inhabited parts of the Middle East about 70,000 years ago, and could have reached the Arabian Peninsula 55,000 years ago. If that’s what happened, Neanderthals probably interbred with him H. sane There is already, Grockett speculates.

Although Arab relations were not discovered in ancient DNA, European Neanderthals and H. sane They intermarried often surprisingly about 45,000 years ago (SN: 5/8/21 and 5/22/21 p. 7), other scholars have reported. DNA extracted from H. sane Fossils found at that age in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic indicate that these ancient individuals owned between 2 percent and 4 percent of Neanderthal ancestry, a significant amount considering the H. sane Migrants have only recently arrived in Europe.

Even after the Middle Ice Age, the communication between the ancient to turn down Maybe groups helped make us who we are today.

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