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Early humans faced countless challenges as they fanned out of Africa: icy conditions, saber-tooth cats, and, according to a new study of ancient skeletons, an unusually high number of birth defects, both debilitating and relatively inconsequential.
Many human fossils from the Pleistocene (roughly 2.5 million B.C.E. to 9700 B.C.E.) have unusual features. For example, femur bones with abnormal bowing have been found from China to the Czech Republic. The skull of a toddler found in the Qafzeh cave in Israel had a swollen braincase consistent with hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid floods the skull. And a fossilized man in Liguria in Italy had a bowed right upper arm bone but a normal left one.
However, several bodies show abnormalities consistent with known genetic mutations, and multiple individuals from at least one site exhibited several different conditions, suggesting the people might be related. It’s thought that most human populations at the time were small and isolated, Trinkaus says. In those conditions, inbreeding can lead to widespread harmful genetic mutations.
originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: 727Sky
In fact in early human populations "not many people in the vicinity" would be sufficient explanation for the inbreeding. If the band did not meet other humans, racism would not be a factor.
originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
That is funny, but when I think about it, that might just be true.
I heard some statistics about red headed people. The TV news reported that 2% of the human population are true red heads. In another report it was said that around 2% of the genetics of Western Europeans came from Neanderthals. In a number of reports there were claims that the Neanderthals were red haired.
So yeah, the Cro-mags were doing the nasty with the Neanderthals. Considering the differences between the modern humans and Neanderthals, I'd say that they had to be pretty desperate to be interested in each other. But hey, I like red heads, so I can't blame them for wanting some of that.
ETA: It would be a great made for TV drama. Two desperate cave people from different clans find love in a savage and primitive land. Wait! That was a Darrel Hanna movie, "Clan of the Cave Bear" and that other movie "Quest for Fire" with Ray Dawn Chong.