The Neanderthal--a comprehensive introduction to the fossil record

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posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 11:52 PM

Originally posted by NewAgeMan

Originally posted by IEtherianSoul9
Meat - the secret to the success of homo sapiens, not because of it's superior nutritional value, but because of what it meant for the evolution of the jaw line allowing for a greater vocal range.

I'd be interested in what the OP thinks and knows about this idea.

I couldn't really say because I'm not an expert. I'm just a student and an armchair researcher really. However, I think both Neandertal and human had similar diets. Neandertal has been shown to have a diet largely consisting of meat.

This is where it's useful to have data and sources. Unfortunately, I do not have any handy to address this issue.
edit on 3-3-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 01:09 AM
Wow, this thread really took off!

Well I wanted to address a few things off the bat.

It is suspected that Neanderthal was able to share the same food as other hominids without conflict for most of its time on earth because they may have hunted at night or at the very least, had different methods for hunting the same prey. They may have also lived deep underground in cave systems other groups completely ignored. The ant people spoken of by native american folk stories that "helped them in times of need" comes to mind.Neanderthal skulls are rather long arent they? No wonder they practiced skull elongation themselves as well and probably taught other hominids to do the same....., I digress, anyways.

The occipital bun in the back of the skull is believed to house a larger part of the brain for processing what the eyes see. They may have had natural night vision. The large occipital bun, coupled with light colored eyes may have significantly amplified available light enough to hunt at night when most animals are not very active and alert.

If anyone here has light eyes, you will testify to the fact that sunlight REALLY bothers you. You will also see just a little better at night. Some of you may be natural night owls.

Also, the genetic evidence suggests that Neanderthal had a period of territorial shrinkage due to conflict.

Let me explain.

What neanderthal DNA we have in us is largely passed down from female neanderthal. This can be measured. If your mother or your father were to have separate children besides you, all the descendants of all of you could tell who was their "parent" genetically.

With neanderthal the genetic exchange was almost always from a female neanderthal being taken by a cro-magnon partner. When male only bonds happen it is usually a sure sign of conquest. This is true even today.

Rape. Neanderthal men passed on far less of their genetic material than neanderthal women. This implies that the women were taken from the males of their group and bore children from modern man.

If the exchange was more evenly distributed among male and female neanderthal taking on modern hominid partners we could not imply conquest. That is not the case.

it is not that peaceful exchanges did not happen. In fact we know of several sites where the two groups lived together in peace and had peaceful interbreeding. Near Israel and the middle east.

The problem is that when neanderthal began to retreat into the Iberian peninsula he wasnt doing so chasing food. His numbers were shrinking exponentially as they progressed. He was being hunted into the Iberian peninsula and the Americas.

Europe was taken by force by cro-magnon

It has been suggested that the bitterly shattered bones of neanderthal were due to their hunting habits of heading head on into prey. Their hunting techniques seem to imply at least that they stalked their prey and "merked them" in their sleep. They could not run after them and lacked projectile how did they eat more meat than other hominids? By night raids on dens and sleeping packs.

SO? why the vast assortment of broken bones across the board in almost ALL neanderthal bones we find? Because they were living at war. Also, I venture to say that if ever a collection of neanderthal bones is found that is OLDER than the samples we currently have now, they will be far less damaged from conflict.

All those shattered and broken bones came from fighting NOT hunting.

Also the groups of neanderthal that we find huge red flags from genetically in the Americas CAN NOT be ignored. There is no logical reason for the Americas having MORE neanderthal DNA than Europe, the supposed mother continent of neanderthal....

If you look to other groups in Australia, the aboriginals for example, and others along the island chains, we can see a pattern emerge where the starting point for Neanderthal seems to point toward a south eastern direction. That same direction is considered to be an off shoot of one particular migration out of Africa from homo sapiens that failed going into Europe, tried to go back into Africa failed, and so instead ventured east. It is thought that this migration eventually itself broke off into the migration that went into the Americas after interbreeding with neanderthal in the middle east.

What I suggest is that neanderthal ventured into Europe FROM the Americas/ Australia, and an island chain that must have existed about the time when global water levels were low enough ( around when England was connected to Europe, and Malta had MUCH more land mass. Also the Caribbean and south America had much more land that eventually sunk into the ocean). Some where FROM the pacific, perhaps across it from the Americas. Perhaps neanderthal went west and modern man went east into Africa....maybe they shared land in a far more remote past than we think. before we think they shared space in the middle east.Anyways....

Neanderthal was expelled from Europe, but at that point every piece of land was already taken by territorial hominids that didnt accept coexistence with the nomadic neanderthal. So they fled into the Iberian peninsula with a united cro-magnon on their heals. They died there.

I think, from what the evidence suggests.

also worth mentioning now that I think about it, Einstein had a smaller language neanderthal. He had larger portions of the brain that process spacial cognition and process mathematical thought. About 15% larger I think it said.....who knows how neanderthal was hard wired......also studies done on the great apes suggests that intelligence in terms of repeatable tests where tool usage and problem solving for survival are tested whow that species of great apes with larger brains fared better than the smaller ones. So...size helps....not definitively BUT it helps....

oh, I made a mistake. I said they didnt have projectile weapons...they did. Just not bows as far as we can tell. The shoulder blade of neanderthal was different so people assume that they couldnt throw spears or other projectiles. They could. The Australian aboriginals have an almost IDENTICAL shoulder blade and they can throw boomerangs and other projectiles just fine. Also the culture shows signs of preferring to reuse their weapons where as modern mad like cor-magon preferred making making many inferior shoot and forget projectiles.

also some spear tips of neanderthal show signs of being thrown form their form of impact damage. Neanderthal may have used a variation of an atal type spear trowing device made of hide and wood.

neanderthal skeletal remains have a common injury in the joints of the arms and shoulder...a recurring injury similar to "pitchers shoulder" as far as wear and tear. They were throwing allot of something..........

edit on 4-3-2013 by tadaman because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 01:32 AM

Originally posted by NewAgeMan
I've heard that homo sapiens won the race because of their propensity for meat eating which resulted in a jaw and neck structure more conducive to vocal chord use and thus to meaningful language which then served to more effectively codify knowledge passed along from generation to generation, thus ensuring greater success, and leading to bigger brain structure.

From an anatomical standpoint, I'm not sure I can go along with that. The Neanderthal (and indeed Homo Erectus) had jaws and teeth more suitable for chewing meat, tendons, and bone (as is shown by the muscle attachment points at the top of the skull and the heavier jaw structure.

Meat - the secret to the success of homo sapiens, not because of it's superior nutritional value, but because of what it meant for the evolution of the jaw line allowing for a greater vocal range.

It's difficult to assess. The differences in mouth structure are fairly trivial -- Ithe real morphological differences come in the shape of the bones (which is very slightly different) and some of the skull features (notably at the back of the skull and the shape and width of the nasal openings and the brow ridges, of course.)

Our jaws are smaller than our ancestors (hence all that trouble with third molars) -- as we invented domestication (and domesticated things) and cooking, we changed too.

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 01:36 AM

Originally posted by tadaman
Some of you may be natural night owls.

I always knew I was nocturnal! I have light eyes too.

SO? why the vast broken bones across the board in almost ALL neanderthal bones we find? Because they were living at war.

I can only find an abstract to cite where this quote comes from, but I will transcribe this word-for-word directly from my textbook.

First, here is the abstract:

The inference of Neanderthal cannibalism at Moula-Guercy is based on comparative analysis of hominid and ungulate bone spatial distributions, modifications by stone tools, and skeletal part representations.

Here is the quote:

...colleagues have analyzed 78 broken skeletal fragments from probably six individuals...The intriguing aspect of these remains concerns how they were broken. Detailed analysis of cut marks, pits, scars, and other features clearly suggests that these individuals were processed--that is, they "were defleshed and disarticulated. After this, the marrow cavity was exposed by a hammer-on-anvil technique (Defleur et al.1999.)" What's more, the nonhuman bones at this site, especially the deer remains, were processed in an identical way. In other words, the Moula-Guercy Neandertals provide the best-documented evidence thus far of Neandertal cannibalism.

I would say that the bone fragments were because they were processing meat. Don't discount the possibility that they were butchering each other too.
edit on 4-3-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 02:06 AM
My take on it, is that the neanderthal should not be classified as different from human; especially since they could interbreed with homo-sapien. I think it's simply an odd racial trait that feeds the imagination of the poor Darwinist.

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 02:14 AM

Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha
It is my understanding that the so-called "anatomically modern human" was in absolutely no way different physically, or mentally 50Kya.

Essentially correct, though human lineage (through interbreeding) isn't quite so cut and dried -- we're a spectrum of features rather than a set of sharp delineations.Dunbar had some interesting ideas about humans, language, and culture (and that the dividing point was being able to live in groups larger than 120 members.) I'm not sure that I'd go along with his statement that it was not possible for Hominids to live in very large groups without language -- baboon troops, for instance, are often found with as many as 250 individuals.

Culturally they'd be very different. But if you took a newborn from that time and brought them forward to this time, they would be indistinguishable from the rest of us (except, perhaps, in having a weaker immune system.)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 02:17 AM
reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha

Yeah I can see them eating each other at times. BUT that doesnt fit the profile. They cared for their elderly and injured. At least they kept feeding them and caring for wounds and protecting them when they could no longer do for themselves.

Is it possible that they were hungry and ate each other? Sure. BUT they also were known to share their hunt. There have been places where several groups would process meat and divide up the spoils of a successful hunt. It was part of the early reasoning for complex language until the vocal chord reconstruction experiment done later proved it so.

So they usually lived well together and benefited by a stronger group. Social cohesion would have prevented them from keeping a practice of canibalism for food. They may have just not wanted to let the meat go to waste.

I think to Australian aboriginal culture since realistically they are probably our best hint at what neanderthal lived like. They use everything and believe in extreme recycling (kind of like native Americans, some NA tribes would even pick the corn from dung to reuse. No part of an animal could be thrown away.) When Australian aboriginals dig into the ground to extract red oxidized iron ore magnetite for example, they fill in the hole because they see the earth as a living being. They believe that when they take from it, they must heal it and return to it what they take. I could see how that would explain the varying burial rituals of neanderthal and the origin of burial rituals of all peoples really. Eating the flesh might be a way to take on their strength, like the native peoples of central and south america believed.

If your neanderthal family member died in a certain way, you may have to eat their flesh to take on the strength of filling their place. Maybe it was the family of the person who died that did it. We do know that neanderthal traveled in small groups and had tight nit family units. The only time they would break away from the group was to take on a partner for reproduction. Who stayed or went with what family is a mystery, but a small family unit of 9-12 people was the norm, living among others in a nomadic heard of mini groups.

several butchered people might be an instance of war, family ritualistic "magic consumption", or any number of things. It was not the norm it seems. It probably did happen more than we know though.

edit on 4-3-2013 by tadaman because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 02:27 AM

Originally posted by tadaman
reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha

Yeah I can see them eating each other at times. BUT that doesnt fit the profile. They cared for their elderly and injured. At least they kept feeding them and caring for wounds and protecting them when they could no longer do for themselves.

Excellent point. It is very telling that the Shanidar individual lived for a number of years following such severe trauma. I think I have to agree with you on this one.

When you find a sample like the Shanidar Neandertal, it is suggestive that caring for the sick and injured was a normal behavior. There are so few specimens for any fossil species that you kind of have to give a nod to the fact that what you find probably isn't just some aberration, but a normal occurrence.

In other words, the Shanidar individual most definitely wasn't the only crippled person who relied on other Nenadertals to survive.

And you're right. Cannibalizing usually is justified (from a certain point of view, I guess. Desperate measures and all..or for valid cultural reasons as you stated above) due to the circumstances. There is usually a logical reason (usually!) for the things that people do.
edit on 4-3-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 03:01 AM
Maybe some people are volontary hiding the truth about nehandertals in order to avoid eugenic related racism. Which is a good thing seeing how seperated by predjudices we already all are.

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 03:14 AM

Originally posted by allbab
Maybe some people are volontary hiding the truth about nehandertals in order to avoid eugenic related racism. Which is a good thing seeing how seperated by predjudices we already all are.

Very interesting take! I applaud you for thinking outside the box here. You would be surprised at how many racist-supremacist websites I came across just googling some basic search terms for Neandertals and other searches related to physical anthro.

Call me a cynic, but I really do find it hard to believe that anybody would hide said knowledge to avoid a case of eugenics or genocide. Physical anthro does have a bit of a dark past when it comes to eugenics etc. And usually people with eugenic-oriented ideologies (even anthropologists) are just going to use the info to push their beliefs and agendas.

Do you think the AAA (American Anthropological Association) could be selectively revealing and hiding info? It's an interesting notion, but I think it could be way too far-fetched considering what we already know about the whole human-Neandertal debate. I don't think any info is being suppressed.

Forbidden archaeology is definitely a fun ATS subject though.
edit on 4-3-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 03:23 AM
reply to post by allbab

you have a good hunch.

I wasnt going to post this since it is entirely speculation. Also I want to emphasize that the following is just based on observable traits.....NOT genetic studies...


supposedly, Jewish descent is marked by neanderthal traits. I know. I would find it VERY offensive.

BUT, the theory is based off the following:

They have what appears to be an occipital bun, have a tendency for naturally occurring red hair, have strong inclination for very hairy bodies, are usually short and stout, large mouths that seem to accommodate all the extra teeth we have a little better than the rest of people do, they tend to have light colored eyes,the nose, long faces, they retained a nomadic life style for a longer period of time than other groups, were in the right place of "origin" as far as a known area where neanderthal interbred with homo-sapiens,
just to name a few.

I dont really believe this though. I have read it several places. The same can be said of many people. They MAY have a higher percentage of neanderthal DNA,, like native Americans and south Americans. No big deal, but in the right ignorant minds, some might argue the supremacy of "pure blood" homo-sapiens, as we have seen even in this thread....

so yeah, Maybe that is the reason. Could be more too.....who knows.

edit on 4-3-2013 by tadaman because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 07:01 AM
So is it true that early home sapiens ate neanderthals?

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 07:12 AM
Well done, Love reading this type of stuff. Excellent work my friend. A Star for you.

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 08:17 AM
reply to post by tadaman

I was going to use the following to show how we inherited our light eyes and different colored hair from neanderthal.

What would make you think light eyes or light hair has anything to do with neanderthals? It's nothing but a gene mutation. Sure, anything is possible but I'm not understanding how you are drawing this conclusion. Blonde hair has already been proven to have been mutated sporadically in the Solomon Islands. Why not the same for Europeans?

The Origin of Blond Afros in Melanesia

Human hair color is a trait usually governed by many genes, but study author Sean Myles, a geneticist at Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, Canada, suspected things might be simpler in the Solomon Islands because he saw almost no variation in shades of blond hair. "It looked pretty obvious to me that it was a real binary trait. You either had blond hair or you didn't," says Myles.

To search for an underlying genetic blueprint, Myles and his colleagues collected saliva and hair samples from 1209 Solomon Islanders. Population genetic studies usually compare thousands of individuals, but the researchers predicted they could detect differences in a much smaller sample because of the stark contrast between the islanders' blond and dark locks. They compared the entire genetic makeup of 43 blond and 42 dark-haired islanders. The two groups, they found, had different versions of a crucial gene, one that coded for a protein involved in pigmentation. Switching one "letter" of genetic code-replacing a "C" with a "T"-meant the difference between dark hair and blond hair. A similar mutation creates blond mice by reducing the melanin content in their fur.

Blond Solomon Islanders carry two copies of this mutant gene, which is present in 26% of the islands' population, the team will report in tomorrow's issue of Science. The gene is recessive, which means that blonds inherit it from both parents. The researchers did not find the mutation in DNA samples of 941 individuals from 52 other populations around the world, including European countries. "It's a great example of convergent evolution, where the same outcome is brought about by completely different means," says Myles.

The mutation, which has no obvious advantages, likely arose by chance in one individual and drifted to a high frequency in the Solomon Islands because the original population was small, says Jonathan Friedlaender, an anthropologist emeritus at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was not involved in the study. "This whole area seems to have been populated by very small groups of people making it across these stepping-stone islands, so you do have very dramatic effects in fluctuations of gene frequency."

The results, says Myles, help deconstruct a Eurocentric view of the world in thinking about where blond hair comes from. He hopes the paper will draw attention to the bigger issue of other novel genes that scientists may be missing by concentrating on the genomes of Europeans. "If you can find a gene for blond hair that exists in Melanesia and nowhere else," Myles says, "then there's no reason why those sorts of genes don't exist all over world in underrepresented populations, and affect not only hair pigmentation, but also disease-related traits."
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posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 08:50 AM
reply to post by WaterBottle

basically we know that Neanderthal came in all colors. BUT They had a propensity for red hair.

While the current studies (which are about 60% satisfactorily complete as far as mapping the neanderthal genome and so accurate to academia) suggest that a different gene is responsible for red hair in homo-sapiens, the geographical locations for red hair and fair skin, as well as light eyes suggest that one of two things is happening.

1. the climate is regulating these adaptations, and so both modern hominids and Neanderthal adapted these traits in a similar geographical location based off similar conditions.

2. Homo-Sapiens inherited these traits form Neanderthal that already lived in those areas and the genes mutated over countless generations to seem like different parting points genetically. Remember that Homo-sapiens has no need for them in Africa......

The figure I included showed the propensity for light eyes as well as colored hair. If you look at a map of Neanderthal areas of long duration habitats they overlap almost identically.

Again it could be the climate favoring the genetic exchange of those best adapted, but considering the time necessary for both Neanderthal and then a much shorter time for homo-Sapiens to adapt similarly with separate genes is not enough. We are talking a less than one hundred thousand years. about 40,000 years. If you think we can evolve so drastically in such a short time then fine. I would suggest that the genes Neanderthal had which already expressed these traits mutated to reflect what appears as a new set of genes in Homo-sapiens.

While I will not pretend to be able to explain this, everything I am reading thus far suggests that genes CAN adapt in this fashion. Similar genes will when combined formed NEW sequences that seem to be original and independent. Really they are derived from 2 similar genes or 1 similar gene interacting with another that produces the mutation without affecting the physical trait.

Take for example lung size. I already talked about this elsewhere.

People in the Andes compared to people from Tibet evolved to have bigger lungs for the thinner air of high altitude life.

They both took separate routes for this process. In both larger lungs are produced but both mutated the same genes that express lung capacity and cavity size. They ARE different BUT derived from the same genes mutating in different ways due to both moving to higher altitudes at different paces. Also the air is not exact in both locations. I believe that in the high altitude Andes, the air pressure is less than the high altitude Tibetan area.

Similarly red hair and light eyes, and fair skin MAY be physical adaptations expressed by what appear to be separate routes to this evolution. They still are part from the same set of genes that mutated according to the factors of the habitats they lived in.

It stands to reason that if both groups expressed the same adaptations in the same area that they were genetically similar. So much so that the same needs to the organism were met with the adaptations allowing for greater survivability. OR one simply took on the better genes of the other after regular genetic exchange.

Also forget about RED hair for a moment. Everyone wants to get as much distance genetically form neanderthal and they cling to the RED hair evidence..... Look at blond hair, light eyes, and everything else from the Canary Islands. These native peoples have light eyes and blond hair, long faces, noses ect just like Neanderthal. They also have a high concentration of Neanderthal DNA.

coincidence? I think not.

Also Neanderthal DNA is not consistent across the board. We all have different "bits" of Neanderthal DNA. There is not a standard marker for that 1-4 % of Neanderthal DNA. Every group that does have Neanderthal DNA has a different set of Neanderthal genes. It stands to reason that after inheriting these particular traits and then profusely mating over the rest of time with pure blood homo-Sapiens with entirely different genes that these particular genes COULD mutate and still express the original traits of red hair, light eyes, high tolerance to pain in red heads (yeah that too) , while seeming to have derived from a different set of genes as a "starting point".

It is actually REALLY hard to track genetic drift and mutations accurately across MANY generations(thats why they settle with 60% accuracy, thats as good as it gets) You then MUST to look to other evidence for corroboration. 60% is just not that great.

I wont lie though. I am still taking a crash course in genetics so as to understand it all and doing so as an amateur. That said with evidence as good as is available and the state of the science today being as well developed as it is, I don't need to be great at explaining it to understand some of it. Being able to read will suffice for now.

Teeth from 38 aboriginal remains of La Palma (Canary Islands) were analyzed for external and endogenous mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and for diagnostic coding positions. Informative sequences were obtained from 30 individuals (78.9%). The majority of lineages (93%) were from West Eurasian origin, being the rest (7%) from sub-Saharan African ascription. The bulk of the aboriginal haplotypes had exact matches in North Africa (70%). However, the indigenous Canarian sub-type U6b1, also detected in La Palma, has not yet been found in North Africa, the cradle of the U6 expansion.

The most abundant H1 clade in La Palma, defined by transition 16260, is also very rare in North Africa. This means that the exact region from which the ancestors of the Canarian aborigines came has not yet been sampled or that they have been replaced by later human migrations. The high gene diversity found in La Palma (95.2 +/- 2.3), which is one of the farthest islands from the African continent, is of the same level than the previously found in the central island of Tenerife (92.4+/-2.8).

This is against the supposition that the islands were colonized from the continent by island hopping and posterior isolation. On the other hand, the great similarity found between the aboriginal populations of La Palma and Tenerife is against the idea of an island-by-island independent maritime colonization without secondary contacts. Our data better fit to an island model with frequent migrations between islands.

Carsalla - U6: Mediterranean Origin. The mitochondrial super-haplogroup U encompasses haplogroups U1-U7 and haplogroup K. Haplogroup U6 is among the oldest of the U haplogroups with an origin approximately 50,000 years ago. It is a rare, but ancient haplogroup, and individuals bearing this lineage out of the Near East may have encountered Neandertals as they moved around what is now the southern Mediterranean basin. In modern populations, it is found at highest frequency in Berber-speaking populations of North Africa and the Canary Islands. Its presence in Portugal and Spain is the result of recent admixture most likely related to the Moorish occupation of Iberia. 11% of modern day Europeans share this origin.

The Neandertal sequence presented is based on the analysis of over one billion DNA fragments taken from
several Neandertal bones found in Croatia, Russia and Spain, as well as from the original Neandertal found
in Germany. From the DNA fragments present in the bones the Leipzig researchers developed ways to
distinguish true Neandertal DNA from the DNA of microbes that have lived in the bones over the last 40,000

Enough DNA fragments were retrieved to account for over 60 percent of the entire Neandertal genome.
An initial comparison of the two sequences has brought some exciting discoveries to light. Contrary to the
assumption of many researchers, it would appear that some Neandertals and early modern humans interbred.
According to the researchers’ calculations, between one and four percent of the DNA of many humans living
today originate from the Neandertal.

"Those of us who live outside Africa carry a little Neandertal DNA in
us," says Svante Pääbo. Previous tests carried out on the DNA of Neandertal mitochondria, which represents
just a tiny part of the whole genome, had not found any evidence of such interbreeding or "admixture".
For the purpose of the analysis the researchers also sequenced five present day human genomes of European,
Asian and African origin and compared them with the Neandertal. To their surprise they found that the
Neandertal is slightly more closely related to modern humans from outside Africa than to Africans,

The researchers offer a plausible explanation for this finding. Svante Pääbo: "Neandertals probably mixed
with early modern humans before Homo sapiens split into different groups in Europe and Asia." This could
have occurred in the Middle East between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago before the human population spread
across East Asia. It is known from archaeological findings in the Middle East that Neandertals and modern
humans overlapped in time in this region.

Two Genes/One Trait

The occurrence of pairs of chromosomes in our karyotype is a result of our sexual origins. We inherit one member of each chromosome pair from each parent. So the 46 chromosomes in our somatic cells are actually two sets of 23 chromosomes—a maternal set (from our mother) and a paternal set (from our father.) A cell with two of each kind of chromosome is called a diploid cell and is said to contain a diploid, or 2n, number of chromosomes.

In humans, the homologous pairs are defined and numbered and carry the genes for the same trait in each person. For example, human chromosome #1 contains, along with many others, the genes for the Rh blood protein and for a starch-digesting enzyme in the saliva. However, the corresponding genes on the two homologous chromosomes are not necessarily identical. For instance, some chromosomes have a gene for the protein that makes a person Rh-positive, and some have a gene coding for a different version of this protein (Rh-negative) at the Rh location. Different versions of the same gene are referred to as alleles. An individual with two genes the same for a trait is said to be homozygous for that trait. A person with two different alleles for the same trait is heterozygous for that trait.

Red hair occurs naturally on approximately 1–2% of the human population.[1][2] It occurs more frequently (2–6%) in people of northern or western European ancestry, and less frequently in other populations. Red hair appears in people with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16 which causes a mutation in the MC1R protein.

and most convincingly

What is this study, anyway?
It is tempting to just say that Lalueza-Fox and colleagues have given us the MC1R version of the FoxP2 paper by Johannes Krause et al. The similarities are obvious -- they've identified an interesting variant by probing for a particular gene and they've confirmed the Neandertal state by finding the same variant in two different specimens.
Of course, there is also an obvious difference -- the FoxP2 study found that the Neandertals shared the derived human variant; this study found that Neandertals had at least one unique MC1R variant.
It is important that the FoxP2 research came out first, because Krause and colleagues (2007) included many more controls.

They probed two El Sidrón specimens looking specifically for the two human-derived mutations of FoxP2. In both specimens they found both mutations. They also probed for a number of other gene variants, to try to assess how contaminated the bones might be. Their results showed that the two specimens are in fact two different individuals, and that they are both males.

They probed for human-derived Y chromosome variants: sites for which most people have a derived allele, and only a few Africans today have the ancestral allele. Because they found none of those human-derived variants in the Neandertal samples, they could infer that the sequences almost certainly came from Neandertals. Together, the results suggest that the Neandertals really did have the human-derived FoxP2 mutations.

Now ask me to explain all that and my head will explode. lol

I really cant. But there is no reason to be so sure that our genes that express that trait DIDNT come from neanderthal. We really cant be sure. We just wouldnt like it. That much I can understand.

edit on 4-3-2013 by tadaman because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 09:57 AM
the best scenario for the end of the homo-neanderthal i heared was a long time ago from a biology professor, he posited that they were supremely adapted to deal with the cold and as the earth came out of its last ice age and started to warm they could not adapt to the rising temperatures fast enough.

now i have no idea if this is the case but from all i have been told about neanderthal they were a cold weather people so it seems quite plausable

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 10:39 AM

Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha
And you're right. Cannibalizing usually is justified (from a certain point of view, I guess. Desperate measures and all..or for valid cultural reasons as you stated above) due to the circumstances. There is usually a logical reason (usually!) for the things that people do.

The number of cases of Neanderthal cannibalism is actually very small (and somewhat over-dramatized, thanks in part to the Discovery Channel) compared to the rest of the material.

And, in truth, cannibalism is a very inefficient lifestyle. It takes less than a year for most herbivores to get to a size where there's enough meat to feed a family of hominids. It takes 10-15 years for a human to get to that size (90 lbs or so.) While they undoubtedly did eat each other for a variety of reasons (we have no direct clues why), it was not a common practice.

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 10:49 AM

Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha
[Do you think the AAA (American Anthropological Association) could be selectively revealing and hiding info?


In fact, the AAA has almost no involvement in obtaining Neanderthal material, since Neanderthals lived in Europe. Information about Neanderthals typically is from an international team, and Americans are not always involved though we are frequently involved because of our university facilities (but they do have equal in Europe.)

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 10:54 AM
Perhaps one should consider the possibility of the transference and spreading of viruses. When Europeans first arrived in the new world, the natives were exposed to pathogens that their auto-immune systems could not cope with. If Neanderthals were so genetically similar, it is my opinion that this scenario would be the most plausible as to their demise.

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 10:59 AM
Bunnies implicated in the demise of Neanderthals

BLAME it on the bunnies. The debate over what Neanderthals ate, and how it may have led to their demise, has turned to rabbits. Which, it is now claimed, Neanderthals did not feast on.

Signs that our extinct cousins hunted dolphins and seals were presented in 2008 as evidence of their sophistication. But, experts claimed in 2009, they weren't clever enough to catch fish or birds – which could have given our ancestors an edge. Then came the discovery of fish scales and feathers on Neanderthal tools.

Now, John Fa of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Trinity, Jersey, says Neanderthals eventually bit the dust because they were unable to adapt their hunting to small animals like rabbits.

Fa and his colleagues counted up the skeletons of animals found in three excavation sites in Spain and southern France. Up until 30,000 years ago, the remains of large animals such as deer were abundant in caves. But around that time, coinciding with the disappearance of Neanderthals, rabbit remains became more prevalent. The authors postulate that humans were more successful at switching to catching and eating rabbits.

It's not clear why Neanderthals would have had more trouble changing prey, says Fa. They may have been less able to cooperate. Rather than using spears, early humans probably surrounded a warren and flushed out rabbits with fire, smoke or dogs. But Bruce Hardy of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, says Fa takes the interpretation too far. Humans may have eaten more rabbits than Neanderthals, but neither would have exclusively eaten meat, he says.

The question might be settled by what Fa says is his next project: studying the isotopes in the bones of hominins from this region, which may differ according to what they ate.

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