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The neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) contributed to the DNA of non-African people with up to 2.6% of its genome, but little we still know about how, when and where the interactions with early modern humans before those other humans completely disappeared.
A study, published this week in Nature, has made it possible to analyze the genomes of five Neanderthal individuals that lived in Belgium, France, Croatia and the Russian Caucasus - a wide geographic range - in a relatively short space of time - between 47,000 and 39,000 years ago - shortly before the end of the species.
"Having more Neanderthal genomes allows us to find out which is the closest to the Neanderthal population that mixed with the ancestors of current non-Africans," says Mateja Hajdinjak, researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Germany) and lead author. from work.
According to the study, the last Neanderthals analyzed is it so "significantly closer”From the Neanderthal population that were hybridizing with modern humans than a previously sequenced Siberian Neanderthal.
“This allowed us to show that the Neanderthal population that intermingled with the ancestors of modern humans arose between 150,000 and 90,000 years ago.”Says Hajdinjak.
Furthermore, analyzes indicate that most of the Neanderthal gene flow in early modern humans originated from one or more populations that they diverged from the last Neanderthals, like those analyzed, before they were divided, about 70,000 years ago.
The end of the Neanderthals
The international team of scientists compared the DNA sequences of these Neanderthals with an older one from the Caucasus. The results show that there was probably a replacement of the populationEither in the Caucasus or throughout Europe, at the end of Neanderthal history.
This moment coincides with the pronounced climatic fluctuations that took place between 60,000 and 24,000 years, when periods of extreme cold in northern Europe may have triggered the extinction of local populations and led to the subsequent recolonization of southern Europe or western Asia.
“Unfortunately, genetics alone cannot tell us precisely what factors led to the demise of Neanderthals. It is likely that several different factors contributed to its extinction”, The researcher points out to Sinc.
For the expert, changes in the environment, which coincided with competition with modern humans, probably led to the disappearance of this human species.
Via Sinc Agency
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