Neanderthals and humans did the same species?
The scattered and fragmented appearance of fossils of human and related species over recent decades raises many questions. How evolved to become modern man? Are we Neanderthals, with whom we live thousands of years in Europe, and modern humans the same species ? Until some time ago we could only have the form of the fossils found and with manufactured objects. Now molecular genetics begins to shed light on this complex puzzle.
The discovery of the first remains of Neanderthals was long ago. In 1856 were found in the Neander Valley of Germany and studied by the anatomist Hermann Schaafhausen. This happened three years before Darwin published On the Origin of Species. To think that men descended from this species or that we had a common ancestor was inadmissible. For a long time it was not even clear that belong to different species, but the answer is not accepted today.
Neanderthals lived in Europe from about 250,000 years ago to about 30,000. Found remains of about 400 individuals. They were short and stocky with a prominent brow, low brow and a brain like ours, about half liter. Produced tools made of flint and quartzite as spikes carved. Coexisted in Europe for thousands of years with modern humans who migrated from Africa much later and maybe we were the cause of their extinction .
Ernst Mayr defined in 40 the biological species concept . Two individuals belong to the same species and have a cross puden also is fertile offspring. Thus, when several individuals of a species are separated by a geographical feature such as a river, still playing separately. There comes a time when hardly can mate together members of the two groups and have a fertile breeding. Then he said to belong to different species. Sometimes they can mate and have a fertile breeding but less adapted and crossing species form a new species.
What happened to the Neanderthals and humans? With fragmentary remains we have a draft of the Genome of Neanderthals. It turns out that the European and Asian human but something Africans have Neanderthal genome. That is, at some point, some 40,000 years ago, even once the two species are crossed somewhere in Europe or Asia. But remained distinct species . The experiment was unsuccessful and the fossil remains clearly show the separation.
In an interesting article, all happened before , explains the details of the dates of the fossils. In recent years, molecular genetics is providing great clarity to the evolution of species and among other items using the biological clock. If we know the genome of two species we can find the different mutations between. If we know the rate at which mutations occur can calculate how long ago separated or had a common ancestor. This has led us to date the facts of our evolution and compare the datings made by paleoanthropologists. The sequence is very interesting.
We left macaques about 30 million years. Of chimpanzees about 5 million years. From Neanderthals half a million years ago. The Bushmen and the rest of Africans 200,000 years ago. The humans who left Africa in waves did that began about 100,000 years ago. Europeans and Asians split about 50,000 years ago.
The fascinating story of human evolution begins to slowly explained based on traces of DNA that can be extracted from fossil remains that have been left.Tags: evolution, Genome