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Saturday
Jan102009

The Neanderthal Within

Unlike Alien, despite the title, this chapter argues that interbreeding between Neanderthals and emergent modern humans was likely, and shows how even a small amount of interbreeding would have caused humans to pick up useful Neanderthal genes.

 

Reader Comments (3)

Although Neanderthals must have had very high levels of within-group cooperation, they were no angels: they had a weakness for long pork. As we said before, they may have experienced evolutionary pressures favoring clannishness or even hostility to outsiders.

I'm curious to see how you square interbreeding with your vivid description of Neanderthals as semi-intelligent clannish carnivores. It seems like our ancestors would have feared and avoided Neanderthals as much as possible. So I assume you think Neanderthals may have occasionally taken homo sapien women and mated with them - how likely is that really? Wouldn't they have been just as likely to eat a homo sapien female? It seems unlikely that Neanderthals would have had any moral strictures on that score.

January 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervanya

So I assume you think Neanderthals may have occasionally taken homo sapien women and mated with them - how likely is that really? Wouldn't they have been just as likely to eat a homo sapien female?

I have read that dogs are usually too scared to mate with female wolves for this very reason, male wolves mate with dog bitches though.

January 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTod

How about the recent discoveries of Svanta Paabo? What are the consequences for your introgression hypotheses?

February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJan Verbeeren

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