Based on this new data, modern humans
probably interbred with Neandertals between about 50,000 and 60,000 years ago, the team estimates, rather than over a longer period extending further back in the Stone Age (SN: 11/3/12, p.
Many researchers argue the interbreeding scenario is more likely, because it fits the genetic patterns seen in studies that compared genomes from many modern humans
Morin sets up his study in a straightforward manner; he aims to test Jim O'Connell's (2006) intensification hypothesis, which proposes that early modern humans
were able to expand demographically and replace Neanderthals because they had broader, more diverse diets.
Intriguingly, the genetic data suggest that male Denisovans interbred with modern human
females, indicating the potential nature of the interactions as small numbers of modern humans
first crossed Wallace's Line and entered Denisovan territory," the study authors said.
Like the Neanderthals, they appear to have interbred with modern humans
Golovanova and his colleagues believe that the Neandertals were long gone from the cave before modern humans
showed up, but not all scientists agree.
There is added evidence that chance, rather than natural selection, best explains why the skulls of modern humans
and ancient Neanderthals evolved differently.
evolved in the east of the continent spreading out across the globe about 54,000 years ago.
A 40,000-year-old skeleton found in China has raised questions about the "out of Africa" hypothesis on how early modern humans
populated the planet.
This group includes modern humans
and their ancestors, but not apes.
The oldest fossils of modern humans
, estimated to be 160,000 years old, have been discovered in Ethiopia, the British science magazine Nature reported Thursday.
Before this, it was thought that only (anatomically) modern humans
could have lived there.