However, because the populations within each continent were not freely mixing, the DNA of the modern human
population in Africa that were ancestrally closer to Europe would have retained more of the ancestral DNA (specifically, genetic variants) that is also shared with Neanderthals.
If correct, it would mean modern humans
did not wholly replace Neanderthals or drive them to extinction, as many experts believe.
But they found small differences in sections of the vertebrae, which were still at a stage of development modern human
kids reach a couple of years earlier - some of the bones had not yet fused.
replaced Neanderthals in Europe about 40 thousand years ago, but the Neanderthals' capabilities are still greatly debated.
A major unanswered question regarding the dispersal of modern humans
around the world concerns the geographical site of the first steps out of Africa," explains Dr Lu?
The long maturity of modern humans
includes the difficult teenage years most parents dread.
According to the study, the interbreeding that led to the MUC7 gene variant found in sub-Saharan Africans could have taken place about 150,000 years ago, with a species from which modern humans
diverged between 1.
The scientists applied the powerful methods of 3-D geometric morphometrics to compare the shape of the LB1 cranium (the skull minus the lower jaw) to many fossil humans, as well as a large sample of modern human
crania suffering from microcephaly and other pathological conditions.
The DNA could have come from a genetically distinct group of modern humans
that has since died out due to changes in the environment, diseases or confrontations with rival groups of people, says Jean-Jacques Hublin, a paleoanthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
Many advocates of this later African departure suspect that a massive eruption of Indonesia's Mount Toba around 74,000 years ago created a global "volcanic winter" that decimated modern human
populations in Africa and rendered the Indian subcontinent uninhabitable for thousands of years.
Although scientists have previously revealed correlations between Neanderthal genes and modern human
traits such as fat metabolism, depression, and lupus risk, this is the first study to figure out the mechanism behind these correlations.
Now there's a third group that's neither Neandertal nor modern human