U of U ANTH 6299 - Hominids and hybrids (3 pages)

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Hominids and hybrids



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Hominids and hybrids

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Pages:
3
School:
University of Utah
Course:
Anth 6299 - Seminar in Biological Anthropology

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Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Vol 96 pp 7117 7119 June 1999 Commentary Hominids and hybrids The place of Neanderthals in human evolution Ian Tattersall and Jeffrey H Schwartz Department of Anthropology American Museum of Natural History New York NY 10024 and Department of Anthropology University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh PA 15260 Neanderthal apomorphy anatomical uniqueness it is unsurprising that the remarkable recent sequencing of a short stretch of mtDNA isolated from the Feldhofer individual revealed this specimen to be a distant outlier when compared with all modern human populations 11 The Neanderthals were highly successful over a large region for a substantial period of time but this situation changed dramatically with the arrival in Europe of the first modern humans Homo sapiens Indications are that these CroMagnons had begun to arrive both in eastern Europe 12 and in the far northeast of the Iberian Peninsula 13 by 40 kyr ago and within little more than 10 kyr the Neanderthals were gone The mechanism of their eviction has long been debated but there are four main possibilities 14 The first and second of these that the Neanderthals were eliminated by the moderns in direct conflict or by indirect economic competition both imply the separate species status of the former as does any combination of the two The alternatives that the Neanderthals had simply evolved rapidly into moderns or that the genes of the invading moderns simply swamped those of the Neanderthals both imply some form of species continuity Claims for evidence of transition between Neanderthals and moderns based on supposedly intermediate fossils dating from a short window of time around 40 30 kyr ago 15 have been refuted by the recognition that the fossils concerned are either typically Neanderthal or modern 10 and in one significant case had been misdated 16 Supporters of the continuity argument have thus tended lately to the view that the disappearance of Neanderthal morphology was due to extensive



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