Members of the species Homo sapiens first met Neanderthals and began to leave with them the total offspring 100 thousand years ago, not two times later, as was believed until now. However, about 47-65 thousand years ago, the two crossed paths again. This is the conclusion an international team of scientists from Germany, Spain, USA and Croatia.
“Principal” ancestors of modern humans — the CRO-magnons and Neanderthals could first meet in the valley of the Nile, at the foot of the coastal hills in the middle East or in the then flourishing the Arabian Peninsula. The date of this event has helped to clarify the comparison of the genes of the Neanderthals, the remains of which are found on the Altai, Denisovsky man and modern 504 people of African descent.
Back in 2010 scientists have learned that the CRO-magnons and Neanderthals mingled after the first came to Europe. As a result the modern inhabitants of Europe and Asia, but not Africa, carry from 1 to 3 percent Neanderthal genes. Until now, experts believed that Neanderthals and CRO-magnons interbred 47-65 thousand years ago, reports Science.
However, in the new study, scientists have discovered an interesting fact — some of the gene variants studied were characteristic of the modern inhabitants of Africa and inhabited the Altai Neanderthal but not for other ancient inhabitants of the Altai — Denisovsky people, which is a separate kind of person, closer to Neanderthals than to modern humans.
After analyzing this data, scientists theorized that about one hundred thousand years ago or even earlier the ancient people had already interbred with Neanderthals and left in their DNA “glad” just as later the Neanderthals gave some of their genes to modern humans.
Today the people of Europe and Asia not so much genes of the Neanderthals, allows you to discard the theory that species were mixed for an extended period of time. However, according to the researchers, the new study shows that such interbreeding occurred at least twice.
The work of scientists published in the journal Nature.