Study suggests multiple instances of inter-breeding between Neanderthal and early humans

November 27, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report
Comparison of Modern Human and Neanderthal skulls from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Credit: DrMikeBaxter/Wikipedia

A pair of researchers at Temple University has found evidence that suggests Neanderthals mated and produced offspring with anatomically modern humans multiple times—not just once, as has been suggested by prior research. In their paper published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, Fernando Villanea and Joshua Schraiber describe their genetic analysis of East Asian and European people and how they compared to people from other places. Fabrizio Mafessoni with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology offers a News and Views piece on the work done by the pair in the same journal issue.

In recent years, scientists have discovered that early humans moving out of Africa encountered Neanderthals living in parts of what is now Europe and Eastern Asia. In comparing Neanderthal DNA with , researchers have found that there was a least one pairing that led to offspring, which is reflected in the DNA of humans—approximately 2 percent of the DNA in non-African humans today is Neanderthal. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence that suggests there was more than one such encounter.

Their findings make logical sense, considering that anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals coexisted for approximately 30,000 years. Recent research by other groups had suggested that multiple offspring-producing unions had occurred—some people in East Asia, for example, were found to have up to 20 percent more Neanderthal DNA than people of strictly European descent. In this new effort, the researchers took a more stringent look to find out once and for all if there had been multiple pairings or just one. They pulled and analyzed data from the 1000 Genomes Project, measuring the amount of Neanderthal DNA in genetic material from volunteers. The first step was separating the data between people of European and Asian ancestry. Doing so suggested that both groups had evidence of early multiple mating events. The researchers then studied the rates of the two groups by creating simulations showing outcomes of differing numbers of mating events between the two groups. Data from the simulations was then fed into a machine-learning algorithm that showed DNA percentage patterns based on the number of cross-breeding events that had occurred.

The concluded that the most likely scenario was that there were multiple instances of cross-breeding between in both East Asia and Europe with Neanderthals.

Explore further: Modern humans inherited viral defenses from Neanderthals

More information: Fabrizio Mafessoni. Encounters with archaic hominins, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0729-6

Fernando A. Villanea et al. Multiple episodes of interbreeding between Neanderthal and modern humans, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0735-8

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Hyperfuzzy
1 / 5 (11) Nov 27, 2018
This suggest rape, not successful normal mating. Given the violence of Europeans, the lack of sanitary conditions, it appears Africans avoided these individuals. It's expected that only a few of the offspring were successful in integrating with modern humans.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2018
Women prefer winners. In the ancient world, women would prefer men who could protect them and their children. Intertribal war often resulted in the winners killing or enslaving all the men of the losing tribe and incorporating all the women.

Jane Goodall observed this specific behavior among apes.

And I would suggest that the women were fine with this new arrangement as it meant more security for them as well as the chance to acquire more capable genes for their subsequent offspring.

Modern day perspectives are inadequate to understand life during the pleistocene.

"A woman would prefer to have 1/10 of a champion than all of a mediocre man." Oscar wilde

-Oscar was suggesting that harems were the preferred arrangement for both men and women. But without monogamy what would all those mediocre men have to fight for?

Marriage is another one of those unnatural but brilliant advancements in the development of tribalism and the domestication of the human race.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2018
Then too, conquest and the influx of new women could mean harems for everybody. Another reason to hop into your longboat on a cold morning and row across the north sea.
Anonym518498
3 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2018
must be why there are so many dumb humans
Osiris1
1 / 5 (6) Nov 27, 2018
No one has done a credible study of the relevant mating body parts in humans vs neanderthalers. Seems as Some here have 'inside scoop' on human men vs neanderthaler men as to mating. A lot of those women probably attracted to large mating organs of the neanderthaler, and once mated were stuck with their choice as along with the size went cruelty of the savage toward the civilized. Methinks this led to a split along class lines that endures to this day. The stupid go for 'good sex' while the more intelligent go for a better life. The stronger brute may do good in melee combat with fists, clubs, etc.; but fall short in inventivness. In the end, the arrows, mangonels, ballistas, etc, and later gunpowder weapons of the civilized leveled the ignorant and those that chose them. The cro-magnon and african and asian skill in inventing and making and operating ranged weapons laid low the chances of the neanderthal for supremacy.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2018
My my osiris that's a whole lot of idiot assumptions isnt it? Was that what you were going for?
michele91
5 / 5 (6) Nov 28, 2018
A lot of those women probably attracted to large mating organs of the neanderthaler, and once mated were stuck with their choice as along with the size went cruelty of the savage toward the civilized.

Who told you that neanderthaler had bigger penis than sapiens? and who told you that neanderthal were more cruel?
rrwillsj
5 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2018
It is the typical mindless bigotry og modern subhumans to claim there were major differences between Homo Neanderthal & our Homo Anthropophagus ancestors.

There has to be some relevant genetic history for successful interbreeding.

Those fulminating against reality are themselves wethers. The defective products of piss-poor breeding practices of their native village of inbred savages.
Hyperfuzzy
1 / 5 (8) Nov 28, 2018
Europeans didn't have weapons until after Neanderthals were extinct. Suggest Neanderthals were gentle creatures but there hunting grounds were stolen by the hungry, disrespectful Europeans, i.e. The history of Europeans is very well known as conquerors or disrespectful greedy people. So the demise of the neanderthals is not any different from what you see today defining their own demise. Think people. We are not very nice! Stupidity Rules, not gentle folk!
rrwillsj
5 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2018
Oh. fuzzy headed. If in your ignorance you are going to prattle that our ancestors did not have weapons? I've got a shillelagh to introduce to your vapidly empty noggin. The tune I will be playing is a very ancient jig.

"Gentle Giants"? I hope you are not paying some one to write this crap for you? Cause you're being cheated vand should be demanding your money back. With penalties.

"Gentle Giants". Hahaha! I would LOOOVE the opportunity to watch you explain that to a Mammoth.. Or better yet? A Cave Bear!

Yep, that visual made me laugh so hard, I had to rush to the toilet to pee RTFN!
wailuku1943
4.5 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2018
Hyperfuzzy's word salad is amusing and builds on some laughable errors about prehistory, but for many years one of the reasonable ideas about why, in the end, modern Homo sapiens populated Europe and the Neanderthals disappeared is approximately "there [sic] hunting grounds were stolen," although stealing (as we understand it) has never been part of the possible explanation.

It's possible that modern Homo sapiens were simply more efficient/effective at tapping natural resources than Neanderthals were.

Putting it another way, if there's an important resource that modern Homo sapiens uses more effectively, then it's not available to Neanderthals. There doesn't have to be clashes or literal appropriation -- only a situation where, when the Neanderthals need that resource, it's gone. There doesn't even need to be any contact.

Again, importantly, I'm talking about a reasonable hypothesis, not saying "this is how it happened."
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2018
@hyper
Europeans didn't have weapons until after Neanderthals were extinct
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440312000969

https://www.journ...0066.102

https://journals....EJC84769

https://journals.....0101278

https://link.spri...0415-2_7

https://www.scien...15004619

Suggest Neanderthals were gentle creatures but there hunting grounds were stolen by the hungry, disrespectful Europeans
if they hunted without weapons, per your above claim, then they had to be excessively violent to track, engage and kill without those tools to make it easier, IMHO

thank goodness you were wrong about weapons, eh?
Hyperfuzzy
1 / 5 (6) Nov 29, 2018
Hyperfuzzy's word salad

Again, importantly, I'm talking about a reasonable hypothesis, not saying "this is how it happened."

OK, for those that consider logic word salad, please refer to what is known and not what you do not know!
Captain Stumpy
4.8 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2018
@hyper
Hyperfuzzy's word salad

Again, importantly, I'm talking about a reasonable hypothesis, not saying "this is how it happened."

OK, for those that consider logic word salad, please refer to what is known and not what you do not know!
1- wailuku1943 clearly states it's a hypothesis. as such, it's also testable

2- if you're going to give advice, perhaps you should take it yourself as your argument was neither logical or referred to what is known, as demonstrated by the links I presented

3- wailuku1943's hypothesis is reasonable
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
3 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2018
Interesting, the science, discoveries and the reactions.

Using machine learning on a fragment frequency spectrum matrices they can see that at least three episodes of admixture fits best. The accompanying News & Views article warns that these models do not yet handle spatial gene flow but model discrete events; but the paper nevertheless find it useful to suggest that "a probable explanation for our results is that gene flow between humans and Neanderthals was intermittent and ongoing, but in a somewhat geographically restricted region. Differential levels of admixture between different Eurasian groups may primarily reflect how long those populations coexisted with Neanderthals in that region."

-tbctd-
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
3 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2018
-ctd-

As for the public discussion it seems it is heating up, people tries to avoid the suggestion that we interbred freely - time being the constraint - and peacefully - coexisting. The overall lower level of interbred alleles is probably an effect of dilution (see the paper) as well as that migrating Africans could have been much more numerous than the others (as their source region was).
rrwillsj
not rated yet Nov 29, 2018
Bye the way. Are the woodolts confusing the Neanderthal with the infamous 'Cardiff Giant'? Or maybe that lunacy out of the holey babble about 'giants in the Earth'?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Nov 29, 2018
Then too, conquest and the influx of new women could mean harems for everybody. Another reason to hop into your longboat on a cold morning and row across the north sea
Just in case bitchslappers like torbjorn would like to actually discuss?

"Some scholars believe that the Vikings were a polygamous society that made it hard for non-elites to find brides. That may have driven the raids and ambitious exploration voyages for which Vikings are best known. Some genetic studies, for example, suggest that a majority of Icelandic women are related to Scottish and Irish ancestors who likely were raid booty."

-The norm not the exception.
rrwillsj
not rated yet Nov 30, 2018
otto, my deer. You left out a few trivial details as to what had set off what we call the "Viking Age". Such as Charlemagne ordering the slaughter of thousands of Saxon nobles with the Massacre at Verdun. Using the excuse they had refused to accept christianity.

Contrary to the present popular myopic view that the societies of Western & Northern Europe were made up of unkempt, grunting savages.

The Scandinavians had a sophisticated society with advanced pre-industrial technology. With widespread trade from Ireland into the Slav lands. With much commerce to the south into the German lands. Including women both ways. Better to sell your excess mouths then have to watch them starve during a bad winter.

There were many intermarriages as well as commercial contacts between the Northmen (who the Gaelic called the Easterlings) and the Saxons.

The devastation of their kin-in-laws by the Franks failed to amuse the Scandinavians.

- cont'd -
rrwillsj
not rated yet Nov 30, 2018
- cont'd -
The Northern leaders understood well, that the Church & Empire had painted a big bullseye. In blood! On the Northerner's backs.

In the spirit of the sayings "The Code of the West is as follows. Do unto others & do it before they can do it unto you!"
&
"It's better to fight our wars on somebody else's land!"

Within a decade the first Viking fleet sailed out of the fjords & into destiny. Attacking Lindisfarne. An all too often overlooked, key strategic first-strike.

The Holy Island had been a religious center since pre-historic times. When the christians slaughtered their way to conquest they re-branded Lindisfarne as a christian stronghold.

There the booty from hundreds of non-state-religion temples and shrines was brought to be reworked into christian symbols. Including loot from competing christian cults.

- cont'd -
rrwillsj
not rated yet Nov 30, 2018
- cont'd -
Plus, many boy hostages seized from among the Germanic tribes were brought. To be brutally brainwashed into becoming agents for the Church & Empire.

The Norsemen wanted those boys rescued & the Holy Island available as a base for raiding all over the North Sea.

The wealth originally pillaged by the christians from their co-religionists? That helped compensate those proto-typical Vikings for their expenses assembling their fleet & as their justly earned reward for retaliatory services rendered.

Over the next few centuries? Every Saxon kinsman executed at Verdun would be avenged a hundredfold.
wailuku1943
5 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2018
Hyperfuzzy's word salad

Again, importantly, I'm talking about a reasonable hypothesis, not saying "this is how it happened."

OK, for those that consider logic word salad, please refer to what is known and not what you do not know!

In prehistory, "logic" needs a grounding in evidence (typically as a starting point) -- otherwise, it's just logic devoid of content.

I'm not ready to spend time giving you European Prehistory 101. If you'd like to avoid posting foolish things, do your own research.
Jonseer
5 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2018
My my, it seems the Incels decided to make all the comments for this article.

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