Was this ancient person from China the offspring of modern humans and Neandertals?

When scientists excavated a 40,000-year-old skeleton in China in 2003, they thought they had discovered the offspring of a Neandertal and a modern human. But ancient DNA now reveals that the “Tianyuan Man” has only traces of Neandertal DNA and none detectable from another type of extinct human known as a Denisovan. Instead, he was a full-fledged member of our species, Homo sapiens, and a distant relative of people who today live in East Asia and South America. The work could help scientists retrace some of the earliest steps of human migration.

“The paper is very exciting because it is the first genome to fill a really big gap, both geographically and temporally, in East Asia,” says paleogeneticist Pontus Skoglund of Harvard Medical School in Boston, who was not involved in the work.

Read Article:  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/was-ancient-person-china-offspring-modern-humans-and-neandertals

Neandertal kids were a lot like kids today — at least in how they grew

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A Neandertal child whose partial skeleton dates to around 49,000 years ago grew at the same pace as children do today, with a couple of exceptions. Growth of the child’s spine and brain lagged, a new study finds.

It’s unclear, though, whether developmental slowing in those parts of the body applied only to Neandertals or to Stone Age Homo sapiens as well. If so, environmental conditions at the time — which are currently hard to specify — may have reduced the pace of physical development similarly in both Homospecies.

Read Article:  https://www.sciencenews.org/article/neandertal-kids-were-lot-kids-today-least-how-they-grew