[Taxacom] Homo sapiens neanderthalensis

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Fri May 17 12:48:02 CDT 2013


Dear All,

 

      I meant to say that Denisovan genes account for about 6-8% of the genome of present-day "Melanesians".   

 

                     ----------------Ken

 

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> From: kinman at hotmail.com
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Date: Fri, 17 May 2013 17:37:11 +0000
> Subject: [Taxacom] Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
> 
> Dear All,
> 
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> I have long advocated recognizing Neanderthals as an extinct subspecies (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis), not as a separate species. It has been a long time in coming, but there is increasing evidence of considerable interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthals, so much so that most humans today carry 2-4% Neanderthal genes. Denisovan genes apparently account for about 6-8% of present-day humans. The percentages would probable be higher if Neanderthal populations had been higher. 
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> Actual fossil individuals that appear to be crosses between Neanderthals and modern humans have been found. One was from a Neanderthal female and a modern male, although there are no known living descendants in that case (only from Neanderthal males and modern females), since mitochondrial Neanderthal genes do not appear in living populations. I suspect that that there were a lot of Neanderthal males kidnapping modern females and having children with them (or was it more often consentual?). 
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> So for those who still prefer to recognize Neanderthals as a separate species, what are your arguments for continuing to do so? Anyway, here is one article which came out just today: 
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> Pennisi, Elizabeth (2013), "More Genomes from Denisova Cave Show Mixing of Early Human Groups", Science 340: 799, doi:10.1126/science.340.6134.799
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