[Taxacom] Homo sapiens neanderthalensis

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Fri May 17 13:27:04 CDT 2013


I am not sure about whether or not it is a species or a subspecies,
certainly is not a group I have studied. I would like to comment on
the hybrid issue though. I am concerned when the ability or inability
to hybridize is used as a benchmark on species / subspecies. The
reason is that a genetic incapacity to breed is only selected for if
the species have access to each other hence in species that arise in
allopatry it is not needed and may or may not evolve. My understanding
is that this is a group that arose in allopatry but later came
together and neanderthalensis was basically hybridized out of
existence. This does not mean they are the same species, after all
Chelodina longicollis and Emydura subglobosa can hybridise
successfully, with viable F2's. They are not even the same genus.
Point is they evolved in allopatry. My point is if they are subspecies
or species, fine I will go with either, but please the hybrid line is
a difficult and weak piece of evidence that I don't think makes the
point. I would be more interested in genomic evidence and
morphological evidence, look at levels of divergence between pure
populations etc.

Cheers, Scott

On Fri, May 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM, Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Dear All,
>
>
>
>       I meant to say that Denisovan genes account for about 6-8% of the genome of present-day "Melanesians".
>
>
>
>                      ----------------Ken
>
>
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>> 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,
>>
>>
>>
>> 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?).
>>
>>
>>
>> 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:
>>
>>
>>
>> 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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-- 
Scott Thomson
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