This Seattle times article explores one idea about what may have happened to our Neanderthal cousins--we may have assimilated them. According to author Faye Flam:
" Around half a million years ago the Neanderthal line spread through Europe and the Middle East, while our dominant ancestral line didn't move into Europe until much later — around 45,000 years ago. There, we overlapped until about 28,000 years ago...
...Biologist Alan Templeton of Washington University in St. Louis has found hints that some people of European ancestry carry genes that emerged in Europe more than 300,000 years ago — far before our main ancestors left Africa."
There is more to be explored, of course, DNA sampling and so forth, but I think they may be on to something.
Thanks to Don Jim at Dappled Things for his post on Interacting with Neanderthals. Oh, we be interacting, all right. We are the interactingest bunch of people I know.
I kind of like this idea, as I always found the Neanderthals to be a romantic, lost group. Maybe they aren't lost at all. Maybe they are us.
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