represent the modern human, but before our kind or better described as Homo-Sapiens sapiens, there were many different species and subspecies of humans which represent our ancestral tree on the evolutionary scale. Numerous people, including myself, have debated the reasons behind the extinction of Neanderthals.
Science was puzzled for a time as to why the Neanderthals went extinct. The justifications offered included rivalry with Homo sapiens for resources or potential conflicts between the Neanderthal subspecies and Homo sapiens. However, a recent study contends that the Neanderthals’ interbreeding propensity was the catalyst for their eventual extinction.
Researchers from the UK’s Natural History Museum examine the potential causes of the unusual DNA exchange between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals in a recent publication. They also analyze how these two populations interacted and carried out these “genetic exchanges.” They contend that their incorporation may have caused the extinction of Neanderthals into the Homo sapiens community.
Professor Christ Stringer, the lead researcher at the Natural History Museum, mentions that in recent years more data has been gathered which shows a more complex relationship between the two humans species than previously thought:
“Our knowledge of the interaction between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals has become more complex in recent years, but scientific discussion of how interbreeding between the groups actually occurred is still rare. We believe that this behavior could have led to the extinction of Neanderthals, if they had mated with Homo sapiens , which could have eradicated their population until they became extinct,”Christ Stringer
Due to interbreeding between 60,000 and 90,000 years after Homo sapiens departed the continent, about 0.3% of African genomes are Neanderthal-derived. However, Homo sapiens-specific DNA is not discovered when researchers examine Neanderthals’ DNA.
The study discovered that hundreds of thousands of years had gone by since Homo sapiens and Neanderthals first diverged when they reconnected in Europe between 60,000 and 90,000 years ago.
“Without knowing exactly what Neanderthals looked or behaved like, we can only speculate what Homo sapiens would have thought of their relatives. The differences in language would probably have been greater than we could have imagined given the depth of the separation, and would have been far greater than those between any modern language,”Christ Stringer
The researchers hypothesized that interbreeding between various chimpanzee groups and between hunter-gatherer groups might account for the propensity of Neanderthals to mate with Homo sapiens. In chimpanzees, it has been noted that mating groups are drawn to females from competing groups. Still, males and females have also been seen secretly mating with members of competing groups outside of their groups.
The team was fascinated by the allegedly rare sharing of genetic data. There is no sign of Homo sapiens DNA in the 32 Neanderthal genomes that have been sequenced thus far. This occurrence, according to specialists, might be explained by the notion that there was only one way in which reproduction between the two groups was conceivable (as in Ligers, where a male lion mates with a female tiger).
Only male Neanderthals and female Homo sapiens could have successfully produced kids, according to the absence of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA (which is passed down from females). A male hybrid’s fertility may also be lower.
Another possibility is that rather than absorbing Homo sapiens into their own groups, neanderthal populations did absorb neanderthals. The team claims that older evidence that neanderthals were assimilated into human populations, rather than the other way around, would be able to explain the extinction of Neanderthals.
To verify if this claim is accurate, the team said that more neanderthal fossils and neanderthal genitalia are required. The premise might have originated from the ADN already discovered in peat bog sediments. Researchers are currently looking to see which aspects are proving to be true.