Neanderthals and Us
The Natural History Museum London
Some “recent” events in
‘Out of Africa 1’?
First humans in S. Europe?
Changes in glacial intensity
First humans in N. Europe/Britain?
Early Neanderthals in Europe
Homo sapiens ‘Out of Africa 2’
Homo sapiens in Africa
Neanderthals and “Hobbit” extinct
Homo heidelbergensis appears
Homo erectus in Africa
Homo erectus in Java & China
Complex human behaviour…
Treatment of the dead
The evolution of
(based on fossil and
H. sapiens: fossils suggest an African origin for the modern
pattern ~ 150-200ka?
Age ka ~260 ~150? ~160? ~195? >130
300 ka 200 150 100 50 0
Omo Kibish Herto
Early H. sapiens
“Modern” anatomy and behaviour have deep roots in Africa…
What happened to the Neanderthals?
Evolved into the Cro-Magnons
Part of megafaunal extinctions
Phylogenetic relationships and geographic
distribution of Neanderthals.
Recent (<48 kyr) western Neanderthals are placed
within a well-defined monophyletic group (blue
box), whereas specimens older than 48 kyr
constitute a paraphyletic group together with
eastern Neanderthals (red box).
Dalén et al. 2012: Partial genetic turnover in Neas Mol Biol Evolution
NEW DATA ON NEA %
Europeans ~ 1%
Chinese ~ 1.7%
(Meyer et al. Science 2012;Wall et al Genetics 2013)
Only one limited phase of interbreeding, then drift?
1st limited phase W. Asia + 2nd in Asia?
More widespread, but strong hybrid disadvantage?
A Proper Study for Mankind: analogies from the Papionin
Monkeys and their implications for Human Evolution
The message is to concentrate on biology, avoid semantic traps, and realize
that any species-level taxonomy based on fossil material is going to be only
an approximate reflection of real-world complexities.
The pendulum swings back a bit!
“Mostly Out of Africa”
Thank you all for listening, and to…
The Calleva Foundation
Human Origins Research Fund
…and all my sources of data and illustrations..
~60 ka: Modern Humans start to leave Africa…
Europeans ~ 1%
Chinese ~ 1.7%
Meyer et al. Science 2012
Wall et al Genetics 2013
‘At least two separate episodes of admixture between Neanderthals and modern
humans must have occurred, and at least one of those episodes must have occurred
after the separation of the ancestors of modern Europeans and East Asians’
Thomas Higham , Laura Basell , Roger Jacobi , Rachel Wood , Christopher Bronk Ramsey , Nicholas J. Conard
Journal of Human Evolution Volume 62, Issue 6 2012 664 - 676
Out of Africa
Out of Africa Y-chromosome DNA
Simulated landscape used in our simulations. The union of the dark green and brown zones represents the conventionally assumed Neanderthal range (22) (scenario A′ in Table 1), whereas the violet zone represents a larger range, including the Altai Mountains, where Neanderthals remains have been identified recently. The brown zone represents an even more restricted area of potential hybridization in the Middle East (scenario A′′ in Table 1). The gray zone is the Himalayan range, where migrations have been disallowed. The dark green dot is an arbitrary place of origin for the expansion out of Africa, and the two red dots are the locations of the two samples where introgression is measured (Paris, France and Beijing, China). In our simulations, the continental areas have been divided into square cells (cell size = deme area = 100 × 100 km2) where a human population and a Neanderthal local population could potentially coexist, compete, and exchange migrants.