Humans Mated With Neanderthals

Study of modern humans' genes proves it, say scientists
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2010 1:16 PM CDT
Humans Mated With Neanderthals
This picture provided by the American Museum of Natural History shows a mural depicting Neanderthal life.   (AP Photo/American Museum of Natural History)

We all might have a little knuckle-dragger in us: A new study says that our ancestors interbred with Neanderthals. Anthropologists last week announced that they identified leftover Neanderthal genes in the DNA of humans living today. The study, which looked at the genetic data of 2,000 people living around the globe, found that there were likely two periods of interbreeding, reports LiveScience.

One of them came soon after our homo sapien ancestors left Africa, as Africans are the only modern humans without an abundance of Neanderthal DNA. Not everybody's happy to be related to the cavemen, though: "The issue has been highly contentious for some time," said one anthropologist behind the study. (More Neanderthals stories.)

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