Would you let your daughter mate with one?

My last few posts have been on the fluffy side.  Here is something with a bit more science to it.  The current issue of National Geographic contains a great article that compiles a bunch of the recent thinking about the Neandertals.

A fair piece of the article is devoted to whether or not we ever interbred with Neandertals.  They got to Europe 200,000 years before we did and they were still around when we finally made it.  What happened when we met?  Could we have interbred?

Genetic evidence suggests that our last common ancestor with the Neandertals lived 400,000 years ago.  A few fossils have been found that some researchers think are from human-Neandertal hybrids. 

The article also discusses theories about why the Neandertals disappeared 15,000 years after we reached Europe.  Did we kill them, eat them (!), or simply outcompete them?  The article comes to no conclusion but covers a lot of interesting ground.  As always, National Geographic is worth checking out.

I’ll give National Geographic four Lemmys.


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