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Neanderthal Paper

702 words - 3 pages

Several hundred thousand centuries ago, the Neanderthals walked the earth. Some paleoanthropologists think that humans and Neanderthals lived side by side at one time, maybe even interbreeding with them(Zimmer, C., 2013, March 4). Others disagree and say that the Neanderthals are the modern humans ancestors, and never lived with them. There are even people that say that humans never coexisted with the Neanderthals, but came from a less modernized version of humans. But just how closely related is today’s European and Australian generation’s mitochondrial DNA to the mitochondrial DNA of Neanderthals from the northern area? Are the Neanderthals our direct ancestors, or are they a completely ...view middle of the document...

Also, a male human and female Neanderthal could have mated and made a more modern version of the human, instead of there being a common ancestor. The many different species look to have parted and advanced on their own, although the Neanderthals could still partially be our ancestors though this theory. The possibilities are almost endless with the mitochondrial DNA being this way, and this causes much debate between scientist.

The closest relative in mitochondrial DNA to any of the humans is the Neanderthalensis mitochondrial D-loop hypervariable region 1. The humans and this Neanderthal species evolved from the same branch, then split apart and became two completely separate species altogether. The Croatian Neanderthal species divided along with the Neanderthal mitochondrial D-loop species at the same time, but is not as close to the humans in DNA. It appears that the three humans and the two Neanderthals all evolved independently from the Northern Caucasus Neanderthal and share the same strand of mitochondrial DNA.

The Northern Caucasus Neanderthal is undoubtedly similar to the...

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