*Anatomically modern humans interbred with more archaic hominin forms even before they migrated out of Africa, a UA-led team of researchers has found.*
It is now widely accepted that anatomically modern humans of the species Homo sapiens originated in Africa and eventually spread throughout the world. Ancient DNA recovered from fossil Neanderthal bones suggests they interbred with more archaic hominin forms once they had left their evolutionary cradle for the cooler climates of Eurasia, but whether they exchanged genetic material with other, now extinct archaic hominin varieties in Africa remained unclear.
In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS, a team led by Michael Hammer, an associate professor and research scientist with the UA’s Arizona Research Labs, provides evidence that anatomically modern humans were not so unique that they remained separate. (more…)