Why human-Neanderthal sex is tricky to proveBreaking News
A bundle of recent genetic studies have suggested modern humans had sex with Neanderthals thousands of years ago when the two populations roamed the planet alongside each other. However, the bones left behind by the two species don't bear any obvious traces of interbreeding, and a new study of monkeys in Mexico shows why we shouldn't expect them to.
Researchers examined blood samples, hair samples and measurements collected from mantled howler monkeys and black howler monkeys that were live-captured and released in Mexico and Guatemala between 1998 and 2008. The two monkey species splintered off from a common ancestor about 3 million years ago; today they live in mostly separate habitats, except for a "hybrid zone" in the state of Tabasco in southeastern Mexico, where they coexist and interbreed.
Through an analysis of genetic markers, from both mitochondrial DNA (the DNA in the cells' energy-making structures that gets passed down by mothers) and nuclear DNA, the researchers identified 128 hybrid individuals that were likely the product of several generations of interbreeding. Even so, these hybrids shared most of their genome with either one of the two species and were physically indistinguishable from the pure individuals of that species, the team found....
comments powered by Disqus
- New Yorker profiles activist who's drawing attention to lynchings
- Wisconsin GOP senator wants to replace history professors with Ken Burns videos
- UT removes Confederate inscription that it previously said would stay
- The man behind the Smithsonian’s new African-American history museum
- Greece vows pressure on Germany to get WWII reparations
- Some Ohio University professors ditch the textbooks, and the prices
- Renowned Israeli Holocaust Historian: ‘If I Were a British Jew, I’d Be Worried’
- Heather Ann Thompson pries loose the long-kept secrets of Attica in her new book
- Lonnie Bunch remembers his first day on the job as director of the new black history museum
- Speaker Ryan loves pseudo-historian David Barton