Not very long ago most scientists felt that there had been no "fraternization" between Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens. Now that they have been able to isolate Neanderthall DNA those opinions are rapidly changing. It seems that every article I read suggests a higher percentage of Neanderthal genes in our modern human makeup than the last article.
Most scientific articles I come across are now of the opinion that when homo sapiens left Africa they had black skins. They encountered Neanderthals in what we now refer to as the mid-East and Europe, and these hominids had white skin. The white skin characteristic became dominant in at least some of the descendents of mixed parentage. Now studies are indicating that the Neanderthals also had a high percentage of their species that had red hair. This is a recessive gene that I'm reading may disappear from our makeup entirely in the next few thousand years.
However, the accompaning picture shows good old modern humans with both the white skin and red hair passed on by our distant relatives. I'm beginning to believe that the Neanderthals did not disappear from the face of the earth. They are still here as a part of those of us of European descent.
Labels: anthropology, evolution, homonids, Neanderthal