Scientists have unearthed a jawbone from an ancient human ancestor in a cave in Serbia.
The jawbone, which may have come from an ancient Homo erectus or a primitive-looking Neanderthal precursor, is more than 397,000 years old, and possibly more than 525,000 years old. The fossil, described…
North Africans also share genes with Neanderthals!
"We found that North African populations have a significant excess of derived alleles shared with Neandertals, when compared to sub-Saharan Africans. This excess is similar to that found in non-African humans, a fact that can be interpreted as a sign of Neandertal admixture. Furthermore, the Neandertal’s genetic signal is higher in populations with a local, pre-Neolithic North African ancestry. Therefore, the detected ancient admixture is not due to recent Near Eastern or European migrations. Sub-Saharan populations are the only ones not affected by the admixture event with Neandertals."
We still have a very poor understanding of the “early Homo” variation, and it seems to me that “a well-preserved face of a late juvenile hominin” of “previously unknown morphology” does not “confirm the presence of two contemporary species of early Homo, in addition to Homo erectus, in the early Pleistocene of eastern Africa” just yet. Leakey and colleagues may be right, but I don’t see clear evidence of this.