However, hominids from Eurasia showed an indication of Mitochondrial DNA related to Neanderthals. This shows that the Neanderthals were spread across Eurasia. There is also an evidence of selective sweep which involved the study of a mitochondrial genome of Vindija 33.16 Neanderthal. This genetic study indicated that one of the genes had four amino acids found in human’s Mitochondrial DNA. The same amino acids were also found in other primate species. Therefore, variation between humans and Neanderthals were caused by recurrent selection. Wolpoff (2009) speculates that such results are only possible if the existing Mitochondrial DNA replaced the Neanderthal lineage due to selection. This article also suggests that the study of alleles indicate the presence of modern alleles in Neanderthal samples. For example, the study on FOXP2 gene which represents human language. The presence of the gene in Neanderthal samples could be due to interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals, although the direction of interbreeding is not certain (Wolpoff, 2009). However, there are arguments against this evidence which suggest that the samples from the Neanderthals could be contaminated. Furthermore, there could be a possibility that the FOXP2 could be shared between Neanderthals and modern humans due to descent from a common ancestor between the two populations. . Are modern humans biologically related to Neanderthals.
Mellars, P. (2004). Neanderthals and the modern human colonization of Europe. Nature, 432 (25), 461-465.
Wolpoff, M.H. (2009). How Neandertals Inform Human Variation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 13, 91-102.
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