Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Cave Fossils from Pestera Muierii Cave are early Europeans

  1. #1
    Account Inactive

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Last Online
    Sunday, July 5th, 2009 @ 08:20 PM
    Status
    Prolonged Absence
    Gender
    Posts
    1,447
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Cave Fossils from Pestera Muierii Cave are early Europeans

    BBC News

    Monday, 30 October 2006, 23:36 GMT


    The bones are said to display modern and Neanderthal features


    Archaeologists have identified fossils belonging to some of the earliest modern humans to settle in Europe.

    The research team has dated six bones found in the Pestera Muierii cave, Romania, to 30,000 years ago.

    The finds also raise questions about the possible place of Neanderthals in modern human ancestry.

    Details of the discoveries appear in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

    "We've known for some time that the earliest modern humans in Europe are a funny-looking bunch"
    ~Professor Clive Gamble

    The human bones were first identified at the Pestera Muierii (Cave of the Old Woman) cave in 1952, but have now been reassessed.

    Interesting mix

    Only a handful of modern human remains older than 28,000 years old are known from Europe.

    Erik Trinkaus from Washington University in St Louis and colleagues obtained radiocarbon dates directly from the fossils and analysed their anatomical form.

    The results showed that the fossils were 30,000 years old and had the diagnostic features of modern humans (Homo sapiens).

    But Professor Trinkaus and his colleagues argue, controversially, that the bones also display features that were characteristic of our evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis).

    Neanderthals appear in the European fossil record around 400,000 years ago. At their peak, these squat, physically powerful hunters dominated a wide range, spanning Britain and Iberia in the west to Israel in the south and Uzbekistan in the east.

    Modern humans are thought to have entered Europe around 40,000 years ago, and within 10,000 years, the Neanderthals had largely disappeared from the continent.

    By 24,000 years ago, the last survivors vanished from their refuge in the Iberian Peninsula.

    Ice Age liaisons?

    While many researchers think Neanderthals were simply driven to extinction - either by climate change or competition with the moderns - a handful of scientists believe they interbred with the incomers and contributed to the modern human gene pool.


    The Neanderthals occupied Europe for hundreds of thousands of years


    Professor Trinkaus and his co-researchers point to several anatomical features of the Romanian bones that are either primitive-looking or characteristic of Neanderthals.

    These include a large "occipital bun", a bump or bulge at the back of the skull, as well as other features of the lower jaw and shoulder blade.

    "These data reinforce the mosaic nature of these early modern Europeans and the complex dynamics of human reproductive patterns when modern humans dispersed westward across Europe," Professor Trinkaus and his colleagues wrote in PNAS.

    "Strict population replacement of the Neanderthals is no longer tenable."

    Rugged looks

    Professor Clive Gamble, from Royal Holloway in London, UK, said the discoveries would yield valuable information about early modern humans in Europe; but he was cautious about the evidence for interbreeding with Neanderthals.

    "We've known for some time that the earliest modern humans in Europe are a funny-looking bunch. They are a distinctive looking lot - very heavily built, particularly in the skulls," he told the BBC.

    "The question is whether these robust features show that they were up to no good with Neanderthal women behind boulders on the tundra, or whether they were just a very rugged population.

    "I think, really, the only way to tell would be to look at their ancient DNA. When DNA was extracted from the classic Neanderthal skeleton, the last ancestor between modern humans and Neanderthals turned out to have lived 600,000 years ago."

    Similar claims have also surrounded early human skulls from Mladec in the Czech Republic and the skeleton of a male child unearthed in 1998 at the Abrigo do Lagar Velho rockshelter in Portugal.

    The Lagar Velho boy, who died about 25,000 years ago, has been described as a "hybrid", with a mixture of modern and Neanderthal features.

  2. #2
    Account Inactive

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Last Online
    Monday, November 17th, 2008 @ 03:46 AM
    Ethnicity
    North Pontid/Iranid
    Subrace
    pontic steppe specimen
    Country
    United States United States
    Gender
    Family
    In a steady relationship
    Occupation
    grad student
    Politics
    Nature rules, we participate.
    Religion
    Nature is universal, not equal
    Posts
    127
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Cave fossils are early Europeans

    there is also the possibility that the humans in europe over many thousands of years adapted to the climate of an ice age europe, to some degree resembling a few of the traits the neanderthal themselves had developed over hundreds of thousands of years to survive in the same climate. So the change was due to a similar environment, but could have been from two different populations or even species. in regard to robust degrees of skull protection and size, the genetic discovery of a hybrid DNA would throw that all out the window though.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Account Inactive

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Last Online
    Monday, November 17th, 2008 @ 03:46 AM
    Ethnicity
    North Pontid/Iranid
    Subrace
    pontic steppe specimen
    Country
    United States United States
    Gender
    Family
    In a steady relationship
    Occupation
    grad student
    Politics
    Nature rules, we participate.
    Religion
    Nature is universal, not equal
    Posts
    127
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Cave fossils are early Europeans

    good question, but if sapiens never left the warm regions, we might all be dark and less progressed, with no need to adapt our culture for a more complex system of survival in a more demanding environment, I know theres a good chance an ancestor of mine has frozen to death over that of someone in the congo, but its worth the blues eyes, hehe.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: Thursday, May 11th, 2017, 04:59 PM
  2. Evidence for Herbivorous Cave Bears (Ursus Spelaeus) in Goyet Cave, Belgium
    By Catterick in forum Natural Sciences & Environment
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Tuesday, September 6th, 2016, 12:16 AM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, 10:55 PM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: Saturday, June 17th, 2006, 11:35 PM
  5. Modern Humans or Neandertals? New Evidence Sheds Light on Cave Fossils' Age
    By morfrain_encilgar in forum Paleoanthropology
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Wednesday, May 25th, 2005, 04:16 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •