Before we became the only remaining humans on the planet, Homo sapiens mated with Neanderthals and the closely related Denisovans. New research is now revealing that the common ancestor of Neanderthals and Denisovans interbred with its own predecessor, a population of “superarchaic” hominids.
We’re all a little Neanderthal. That’s the conclusion of a study that used a new statistical technique to revise estimates of the degree to which modern humans have retained Neanderthal DNA. The research suggests that even people of African descent have Neanderthal heritage, something that was previously in doubt.
New fossil evidence suggests the Neanderthal practice of collecting eagle talons, which were likely worn as jewellery or used to create powerful symbols, was more extensive than previously thought. Remarkably, the dating of these artifacts suggests modern humans might have copied this practice.