Neanderthal DNA

This week on the PBS series, “NOVA” the episode was Decoding Neanderthals about the people that were early settlers to Europe. The Neanderthals used to be thought of as primitive cave-men. Research over the last few years has proven that the Neanderthals were smarter than we thought.

Within the last few years scientists have been able to reconstruct the DNA of Neanderthals. Then the scientist compared Neanderthal DNA to that of of us modern humans. They found that present-day people of Europe, Asia and the Americas have 1 to 4% Neanderthal DNA. So instead of modern humans replacing the Neaderthals they were interbreeding. No one had suspected that the two species were able to mate.

The whole episode of NOVA is embedded below for much more information:

 

Watch Decoding Neanderthals on PBS. See more from NOVA.