Over the past half-decade, ancient DNA research has revealed some surprising aspects to our evolutionary history during the past 50,000 years. Perhaps the most startling of these has been the extent to which the ancestors of living people across the planet interbred with other closely related species of human. But where in the world did these cross-species mating’s occur? Which archaic species were involved? Just how much of the human genome comprises DNA from these archaic relatives? And what impact did interbreeding have on our evolution and general biology as a species? These are questions are the core of current research into interbreeding as revealed by DNA sequences obtained from fossils in Europe and Asia, as well as from comparisons with the genomes of living people. In Africa, interbreeding with an archaic species has left genetic signatures in the genomes of some living sub-Saharan populations.
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