Modern humans diverged from Neanderthals much sooner than believed: study

studyNeanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, significantly earlier than currently thought, according to new study based on analyzing how the teeth of ancient fossils evolved instead of relying on genetic techniques. The proposed new timeline is around 300,000 years earlier than current estimates, and would in turn mean that Homo heidelbergensis, another extinct human species, cannot be the last common ancestor between our species and our Neanderthal cousins, as many anthropologists presently believe. The new research by Aida Gomez-Robles at the University College London instead examined dental evolutionary rates across extinct human species, finding that tooth crowns changed in size and shape at a steady rate.

Tags: Science, University College London, Homo, Aida Gomez Robles