In DepthPaleoanthropology

Genomes offer rare glimpse of Neanderthal family groups

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Science  18 Jun 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6548, pp. 1251-1252
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6548.1251

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Summary

More than 49,000 years ago, a family of Neanderthals set up camp in a cave in Siberia's Altai Mountains, overlooking a river valley where bison, red deer, and wild horses roamed. Now, researchers have analyzed the genomes of a father and daughter and 12 of their relatives, many of whom sheltered in the same cave over less than 100 years. The new genomes almost double the number of Neanderthal genomes known and offer the first real clues to the social structure of a group of Neanderthals. In addition to identifying the first father-daughter pair, the genetic evidence suggests these males stayed in their family groups as adults, like men in many modern human societies.

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