Neanderthal-Type Species Once Roamed Africa, DNA Shows

Brian Vastag, Washington Post, July 26, 2012

The human family tree just got another—mysterious—branch, an African “sister species” to the heavy-browed Neanderthals that once roamed Europe.

While no fossilized bones have been found from these enigmatic people, they did leave a calling card in present-day Africans: snippets of foreign DNA.

There’s only one way that genetic material could have made it into modern human populations.

“Geneticists like euphemisms, but we’re talking about sex,” said Joshua Akey of the University of Washington in Seattle, whose lab identified the mystery DNA in three groups of modern Africans.

These genetic leftovers do not resemble DNA from any modern-day humans. The foreign DNA also does not resemble Neanderthal DNA, which shows up in the DNA of some modern-day Europeans, Akey said. That means the newly identified DNA came from an unknown group.

“We’re calling this a Neanderthal sibling species in Africa,” Akey said. He added that the interbreeding probably occurred 20,000 to 50,000 years ago, long after some modern humans had walked out of Africa to colonize Asia and Europe, and around the same time Neanderthals were waning in Europe.


Another mysterious group of extinct people recently identified from a 30,000-year-old finger bone in Siberia—known as the Denisovans—also left some of their DNA in modern-day Pacific Islanders.

And while modern humans and the newly found “archaic” Africans might be classified as distinct species, they produced viable offspring. Likewise, donkeys and horses, lions and tigers.


Still, without a definitive fossil, it’s impossible to say what these people looked like. But one thing is clear: This enigmatic group left its DNA all across Africa. The researchers found it in the forest-dwelling pygmies of central Africa and in two groups of hunter-gatherers on the other side of the continent—the Hadza and Sandawe people of Tanzania.

Starting a decade ago, a team led by Sarah Tishkoff and Joseph Lachance of the University of Pennsylvania drew blood from five individuals in each of the three groups. Using the latest genetic technology, Tishkoff spent $150,000 to read, or sequence, the DNA of these 15 people. The research was reported Wednesday in the journal Cell.

In addition to finding evidence of the now-extinct humans, the team discovered a huge range of genetic diversity between the three groups. The human genome contains about 3 billion letters, or base pairs, of DNA. Before this study, scientists had found that about 40 million of these letters vary across human populations.

But in the 15 Africans, Tishkoff and Lachance found 3 million more genetic variants—a huge treasure trove of human diversity. Among this stunning variety, Tishkoff says they have pinpointed some of the genes responsible for the short stature of the pygmies, who average less than 5 feet in height. {snip}


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  • haroldcrews

    So the current state of genetic knowledge is that there are at least three existing hybrid forms of humans?  Europeans and Asians are comprised of early humans with approximately 4% if our/their genome from Neanderthals.  Pacific islanders are a combination of early human and the Denisovans.  Then the Sub-Saharan African are a combination of early human and a species discussed in the above article.  Certainly this would go far in explaining the difficulty in trans-racial tissue and organ donation particularly since the differences include sections of the genome dealing with immune function.

    • zimriel

      Three hybrids – and one non-hybrid. That fourth, west African / Bantu, appear not to have interbred with any para-humans significantly – even these new ones from Africa they’re hypothesising about. (Only the pygmies and bushmen mingled with these.)

      •  It’s in the Bantus, since the findings are also from Tanzania, and Tanzania is populated by Bantus.

        • zimriel

           mostly – but they said here they’d ferreted out some of the “hunter gatherers” in Tanganyika. Those would be the non-Bantu aborigines. Bantu, as I’m sure you’re aware, immigrated into Tanganyika as cattle-herders and farmers.

  • razorrare

    While no fossilized bones have been found from these enigmatic people…

    are you sure they are “people?”…maybe that would explain why no fossilized bones have been found.

  • HadEnough

    Hmmm, “Sarah Tishkoff,” not exactly an African-sounding name. Amazing the Africans didn’t do this DNA research themselves. They must all have been busy with other scientific projects.

  • Dr Al

    Uh oh.  Look at this: “genes responsible for the short stature of the pygmies, who average less than 5 feet in height. {snip}”

    Are they serious?  We all know that genetics can’t be responsible for things like this, but rather the “height gap” is due to poverty, legacy of slavery,  biased admission tests, poor nutrition since Safeway and Kroger won’t put organic supermarkets in the hood, white school administrations that deny pygmies lunch,  white doctors who deny access to health care (they lock the doors and barricade medical offices when pygmies drive up….if they drive….you see, they are DENIED access to health care facilities……),  language gap caused by border patrol harassment, institutional multi-racial biased attitudinal societal negatation syndrom against people of color  (I have no idea what that means but is sure sounds  hip and cool and collegiate).

    • Gereng

      No, you are wrong. Pygmies lived quite well nutritionally speaking. They ate more meat than non pygmies. They were such efficient hunters they had meat left over to trade to the bantus for things they didn’t have or could make.  When I lived in Uganda, they used to come over the Zaire/ Congo border to beg and do stunts for tourists for money. They also sold ganja to the tourists.  They didn’t look unheathy only….short.

    • mikejones91

      The only complaint I have is you forgot to include the word “disparate”!

  • potato78

    I don’t understand why they are so so criminal.

    I hope that the three men should be hanging up on a tree in public.

    Robbers accused of torturing, killing South African family plead guilty

    three men who admitted guilt in the horrific torturing and killing of
    the Viana family last fall in Walkerville, South Africa are notable for
    extent they made the family suffer before they were killed.
    Read more:

  • frmore

    Misleading to call this a “Neanderthal-type species”, “sister species” or a “Neanderthal sibling species”. It is, in the very least, a late Pleistocene hominid or paleo-human which predates Neanderthal by quite a bit though existed in Africa until fairly recent times- Egaster, Habilis and/or Erectus. Perhaps a proto-human yet unknown to the fossil record. This African archaic introgression/admixture has been estimated as much as 20%. And this is with modern humans which never received or were bestowed with the spark with which other populations of modern humanity were imbued- those that went onto to invent writing, the wheel. This is also not brand new news. It just wasn’t blasted like it was when it was determined Europeans and Northeast Asians were 1% to 4% Neanderthal and the media were enraptured that sub-saharan Africans were the only “pure humans”. I read it time and time again. Turns out, the Truth is becoming increasingly un-PC. Though it might explain a IQs as low as 53 in some African populations. 

  • Texan1st

    But…but…”Race is just a social construct” and “we’re all one race — the human race”.  Just ask a progressive.  They will confirm this.

  • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

    Interesting that they note that horses and donkeys have been bred.  But what they don’t mention is that the result, the mule is sterile (and pissed off about it as a rule).  I don’t know about the fertility of lion and tiger blends.  Maybe someone out there does.  But it makes me wonder if homo Sapiens bred with near Chimpanzees, if there may have been a nearer to human product that could have borne offspring.  This doesn’t mean that they were an established species as the Neanderthal has been established.  So it makes me wonder why they leap to the conclusion or feel the need to hijack the appellation “Neanderthal” as if to give their discover more legitimacy, but also create the unestablished illusion that it must have been a comparable phenomena species when there is no reason to conclude that yet.

    •  A lion and a tiger can breed and produce a healthy offspring known as a “liger.”  Ligers are bigger than both lions and tigers but exist only in zoos.  They are pretty awesome looking to boot.

      • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

         Okay, but that wasn’t my question.  The article states that lions and tigers have been bred.  My question was CAN THEY BREED?  Can “ligers” breed?

        • robinbishop34


          • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

             Concise and possibly flippant reply.  So we could postulate that this reported finding might be a product of an “unnatural” breeding attempt.  We know that present day copulation with apes has occurred in Africa  I the limits of their analysis shows some PC  training as I hinted at initially.

      • LaSantaHermandad

        Isn’t it true that they can’t reproduce?  Mules can’t reproduce.

  • KenelmDigby

    So, basically science is telling us that the differences between races are very ancient and profound – quite the opposite of the ‘young Out of Africa’ theory that was so bombastically pushed a few years ago.
       – The implications for political nationalism and immigrationpolicy are profound too, except the fact we have brainless morons running the western world.

  • Nope.  It’s just a social construct.

  • JohnEngelman

    Modern humans evolved in Africa 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. 50,00 to 70,000 years ago one hundred to several hundred of them left Africa. To a very limited extent they exchanged genes with more primitive sub species of humans who were descended from at least one earlier migration from Africa.
    It is reasonable to assume that after the evolution of modern humans in Africa a more primitive sub species of humans continued to live in Africa, and mated with the modern humans on a limited basis before becoming extinct. 

  • Most White people know this, on instinctive level:

  • frmore

    Here is a good blog:

    See Skhul, Qafzeh specimens. These are in addition to habilis, egaster, erectus. 

    As far as african brains go, they are visibly different from the brains of asians or caucasians. 

    Long ago I had a dental lab. The teeth of blacks were immediately differentiated  from other races. I never had to see the patient to know. They are very different humans. 

  • Southern__Hoosier

    “In 1977, researcher J. Michael Bedford discovered that human sperm could penetrate the protective outer membranes of a gibbon egg. Bedford’s paper also stated that human spermatozoa would not even attach to the zona surface of non-hominoid primates (baboon, rhesus monkey, and squirrel monkey), concluding that although the specificity of human spermatozoa is not confined to man alone, it probably is restricted to the Hominoidea.

    In 2006, research suggested that after the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees diverged into two distinct lineages, inter-lineage sex was still sufficiently common that it produced fertile hybrids for around 1.2 million years after the initial split. I would guess, based on past experiences, that most societies have a taboo on bestiality in order to prevent an animal/human hybrid from being produced.  Just look at the ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek religions. They had all sorts of animal/human hybrids.  That idea may have come from  past experiences.

  • Bluto

    Thomas, Thomas Jefferson is that you?

    He said the same thing many years ago and he was as right then as YOU are today.
    I am not saying the negro is not worthy of life because they are.
    What I am saying is we can never live among them as our equals because they are not.

    • robinbishop34

       I believe Albert Schweitzer also said something similar after devoting his entire life to the people of Africa. Of course he had to recant and it was scrubbed from his writings later on.

  • Church_of_Jed

    One day during our lifetimes, genetic science will so irrefutably demolish all the Lies about Human Equality and Oneness that just discussing or knowing the facts will be a Hate Crime against Progress, Understanding, Transformational Diversity Leadership, and Anti White Privilege.

    • haroldcrews

      And if the Western geneticist are too whipped to do or publish the research the Chinese researchers aren’t.

  • mikejones91

    ahaha well done sir. You have made my night. Which as it turns out was going pretty shitty so thank you! Romney 2012—Yes WE Will.

  • CuriousQuisling

    So if I am understanding this right, we are all hybrids, part homosapiens and part something else. And the something else is what helps determine our race?

  • CuriousQuisling

    And Bantus are the only pure homosapiens?

  • JohnEngelman

    I barely understood that link. If you can explain it in your own words, please do so. 
    According to the Out of Africa theory we Caucasians get over 95 percent  of our distinctively human genes from one to several hundred Africans who left Africa from fifty to seventy thousand years ago. 
    The Out of Africa theory is the current scientific consensus. Nevertheless, it is unpopular with many who post on American Renaissance because it means that their ancestors fifty thousand years ago would not have been served in most Southern restaurants fifty years ago. This is because they would have looked Negro rather than Nordic.   Nordic characteristics evolved much more recently, out of Africa. 

  • “These genetic leftovers do not resemble DNA from any modern-day
    humans. The foreign DNA also does not resemble Neanderthal DNA, which
    shows up in the DNA of some modern-day Europeans, Akey said. That means
    the newly identified DNA came from an unknown group.
    “We’re calling this a Neanderthal sibling species in Africa,” Akey said.”

    This does not make any sense: first, they say this new group’s DNA “does not resemble” DNA from modern humans or Neanderthals. Next they decide to call them “a Neanderthal sibling species.” ??? Do not siblings genetically “resemble” one another?

    Why are they trying to make it seem like this ancestor of Africans, but not of Asians or Caucasians, is similar/equivalent to Neanderthals, an ancestor of Asians and Caucasians, but not of Africans?

  • LaSantaHermandad

    You are SOOOOOO RIGHT!

  • What is wrong with the Negroes anyway?