Are you a Neanderthal?
It is believed that around 60,000 years ago our ancestors began to migrate out of Africa and into Asia and Europe.
What many people don’t know is that they probably weren’t alone on this journey.
Our now-extinct hominid cousins, the Neanderthals and the Denisovans, also appear to have made the same journey, though not at the same time.
Hominids are the biological family we are part of. It is a group of related species, and includes those living today or and many others that are now extinct.
Hominids include the Great Apes (chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans) as well as humans. It also includes extinct species as well (like the Neanderthals and Denisovans).
It is believed that because humans and Neanderthals were descended from the same ancient hominid that we were able to interbreed.
This meant that some Neanderthal DNA was introduced into our gene pool. Many European and Asian people have between 1 and 4% Neanderthal DNA.
But indigenous sub-Saharan Africans have no Neanderthal DNA at all. This is because their ancestors didn’t migrate out of Africa and have a chance to cross paths with our long, lost cousins.