Image of the Day: Delayed Gratification

Eighty years ago, a Neanderthal femur dating back more than 120,000 years was recovered from a Southwestern Germany cave. Now, the ancient bone reveals new clues about the bedfellows of human ancestors. 

Jul 7, 2017
The Scientist Staff

Hohlenstein-Stadel Cave in Southwestern Germany, where an ancient, 124,000-year-old hominin femur was excavated in 1937

© PHOTO MUSEUM ULM

   In a study published this week (July 4) in Nature Communications, mitochondrial DNA from a Neanderthal femur, unearthed in 1937 from a Southwestern Germany cave, sheds light on the migration and mating patterns of human ancestors.

See “Neanderthal-Human Interbreeding Got an Early Start

124,000-year-old Neanderthal femur

OLEG KUCHAR © PHOTO MUSEUM ULM

    See C. Posth et al., “Deeply divergent archaic mitochondrial genome provides lower time boundary for African gene flow into Neanderthals,” Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms16046, 2017.