Have you ever wondered if Neanderthals had different ethnicities? Or whether they could have had different pigmentation, like modern humans? Well, in this video, we’ll be exploring the evidence for and against the theory that Neanderthals may have had different ethnicities and pigmentation. So join us on this journey into the unknown, and find out if it was possible or not!
To answer this question, we must first understand how modern human populations came to be so diverse. Modern humans descended from a very small population with an effective population —the number of individuals who can bear or father children—of approximately 3,000 to 12,000 approximately. Proto-Neanderthals and early Neanderthals living before the Eemian interglacial (130,000 years ago), are poorly known and come mostly from fossilized bones found in Europe.
Recent research has shown that modern humans underwent a population bottleneck around 70-50 thousand years ago due to climate change. This is when the effective population size dropped to about 10,000 individuals. Because of this bottleneck effect, a few genetic variants were favored over others as they allowed for better adaptation to their environment – for example lighter skin color which allows for more vitamin D absorption from sunlight. This could explain why there is so much variation among human populations today.
It is theorized that Neanderthals also underwent a similar population bottleneck during the same time period due to similar environmental pressures caused by climate change. If this is true then it stands to reason that they would have experienced some degree of genetic drift – natural selection favoring certain genetic variants over others – resulting in changes in physical features such as pigmentation and facial features like those observed in modern day humans.
In conclusion, we cannot definitively say whether or not Neanderthals had different ethnicities or pigmentation like modern day humans do; however there is evidence to suggest that it was possible given their small population size at the time and their potential exposure to environmental pressures from climate change. It’s an interesting topic to explore further as new evidence comes forward! We hope you enjoyed learning more about this fascinating topic with us!