When We Met Other Human Species

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  • Published: 10 July 2019
  • We all belong to the only group of hominins on the planet today. But we weren’t always alone. 100,000 years ago, Eurasia was home to other hominin species, some of which we know our ancestors met, and spent some quality time with.

    Thanks to Julio Lacerda and Fabrizio de Rossi from Studio 252mya for their wonderful hominin illustrations. You can find more of their work here: 252mya.com/

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: teamrock.pro/user/pbsdigitalstudios

    Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:
    Katie Fichtner, Anthony Callaghan, MissyElliottSmith, The Scintillating Spencer, AA, Zachary Spencer, Stefan Weber, Ilya Murashov, Charles Kahle, Robert Amling, Po Foon Kwong, Larry Wilson, Merri Snaidman, John Vanek, Neil H. Gray, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, الخليفي سلطان, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Philip Slingerland, Jose Garcia, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Alex Yan

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    References: docs.google.com/document/d/1h8iVAIugVPfxOcCZKeZxtZfa6mNP8V7xMhS_vxmDRl0/edit?usp=sharing
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 5 476

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   3 months back

    Some commenters have pointed out that calling Neanderthals and Denisovans “other hominin species” in this episode breaks the rules of the biological species concept (BSC), which says if two things can interbreed, then they’re the same species. Some paleoanthropologists would agree. They consider both Neanderthals and Denisovans to be subspecies of Homo sapiens, rather than separate species. Other experts would say that Neanderthals have a set of features that make them clearly distinguishable from Homo sapiens, putting them outside the range of variation we include in our species. And we hardly know the Denisovans - like we said in the video, they don’t even have a scientific name yet.


    The incredible thing about this is that we can even think about applying the BSC to fossils at all. The BSC is a species concept based on living organisms, and it’s only been within the last two decades or so that we’ve had the ancient DNA and the technology to test hypotheses about interbreeding in extinct groups. And it’s not the only way to define a species, either, so it will likely be a while (if ever) before anthropologists decide whether we’re a different species, subspecies, or population from the Neanderthals and Denisovans.


    (Darcy Shapiro, PhD, script editor)

    • Tague Relyea
      Tague Relyea  2 days back

      Denisovens we’re probably hot

    • Tague Relyea
      Tague Relyea  2 days back

      Ever hear of a fckn chiweenie? How bout a labradoodle?

    • rh1507
      rh1507  2 weeks back

      It seems illogical that our species could successfully breed with a different biped species. Of course there are several variations of our species but we are all of the same species.

    • Adela Hogarth
      Adela Hogarth  2 weeks back

      They weren't different species.

      I'm a reptile handler enthusiast in Australia and there's perfect examples of one species looking so radically different, with vastly different hunting strategies, egg-clutching behaviour, and general size and appearance ... and yet they're the same species.

      The common carpet python and the diamond python.

      Both of them morelia spilota...


      Their personalities, colouration, hunting strategies, and even their average clutch sizes are wildly divergent.

      Both of them interbreed and produce fertile young. Both of them produce hybrids. That being said, in the wild they had become geographically locked into different environments with the Holocene epoch, and over thousands of generations have become very different looking and behaviourally incongruent subspecies of the whole.

      And these differences are worlds apart on their own, just not enough to create two distinct species.

      Another common example? Dogs. All of them have been carefully bred and undertaken significant animal husbandry that you can have dogs the size of your hand, to dogs that weigh as much as a person. Still the same species.

    • ChickenFish
      ChickenFish  3 weeks back

      @Olav big cats can breed even hybrid ones male or female.theyre are more likely to be sterile.thats all. and species is a word used to describe compatible breeders. if 2 things can breed they are the same species

  • lucyluna00
    lucyluna00  9 hours back

    Ugh, eww humans, they are still terrible no matter where we evolve...but this was neat!

    • Push Back
      Push Back  19 hours back

      "...an interbreeding event..."

      I'll just leave that there.

      • Carolyn Norton
        Carolyn Norton  23 hours back

        A wonderful and informative presentation. Thank you.

        • Faith T
          Faith T  1 days back

          Maasai in Africa have Neanderthal DNA.

          • Marylou Blackwell
            Marylou Blackwell  1 days back

            Neanderthals lives matter

            • Steve's art n fun channel Stephen hall

              How could u not interbreed. U like what u like.

              • Manuel Popp
                Manuel Popp  2 days back

                If we can interbreed with them, are they even a different species? Or: Are Europeans and Asians even the same species as subsaharean Africans if they differ in particular genes and are mixed with neanderthals?

                • Penelope Johnson
                  Penelope Johnson  2 days back

                  Who were The First Ancient Cartographers?

                  • 凃孝霖
                    凃孝霖  3 days back

                    I've always been curious, there's no way our ancestors could ever tell that other hominid species were separate species when they encountered each other no?

                    • Mazing Worldof Megan
                      Mazing Worldof Megan  4 days back

                      Do you think having one type of DNA would explain why we have different ways of thinking

                      • Mediocre
                        Mediocre  4 days back

                        Why are the different races of humans not treated as separate sub species? They’re obviously distinct and evolved and adapted in their own different environment, I mean humans change and evolve just like every other animal

                        • Carolyn Reynolds
                          Carolyn Reynolds  4 days back

                          Modern human did not migrate out of Africa. Stop connecting the wrong dots.

                          • Veronica Obiglio
                            Veronica Obiglio  4 days back

                            Intelligence is the difference

                            • Veronica Obiglio
                              Veronica Obiglio  4 days back

                              O laimos kondos

                              • Veronica Obiglio
                                Veronica Obiglio  4 days back

                                They couldnt speak
                                And move the arms like us

                                • Ezekiel James
                                  Ezekiel James  4 days back

                                  Dude, there is no 100000000000 years.. Your evolution theory is failing and there is no solid proof of just one occurrence of it even happening..

                                  Creation Creation Creation..

                                  • Dennis Gawera
                                    Dennis Gawera  20 hours back

                                    You apparently have a double dose of Neanderthal DNA.

                                • LLO
                                  LLO  4 days back

                                  Gee humans mated with other hominids...Hell humans screw sheep and goats. I've been saying that if we were compatible it would happen based on what humans do now. I've been saying this for 30 years! Why would a human male kill a woman he can have sex with when there were VERY FEW hominids!

                                  • The Garden Prophet
                                    The Garden Prophet  4 days back

                                    They probably disappeared from being hunted. Humans have quite the history of doing that.

                                    • Mma Series
                                      Mma Series  4 days back

                                      Isnt it crazy how you can get to know so much information from the internet. I Mean our generation Are going to be so clever and have deep knowledge, only a scientist would have known thesr things 30 years ago.

                                      • Tito Burney
                                        Tito Burney  4 days back

                                        How much modern human DNA has been found in non modern human specimens. I have a theory that modern humans screwed and out screw our ancestors and cousins into extinction. Climate change a factor an well. But the fact that mitochondrial DNA was found suggest that we were sticking it to everything we could and population estimates suggest that the other humans weren't spreading their seed as prolifically. Therefore unable to keep up with our reproductive rates and falling victim to humanoid lust eventually were absorbed into the modern human species. One can also argue that were a subclass of the same species since we could successfully reproduce without producing sterile offspring. Hmmm, one to grow on.

                                        • Peter Amarillo
                                          Peter Amarillo  4 days back

                                          Great video

                                          • blisscick
                                            blisscick  5 days back

                                            There is to many questions

                                            • Dennis Gawera
                                              Dennis Gawera  20 hours back

                                              There are too many questions. Are you a blond Neanderthal ?
                                              That's one of the questions.

                                          • Beaux Dup
                                            Beaux Dup  5 days back

                                            Scientist A, "hey I found a coupe bones", Scientist B "what are they from? "Scientist A "I am not sure yet, but they look like ape bones," Scientist B" just a few bones look like ape bones?" Scientist A no but there are so many easily deceived people who are willfully ignorant and ready to believe anything that they will accept this knowledge as fact! "Scientist B" oh yeah those democrats will believe anything, maybe you can convince them to sell their soul, kill their babies, worship idols, pedophiles, actors, pop singers, athletes, money, themselves, and maybe even Bernie Sanders? Scientist A, nah just the bones for now, your going too far!

                                            • blisscick
                                              blisscick  5 days back

                                              So question since the Neanderthals headlong gated skulls and they were not from Africa then why did the Egyptians worship this elongated skull. Why did wrap their infants heads to make them elongated?

                                              • rakification
                                                rakification  5 days back

                                                Just to add: the narrative about the lack of Neanderthals genomes in sub Sahara Africa is not correct, because of many back migrations from Eurasia to Africa. It's obviously with the people in Eritrea and some Ethiopian folks, but also in Nigeria, South Africa etc are tribes with Eurasian ancestry DNA from breeding, especially in the last 6000 years.

                                                • Ding Dong
                                                  Ding Dong  6 days back

                                                  I dont belive all the Neanderthals and homosepians breeded together. How many times did they fight against each other. I think homosepians have been around since the Jurassic age.

                                                  • Jackson V
                                                    Jackson V  6 days back

                                                    Those holes in the top of some of the skulls were evidence that a surgery was performer to get demons out.

                                                    • BlackSuave44
                                                      BlackSuave44  6 days back

                                                      Am I the only one annoyed by him saying 'Neander TALLS'??

                                                      I'm pretty sure it's OK to include the 'h' in Neanderthals.

                                                      • MusicIsSoMuchFun Piano

                                                        And that's why some of us can swim in the arctic ocean in winter, while others can run 4:00 miles for a marathon in the heat. The end...

                                                        • Brandon Castle
                                                          Brandon Castle  1 weeks back

                                                          OOOOORRRRRRRR, evolution!

                                                          • oldcowbb
                                                            oldcowbb  1 weeks back

                                                            imagine how bad racism will be if other hominin still exist

                                                            • Feiner Fug
                                                              Feiner Fug  6 days back

                                                              That would be „speciesism“, then :-)

                                                          • zoky Zura
                                                            zoky Zura  1 weeks back

                                                            Wow this videos tell you so much about whole lot of nothing.

                                                            • ZERO TWO Eto
                                                              ZERO TWO Eto  1 weeks back

                                                              i am not alone i got my mama

                                                              • Eli Amos
                                                                Eli Amos  1 weeks back

                                                                Neanderthals On Corsica Cool!!

                                                                • Hero4fun
                                                                  Hero4fun  1 weeks back

                                                                  I think my neighbour is a neanderthal, he looks exactly like the description from this video. Why should I do? Should I Call the police or capture him myself, show him to the world and win a nobel price?

                                                                  • Craig Banholzer
                                                                    Craig Banholzer  1 weeks back

                                                                    Is there a reason that the family tree is upside down in this presentation? At first, it seemed to represent two groups integrating in recent times.

                                                                    • Tom Fuller
                                                                      Tom Fuller  1 weeks back

                                                                      PBS could mess up a one naked man parade in a ghost town.

                                                                      • sherman squires
                                                                        sherman squires  1 weeks back

                                                                        Have we really discovered fossils of Neanderthals? They are found in stone, right?

                                                                        • Skyler Arroniz
                                                                          Skyler Arroniz  1 weeks back

                                                                          Waite so the neanderthals mated with other humanoids in Siberia so then who are their ancestors. Where they already their or did they migrate?

                                                                          If they where already there then this whole life stared in Africa is not completely correct

                                                                          • Sterling Pickens
                                                                            Sterling Pickens  1 weeks back

                                                                            Which other humanoids/hominins, besides neanderthals and denisovans, did we interbreed with ?
                                                                            How many different humanoids/hominins lived during the same time as us ? it seems like it's not explored, but "others" is mentioned.

                                                                            • rationalguy
                                                                              rationalguy  1 weeks back

                                                                              Pretty sure I have perhaps a bit more Neanderthal admixture than many. Northern European. prominent brow ridges. receding chin. Basically a troll.

                                                                              • Tommy Davies
                                                                                Tommy Davies  1 weeks back

                                                                                we aren't the only ones there is so much complication and congregation and dilemmas all affecting the bigger picture

                                                                                • Tom Downer
                                                                                  Tom Downer  1 weeks back

                                                                                  I wonder if, say, the Neanderthals weren't completely wiped out, that we would have still bred with them enough that we'd end up merging our species together?

                                                                                  • J. Brice
                                                                                    J. Brice  1 weeks back

                                                                                    i thought homo sapiens hunted the Neanderthals to the brink of extinction

                                                                                    • The Skipper
                                                                                      The Skipper  2 weeks back

                                                                                      He’s dressed like a 7 year old boy on the first day of school.

                                                                                    • PiousMoltar
                                                                                      PiousMoltar  2 weeks back

                                                                                      "No evidence of violence"
                                                                                      You know what humans are like right? Look at all the wars that have been fought in known history. Now throw another SPECIES of human into the mix. One that seemed to live a hunter gatherer lifestyle. Duh.

                                                                                      • Bodfishblues
                                                                                        Bodfishblues  2 weeks back

                                                                                        What about Bigfoot?