Mar 17, 2012

Human evolution out of Africa: the role of refugia and climate change

Science
John R Stewart, Chris B Stringer

Abstract

Although an African origin of the modern human species is generally accepted, the evolutionary processes involved in the speciation, geographical spread, and eventual extinction of archaic humans outside of Africa are much debated. An additional complexity has been the recent evidence of limited interbreeding between modern humans and the Neandertals and Denisovans. Modern human migrations and interactions began during the buildup to the Last Glacial Maximum, starting about 100,000 years ago. By examining the history of other organisms through glacial cycles, valuable models for evolutionary biogeography can be formulated. According to one such model, the adoption of a new refugium by a subgroup of a species may lead to important evolutionary changes.

Mentioned in this Paper

Extinction, Species
Hybridization, Intraspecies
Biological Adaptation
Genus Homo
Phylogeography
Subgroup A Nepoviruses
Neanderthals
Climate Change
Population Spatial Distribution
Biological Evolution

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