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800,000 years ago, humanity danced to the brink of extinction with the galactic sound

800,000 years ago, humanity danced to the brink of extinction with the galactic sound

The skull of Homo heidelbergendis (Photo: Wikipedia)

Archaeological studies revealed that 800-900 thousand years ago, that is, for a period of 117 thousand years, only 1280 human ancestors lived on Earth. That is, the population of the village on the entire planet and on them stood or fellThat our lineage has survived, and therefore Homo sapiens could appear after half a billion years.

For the genetic analysis, the genes of more than 3,000 people living today were compared, and evidence of a so-called evolutionary bottleneck effect was found in them. This means that during the history of the species, due to some external cause (in this case, the climatic conditions are supposed to be very bad), the number of individuals decreases completely. Thus the genetic characteristics of the small number of survivors (those who “fit through the bottleneck” and thus survived) will determine the characteristics of each new individual of the species that begins reproducing after the crisis.

Written by Chinese and Italian scholars, and SciencesAccording to a study published in 2018, this existential crisis created the opportunity for the creation of a new hominid species, Heidelbergian man, which some anthropologists believe may have been the last common ancestor of Homo sapiens and our closest relatives, Neanderthals and Genesovs. Humans. It often happens that a new species is created in small and isolated populations, where it can then begin to develop in a completely new and independent direction.

What’s most shocking about this discovery is not that only 1,280 individuals saved our (soon-to-be) species, but that this state of affairs can persist for an incredibly long time, 117,000 years. This period of time is many times longer than the length of human history that we can see, during which a situation could have arisen many times, such as an epidemic, famine, hurricane, volcanic eruption, or anything that would have wiped out our ancestors completely.

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For the research, the genes of a total of 3,154 people living today from ten African ethnic groups and forty non-African ethnic groups were analyzed. Different versions of the same genes were compared, and from this it was determined when these genes appeared during evolution (the greater the differences in a particular gene, the longer it takes to evolve in different directions, i.e. the older it is). . When they added to that the rate at which new genes appeared, they were able to estimate how the population size of human ancestors changed over hundreds of thousands of years.

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