Neanderthal inheritance

5 May 2016

At ... Palaeolithic humans and genetics. At the end of the piece we are told there was admixture with Neanderthals around 45,000 years ago. The prehistoric human population had around 3 to 6 per cent of Neanderthal DNA. Today, this has declined as Neanderthal DNA is slightly toxic to modern humans (or some of us it seems). Natural selection is removing Neanderthal ancestry - which makes you wonder why it has taken so long to diminish to 2 per cent. Is it possible Neanderthal or Homo erectus DNA was once much more plentiful in prehistoric humans. Only a small sample of genetic material is available.