When We Met Other Human Species

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  • Published on:  Tuesday, July 9, 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: https://252mya.com/

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/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: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h8iVAIugVPfxOcCZKeZxtZfa6mNP8V7xMhS_vxmDRl0/edit?usp=sharing
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  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons  3 months ago +964

    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)

  • Anke
    Anke  6 minutes ago

    Interesting video!
    Though, there's a theory that says Homo sapiens caused the downfall of both Neanderthals and homo erectus as well right? It says something about Homo sapiens migration to Eurasia wich caused wars over land with the Neanderthals, and sapiens couldn't win it until the cognitive revolution, if I remember correctly. Some even think both the theory of interbreeding and the us-killing-them-one could have happened at the same time. I don't think either of these possibilities have been debunked right? Tho I haven't been very up to date. A video about these theories would be interesting to see as well! :)

  • The Streak
    The Streak  10 minutes ago

    I used to think that a species was defined by fertility. If two animals can produce a fertile offspring, the they were the same species. I'm glad to learn this isn't true....all these human species could mate and their offspring are fertile.


    I have NO idea where I got that thing about species. Superstitions die hard, I guess.

  • James McHarry
    James McHarry  2 hours ago

    About the no violence part, I’ve read there is evidence in The Neanderthal caves in Spain of Homo sapiens killing and eating Neanderthals.

  • Billy Jackson
    Billy Jackson  2 hours ago

    Could the Neanderthals actually be the Anunaki in some languages?.

  • Billy Jackson
    Billy Jackson  2 hours ago

    This is why we have found no missing link. We are the missing links.

  • Billy Jackson
    Billy Jackson  2 hours ago

    I find it unlikely anything off this world looks anything like us. Modern Humans are descended from 3 species

  • Churlz
    Churlz  2 hours ago

    So even with other human species, we screwed them over. SMH

  • Bakunawa BenHierro

    back when elves orcs dwarfs hobbits goblins existed :D

  • spill n't
    spill n't  2 hours ago

    Looks like women didn't exist in prehistoric times according to the pictures in this video 😂

  • Awesome Wirama
    Awesome Wirama  3 hours ago +1

    Death by Snu Snu.....

  • Xander Zyle Bercasio

    'what are you doing stepnean? '

  • pauldh62
    pauldh62  4 hours ago

    We know that the Neanderthals were not made extinct, they were assimilated.

  • Sea_Air_Ahhh
    Sea_Air_Ahhh  4 hours ago

    All my life, I've been pronouncing Neanderthal incorrectly? NeanderTALL? I won't stand for this.

  • Queen Chy
    Queen Chy  5 hours ago

    Unless someone was rapped by a Neanderthal

  • Predator_Taha
    Predator_Taha  5 hours ago

    So the reason we exist is that we were a bunch of horny tribes roaming the world with our smart brains and technology while raping whatever 2 legged creature stands in front of us. Nice

  • Iqbal Fauzan
    Iqbal Fauzan  5 hours ago

    Maybe this is a dumb question, but why were they considered a different species instead of different race?

  • Keowar
    Keowar  8 hours ago +1

    alternate title: "Neanderthals: A Species' death by Snu-Snu"

  • Deus Vult
    Deus Vult  9 hours ago

    I bet that if Neanderthals survived, we would hold them as slaves now or they us...OR maybe we would give a continent to every kind of human.

  • 吴裕泉
    吴裕泉  9 hours ago

    come on,we both know that we have killed them all。