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
  • Source: https://youtu.be/jdYwMLSNHnU


  • PBS Eons

    PBS Eons

     2 months ago +763

    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)

  • Wali Qadri

    Wali Qadri

     3 minutes ago

    If you check the Gnome of a fkn Goat, we have interbreded with them too.

  • Lynn Troller

    Lynn Troller

     5 hours ago

    One day, the whole world will MARVEL at the height and depth and magnitude of the deception that is the transpeciation evolutionism religion.

  • Cate


     7 hours ago

    It’s leviOsa, not levioSA.

  • PyroMancer2k


     8 hours ago

    I think we mated them to death. :)

    After all if you merge two populations the larger one's DNA is going to remain predominant, unless the smaller one has some huge advantage. There was likely some tribe mergers along with that interbreeding and as the migrating human numbers increased you have several Neanderthals breeding with humans so their children are 1/2 Neanderthals and those kids also mate with human making their children 1/4 Neanderthal, followed by 1/8, 1/16, and so on.

    A slow gradual extinction which replaces them over time.

  • Jokester Weeb

    Jokester Weeb

     11 hours ago

    if i could choose a superpower, it would be to open windows in space that shows snippets of history thousands or hundreds of thousands of years ago. I just love imagining what once were, and the civilisations of ancient people. At the same time, it also feels sad that all of that history is lost in time. Seeing ancient structures gives me a sense of nostalgia for what was once there, despite obviously never having been related to it.

  • 羅百尉


     15 hours ago

    EPAS1 actually gives Tibetans a lower level of hemoglobin levels

  • raju lasser

    raju lasser


    I have an oval shaped skull and I'm offended

  • kweassa



    Thanks for the diabetes, uncle Nean.

  • F H W

    F H W

     2 days ago

    We are Hybrids

  • lucyluna00


     2 days ago

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

  • Push Back

    Push Back

     3 days ago +4

    "...an interbreeding event..."

    I'll just leave that there.

  • Carolyn Norton

    Carolyn Norton

     3 days ago

    A wonderful and informative presentation. Thank you.

  • Faith T

    Faith T

     3 days ago

    Maasai in Africa have Neanderthal DNA.

  • Marylou Blackwell

    Marylou Blackwell

     4 days ago

    Neanderthals lives matter

  • Steve's art n fun channel Stephen hall

    Steve's art n fun channel Stephen hall

     4 days ago

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

  • Manuel Popp

    Manuel Popp

     4 days ago

    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

     4 days ago +2

    Who were The First Ancient Cartographers?

  • 凃孝霖


     5 days ago

    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

     6 days ago

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