European Neanderthals were fair skinned, freckled and had ginger hairDecember 30th, 2008 - 12:56 pm ICT by ANI
London, Dec 30 (ANI): Spanish scientists have discovered the blood group and two other genes of the early humans who lived 43,000 ago, which suggests that Neanderthals living in Europe were fair skinned, freckled and had ginger hair.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the gene known as MC1R suggests the Neanderthals had fair skin and even freckles like redheads.
After analyzing the fossil bones found in a cave in north-west Spain, the experts concluded that the Neanderthals had human blood group O and were genetically more likely to be fair skinned, perhaps even with freckles, have red or ginger hair and could talk.
The investigating team from Spains government scientific institute, CSIC, used the very latest forensic techniques to remove the bones for analysis to prevent them getting contaminated with modern DNA.
What we were trying to do was to create the most realistic image of the Neanderthals with details that are not visible in the fossils, but which form part of their identity, said Carles Lalueza, an evolutionary biologist with the investigation.
The Spanish scientists also describe how they also discovered two other genes.
One gene known as MC1R suggests the Neanderthals had fair skin and even freckles like redheads.
Another, a variety of FOXP2, is related to speaking and the capacity to create a language and therefore suggests they could communicate orally.
The report concludes that, These results suggest the genetic change responsible for the O blood group in humans predates the human and Neanderthal divergence, but came after humans separated from their common ancestor - chimpanzees. (ANI)
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Tags: blood group, chimpanzees, common ancestor, csic, divergence, early humans, evolutionary biologist, forensic techniques, fossil bones, foxp2, freckles, genetic change, ginger hair, human blood, mc1r, neanderthals, north west spain, realistic image, redheads, spanish scientists