When We Met Other Human Species

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  • Published: 10 July 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: 252mya.com/

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: office-2016.info/user/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: docs.google.com/document/d/1h8iVAIugVPfxOcCZKeZxtZfa6mNP8V7xMhS_vxmDRl0/edit?usp=sharing
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 5 951

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   4 months back

    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)

    • Barlett Sangma
      Barlett Sangma  3 days back

      Denisovan gene pool may also be found in "Garo/A'chik" tribe of garo hills in Meghalaya state of India

    • Wendy Gold
      Wendy Gold  3 days back

      Thing is, we vary only 1% from chimps, but vary 2-5% from subsaharan Africans. In fact, the rh factor prevents a lot of breeding, so we might say that subsaharan Africans might be a different species too, as well as rh factor zero. Limited breeding IS a factor in establishing species, and an African from subsahara probably can't make live offspring with a Basque.

    • Bill Keck
      Bill Keck  5 days back

      Sometimes I wonder. If a paleontologist found fossils in different parts of the world would they classify Pygmies (about 4 ft tall( as the same species as Zulus (about 7 ft tall.) What about Bushmen of the Kalahari, or Asians, say Japanese. or Australian Aborigines. Or Mayans? Would these all be classified as the same "species"? Again, remember, I talking about dead fossils.
      I recently saw an Tyrannosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural, where they've recently identified that small T-Rex-like "species" are actually the same species of Tyrannosaurus Rex, but at different ages: baby, adolescent, young adult, adult.

    • Alex2149
      Alex2149  5 days back

      PBS Eons γες

    • pauldh62
      pauldh62  7 days back

      @Flightrisk When we have thoroughly aired this one 50 to 100 years from now I reckon there will be several more brothers or sister human species discovered, all assimilated with Sapiens Sapiens.

  • Louisa Clark
    Louisa Clark  2 hours back

    It's self-explainatory, these humans could not exist, look at how today racism still happening - among Homo sapiens itself. 🤷‍♀️

    • Nikki Berry
      Nikki Berry  8 hours back

      So basically, our species survived because we swiped right on everyone we came across.

      • Wexter300
        Wexter300  12 hours back

        I'm glad my tax money is going to this, keep it up!

        • Aung Zeya
          Aung Zeya  13 hours back

          So, Homo Sapiens survived because they weren't racist? Kinda ironic, isn't it. When you look at what happening in today's world and also look at our recorded history.

          • THEL0NEARRANGER
            THEL0NEARRANGER  17 hours back

            Where is your PROOF these creatures had man BUNS?

            • hawktalon
              hawktalon  1 days back

              Sooooooo, we're like rabbits?

              • Ryan Johnston
                Ryan Johnston  1 days back

                Do you have Neanderthal in your genes?






                Want some?

                • Aung Zeya
                  Aung Zeya  12 hours back

                  That's a smart booty call.

              • KJ Ron
                KJ Ron  1 days back

                i wonder if you genes allow us to just constantly mix, is there a limit to this before it just breaks down? Maybe that will be humankinds extinction

                • Banathi Nkehli
                  Banathi Nkehli  2 days back

                  racism would be so weird had these humans lived to the modern era.

                  • gillette match 3
                    gillette match 3  2 days back

                    when racism was born

                    • Victoria Papesh
                      Victoria Papesh  2 days back

                      Cool video 👍

                      • imran Shorkar
                        imran Shorkar  3 days back

                        A very cool topic for a movie. Why don't hollywood take this theme? this would be very interesting if there a movie on based of love story between homo sapien and neanderthal.

                        • Anna Cristina Ruiz figuerora

                          Evolution doesn't exist period

                          • Elizabeth Sucher
                            Elizabeth Sucher  3 days back

                            they didn't go extinct. they (neanderthals) were assimilated

                            • Wendy Gold
                              Wendy Gold  3 days back

                              They were rh negative. Low live births.

                              • Andrew G
                                Andrew G  3 days back

                                Shouldn’t the title be “When humans met other human ethnicities”? Pretty sure we are all the same species...

                                • Kiritu George
                                  Kiritu George  3 days back

                                  There was a subspecies of humans that interbred with ancient Africans and their DNA is strong in peoples like Khoisan, Pygmies etc and weak in modern Bantus. This subspecies is similar to the Neanderthals interbreeding with ancient Eurasians. They havent been properly researched though.
                                  Much love from Kenya.

                                  • ・BlacKat・
                                    ・BlacKat・  3 days back

                                    Damn...this makes me wonder how long my bones gonna last.

                                    • Crystal Gem
                                      Crystal Gem  3 days back

                                      Good video. But I have some questions. Sorry if this unravels somebody's research but, why would you assume that since people who are native to sub saharan Africa have no Neanderthal DNA, they never bread with them? If others have 4% or 3% or 2% or 1%, well what comes next in that sequence? Perhaps it has just been bread out. Also, if modern man met Neanderthals but weren't descended from them before then, who are our ancestors?

                                      • Jermin Sanchez
                                        Jermin Sanchez  4 days back

                                        Anyone else bothered by the fact that he pronounces neanderTHALL as neanderTALL

                                        • plus 4 me daddy
                                          plus 4 me daddy  4 days back

                                          Jokes on you frikkr I’m a Martian

                                          • Nicolas Licastro
                                            Nicolas Licastro  4 days back

                                            -That pseudo-human is pseudo sexy
                                            +So... what are you saying?
                                            -Well it's almost as attractive as my ex now that I hate her...
                                            +Pff, neolitic problems. Look at my alpha males courtship skills

                                            • Florian Müller
                                              Florian Müller  4 days back

                                              Did your cutter / video editor count how many times he used the same illustrations?

                                              • SEEtheREPLAY
                                                SEEtheREPLAY  4 days back

                                                Wait. So there is DNA that can’t be traced to Africa? I thought Africa was the cradle?

                                                • Nefaryus Drake
                                                  Nefaryus Drake  4 days back

                                                  Mating with hominins made Ad-Hominins

                                                  • Jacen Solo
                                                    Jacen Solo  4 days back

                                                    Neanderthals were... BIG BRAIN

                                                    • Dindin Private
                                                      Dindin Private  4 days back

                                                      A bit more proof of hybrid vigour...

                                                      • Axios .king
                                                        Axios .king  4 days back

                                                        Everyone but Africans

                                                        • Jinnie Lee
                                                          Jinnie Lee  4 days back

                                                          this was such a good video

                                                          • richtaco
                                                            richtaco  5 days back

                                                            People just believe whatever scientists say. This is hilarious

                                                            • Sam D
                                                              Sam D  5 days back

                                                              Maybe they didn't die out, maybe we all just made love and there were more homo sapiens than Neanderthals or Denisovans so more of our DNA ended up in the batter.

                                                              • Stinky Hernandez
                                                                Stinky Hernandez  5 days back

                                                                I should be writing a science term paper right now but im watching this

                                                                • peerless sector
                                                                  peerless sector  5 days back

                                                                  I swear he is mispronouncing "Neanderthal"

                                                                  • Dalton Ivey
                                                                    Dalton Ivey  5 days back

                                                                    They were slaves and eventually worked to death.

                                                                    • Armin X
                                                                      Armin X  5 days back

                                                                      Sapiens - Human
                                                                      Florensis - Hobbits
                                                                      Neanderthals - basically dwarfs

                                                                      So basically some of the most prominent species from the Fantasy genre are based on ancient relatives?

                                                                      • WeGotSwag
                                                                        WeGotSwag  5 days back

                                                                        Isn’t it funny how every recreation of the new species look Caucasian

                                                                        • Eshe’s_World
                                                                          Eshe’s_World  5 days back

                                                                          The missing link🤔

                                                                          • Ashadieeyah Sultana
                                                                            Ashadieeyah Sultana  5 days back

                                                                            Personally I think what have Homo sapiens Sapiens (modern humans) an advantage is our ability to adapt rapidly. Wether that’s through more advanced technology or through interbreeding with species adapted to those locations

                                                                            • Robert Ford
                                                                              Robert Ford  5 days back

                                                                              Love this video

                                                                              • rebeccamaria63
                                                                                rebeccamaria63  5 days back

                                                                                Basically, they were ALL HUMANS of SOME kind. Why be so species-ist. They were all conscious hominids. We were just the trickiest, luckiest and probably the most aggressive, lets face it.

                                                                                • Duck Moore
                                                                                  Duck Moore  5 days back

                                                                                  So... Does this mean I’m a “mutt”?

                                                                                  • Duck Moore
                                                                                    Duck Moore  5 days back

                                                                                    So WHO do we blame for the appendix?

                                                                                    • Doctor Medkit
                                                                                      Doctor Medkit  6 days back

                                                                                      It bugs me so much that he keeps saying Neandertalls

                                                                                      • Mojo Dope
                                                                                        Mojo Dope  6 days back

                                                                                        2:30 translates at the top of the bones not the pit of the bones which refers to down.

                                                                                        • Alejo petinato
                                                                                          Alejo petinato  6 days back

                                                                                          hi man awesome video! greatings from argentina! a little CORRECTION: sima de los huesos is not pit of bones, "sima" its the top o a mount or mountain. mi respects! keep doing ur viedos are great!

                                                                                          • christian cravens
                                                                                            christian cravens  6 days back

                                                                                            Holds true today as yesterday...dudes will get freaky with pretty much anything

                                                                                            • Sacha David
                                                                                              Sacha David  6 days back

                                                                                              The lesson of the story is to breed with strangers as much as possible!