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Featured Article: Neanderthal

Neanderthal range
Neanderthal or Neandertal is a relatively recent extinct member of the Homo genus that inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia in the middle to late Pleistocene, first appearing in the fossil record some 200,000 to 400,000 years ago and disappearing about 30,000 years ago. They are a sister group of present-day humans, with whom they came in contact during the later part of their history, from at least 80,000 years ago, and by whom they were displaced.

Sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has suggested that Neanderthals, modern humans, and another hominid known as Denisovans descended from a common ancestor several hundred thousand years ago (perhaps 350,000 to 500,000 years ago). The branch giving rise to the Neanderthal/Denisovan lineage is theorized to have migrated from Africa and shortly thereafter split into Neaderthals (which settled in Europe and Western Asia) and Denisovans (which settled further to the east). Later, anatomically modern humans left Africa (perhaps as recently as 50,000 to 100,000 years ago). Distinct Neanderthal DNA found in the genome of living humans has suggested subsequent interbreeding among anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals.