Early European Homo Sapiens Without a Chin?

Thought this one was especially interesting and some of you would think so too.

We’re left with two possibilities. Banyoles may represent a hybrid individual between H. sapiens and a non-Neandertal archaic human lineage. This scenario might account for the absence of the chin as well as the lack of any other Neandertal features in Banyoles. However, scientists haven’t identified any such non-Neandertal archaic group in the fossil record of the European Late Pleistocene (129,000-11,700 years ago), making this hypothesis less likely.

Alternatively, Banyoles may document a previously unknown lineage of largely chinless H. sapiens in Europe. Possible support for this hypothesis comes from the fact that early H. sapiens fossils from Africa and the Middle East show a less prominent chin than do living humans.

Additionally, ancient DNA research has shown that H. sapiens populations in Europe before 35,000 years ago did not contribute to the modern European gene pool. Thus, we believe the least unlikely hypothesis is that Banyoles represents an individual from one of these early H. sapiens populations.

I have not heard of this fossil. But sure, it could be a hybrid between our sub-species and neanderthals, among other possibilities. An attempt could be made to recover DNA from it, likely from a tooth where DNA is is best protected. After all this time it should be contaminated with DNA from modern humans, but if they find “other” DNA, that would be very informative.

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