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Humans and Neanderthals: An ancient love story 现代人和穴居人:远古爱情故事

科学家说,尼安德特人和现代人类祖先之间的异血缘性接触比我们原先的印象要更早。从一名尼安德特人染色体里发现的现代人祖先的 DNA 痕迹说明,现代人类祖先 与尼安德特人开始交配融合的时间比已知时间要早四万年。以下是 BBC Rebecca Morelle 的报道:

The ancient remains of a female Neanderthal found in a remote cave in the mountains of Siberia are the source of the latest revelations about the sex lives of our ancestors. Hidden within her genome are traces of DNA from modern humans which reveal a genetic crossover that took place 100,000 years ago.

It means that we were interbreeding with our heavy-browed, stocky and now extinct relatives much earlier than was thought. Previous research had suggested that the two species first mixed about 60,000 years ago when humans migrated out of Africa and started to spread around the world. As they left the continent they met and mingled with the Neanderthals, who lived across Europe and Asia.

But the finding that interbreeding took place tens of thousands of years before suggests that some early humans left Africa way ahead of the crowds. However the circumstances behind these early interspecies encounters remain unclear and whether they took place by choice or by force is not known.

词汇表

remote 遥远的,偏远的
ancestors 祖先
crossover 交叉
extinct 绝种的,已经灭绝的
migrated 迁徙,移居
mingled 融合,(此处)交配
circumstances 境况,情形

测验

请听报道并回答下列问题。

1. When did interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals first take place?

2. Where did humans meet the Neanderthals?

3. What does the reporter mean by "ahead of the crowds"?

4. Were humans forced to interbreed with Neanderthals?

答案

1. When did interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals first take place?
According to new research, 100,000 years ago.

2. Where did humans meet the Neanderthals?
They met in Europe and Asia, where the Neanderthals lived.

3. What does the reporter mean by "ahead of the crowds"?
Reporter Rebecca Morelle means that some humans started migrating out of Africa much earlier than the bigger migration which took place later on.

4. Were humans forced to interbreed with Neanderthals?
We don't know for sure. According to the report, the circumstances behind these early encounters are not clear. The researchers don't know whether they took place by choice or by force.

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