DNA preserved in ancient bones and teeth has recently helped scientists reconstruct how groups of ancient humans migrated and mingled, and a new study now does the same thing for Neanderthals.
Neanderthals lived in Eurasia for around 400,000 years, and it would be a huge stretch to assume they spent all that time as one big homogeneous population or that different groups of Neanderthals never migrated and mixed.
Thanks to ancient DNA, we can now begin to see how Neanderthal groups moved around Eurasia long before Homo sapiens entered the mix.
Evolutionary geneticist Stéphane Peyrégne and his colleagues recently sequenced DNA from two Neanderthals, both just over 120,000 years old.
They belonged to two distinct groups of Neanderthals that last shared a common ancestor sometime between 130,000 and 145,000 years ago.
It's also not very surprising that Scladina and HST have a lot of alleles in common with a Neanderthal who lived at Vindija Cave in Croatia 50,000 years ago.