When We Met Other Human Species

  • 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: lavendercottage.info/user/pbsdigitalstudios

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    References: docs.google.com/document/d/1h8iVAIugVPfxOcCZKeZxtZfa6mNP8V7xMhS_vxmDRl0/edit?usp=sharing
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 5 662

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   3 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)

    • 5kehhn
      5kehhn  8 hours back

      ...dumb humans.

    • Gerben Houtman
      Gerben Houtman  14 hours back

      @Leonie JoHo I haven't seen any reports of "Exclusively human genetic material". In any case there's a big difference between a Bonobo with 24 pairs of chromosomes and humans with 23.

    • Gerben Houtman
      Gerben Houtman  14 hours back

      It's odd that PBS continues to call people "Other hominin species". What's up with that? Does PBS officially endorse the notion that not all people are quite people? Apparently so. The question then becomes, Where does PBS draw the line? Skin color? Eye shape? Stature? We know stage of development makes you vulnerable to death through abortion, a position PBS fully supports. Do people become another species if they get too sick? Take Terry Schiavo for example. Was she just another non-human hominin?

    • Reaper of Souls
      Reaper of Souls  2 days back

      It's sometimes hard to think some people are the same species as me...

    • Sharp Butt Beads
      Sharp Butt Beads  2 days back

      a ho getting knocked up is now a breeding event

  • LionTrader
    LionTrader  5 hours back

    Somewhere a Christian is watching this saying to themselves this is from the devil.

      BENNICHI  5 hours back

      Very recently was found that Neanderthals aren’t extinct, commercial DNA test have produced interesting data

      • Biscuit Gidoni
        Biscuit Gidoni  6 hours back

        The 2.1 k who disliked this where Christians leaving the chat

        • Robert Meza
          Robert Meza  7 hours back

          Have we (humans) ever encountered a group that we didn’t violently compete into oblivion?

          • EyeLean5280
            EyeLean5280  8 hours back

            Oh, I so hate to say this, because I love PBS and Hank Green, but I feel like the drawings used in these could be of higher quality. :(

            • Stefan Schweitzer
              Stefan Schweitzer  12 hours back

              4:58 "homo sapiens bred with Neanderthals several times in different places" ;-D

              • Peddy
                Peddy  14 hours back

                neanderthal females must have been hella thick

                • Bill Boyd
                  Bill Boyd  14 hours back

                  ok, but where did WE come from?

                  • Gerben Houtman
                    Gerben Houtman  15 hours back

                    It's odd that PBS continues to call people "Other hominin species". What's up with that?

                    • Jay The restless
                      Jay The restless  16 hours back

                      Is he saying neandertal?

                      • Ghost_Rip
                        Ghost_Rip  16 hours back

                        so there was a buncha different kind of humans.

                        • Lourine Sarah
                          Lourine Sarah  19 hours back

                          When you regret never paying attention in school so you decide to watch what you can as often as possible so you can learn things.

                        • SpokenMindRecordzEnt
                          SpokenMindRecordzEnt  19 hours back

                          I wonder who's great great great ect ect that is in present day

                          • Zom Bee Nature
                            Zom Bee Nature  1 days back

                            I would like to see a human "gradient" in pictures that shows people of increasing percentage of Neanderthal DNA. I know it only goes up to about 3%, but I still think it would be interesting to see.

                            • D W
                              D W  1 days back

                              So we share a common ancestor and we can breed together and have offspring
                              Why not just call them all humans? Seems silly.

                              • N/a N/a
                                N/a N/a  1 days back


                                • Rumors of WAAAGH
                                  Rumors of WAAAGH  1 days back

                                  When Europeans colonized the Americas they brought with them diseases and viruses that the local populations immune systems were not ready for. I wonder if something like this could have occurred during the age of multi hominid species in Europe and Asia.

                                  • Disaster
                                    Disaster  1 days back

                                    5:37 i thought i had a neanderthal stat2 until u said that oof

                                    • Yusri Amilkassim
                                      Yusri Amilkassim  1 days back

                                      This my fav sleeping video. Just same as bio class... I always got sleepy when my brain burnt by burst of overload information

                                      • Nick Trainor
                                        Nick Trainor  1 days back

                                        Talls or thhhalls y'all????

                                        • DickNixon19
                                          DickNixon19  2 days back

                                          I think it comes down to a question of efficiency. If you look at the build of Neanderthals, their build, bone density, and musculature creates quite a heavy load on nutritional requirements. If at some point such as an ice age limited available food resources, it seems that the Neanderthals would be at the most risk in having sufficient resources to reproduce, grow, and maintain new offspring. Modern humans are super well adapted to various diets and nutritional limitations. With this advantage as well as better communication and possibly better social structures, modern humans would have much greater adaptability to survive nutritional resource bottlenecks in our shared history. Thoughts?

                                          • anonymous ubiquitious
                                            anonymous ubiquitious  2 days back

                                            Global warming killed Neanderthal s. It was their camp fires.

                                            • Erich Dinglefritz
                                              Erich Dinglefritz  2 days back

                                              What about the sexy Neanderthal theory?

                                              • Boi Boi
                                                Boi Boi  2 days back

                                                What about pygmy humans?

                                                • BabasOnkel
                                                  BabasOnkel  2 days back

                                                  We met an other human species the first time we landed in Africa

                                                  • LF3stA20 -
                                                    LF3stA20 -  2 days back

                                                    The “sexy Neanderthal” theory

                                                    • Robert Daniel Curtis
                                                      Robert Daniel Curtis  2 days back

                                                      All neanderthals were built like body builders, so they must have been able to take a hit way better than us. Would be nice to have that trait, modern humans can trip over their own feet and die.

                                                      • Rocky Balboa
                                                        Rocky Balboa  2 days back

                                                        I wonder when the homo sapiens will split into other species

                                                        • Anton Dereke
                                                          Anton Dereke  2 days back

                                                          can you say homo sapiens not modern humans because idk

                                                          • Hera Hagstoz
                                                            Hera Hagstoz  2 days back

                                                            It’s kind of sad when you start to think about this. We had other people who were not “human” in our modern understanding of the word. This is not to say that they were any less sophisticated or less than in any case, but it seems to be incredibly sad that there were other kinds of equally capable populations which had their own languages, mythologies, and characteristics that are just gone now. We are endlessly fascinated by the idea of aliens who might visit us and be as intelligent and yet different. We long for another species to interact with. Maybe this comes from the fact that there absolutely used to be several entirely different species that we obviously had very real and personal relationships with. Now it’s just us, no matter how we try to differentiate between ourselves, it’s just us. I sense that the disappearance of the others left us at a loss somehow. It obviously created a vacuum in our world.

                                                            • Huynherful
                                                              Huynherful  2 days back

                                                              I remember when Neanderthals were seen as inferior beings and got out competed. Now, that westerners and asians are mixed Neanderthals. They were big brain humans with special adaptations.

                                                              • Alexey Gavrikov
                                                                Alexey Gavrikov  2 days back

                                                                So human history is over 100k years old, however we only know about 5k of our history, wtf did people do all that time before?

                                                                • Danny
                                                                  Danny  2 days back

                                                                  Anthony Davis is part neanderthal

                                                                  • sheets0f metal
                                                                    sheets0f metal  2 days back

                                                                    I feel like there's a sense of forceful interbreeding vibe going on back in those days....

                                                                    • ProgressiveG
                                                                      ProgressiveG  2 days back

                                                                      This guy is pretty good at explaining stuff 👌

                                                                      • Jethro Aquidado
                                                                        Jethro Aquidado  2 days back

                                                                        Imagine if other hominids survived with us. Our world would have had elder scrolls style diversity,

                                                                        • Duh Crnih Brda . Дух Црних Брда .

                                                                          It's interesting to note that our ancestors in Africa were already heavily admixture. The difference is that it came not from Neanderthals or Denisovans but from archaic groups within Africa. About 13% of the sub-Saharan gene pool comes from an earlier expansion of pre-modern hominins.

                                                                          • Gyver Spot
                                                                            Gyver Spot  2 days back

                                                                            Wow that ended kinda sad...

                                                                            • MatigeMehmet
                                                                              MatigeMehmet  2 days back

                                                                              There is something I don't understand. When different species produce offspring together (for example the tiger and lion), they usually produce offspring that is infertile (the liger). Why was this not the case with the offspring homo sapiens produced with other hominin species?

                                                                              • Eliana Patt
                                                                                Eliana Patt  3 days back

                                                                                Personal theory: Neanderthals as an individual species went extinct, not because they all died, but just because they kept interbreeding with homo sapiens and eventually just got sucked in with the rest of us.

                                                                                • HumanKaleidoscope
                                                                                  HumanKaleidoscope  17 hours back

                                                                                  Um yeah that's the point of the video? Lol. Why are you acting like it's your "personal" theory? That's what's thought to have happened

                                                                              • MC Dubz
                                                                                MC Dubz  3 days back

                                                                                Sima de los Jueisos

                                                                                • Mlai00
                                                                                  Mlai00  3 days back

                                                                                  How can you make a video like this and not at least mention Homo floresiensis, aka hobbits?!

                                                                                  • crazycatlady39
                                                                                    crazycatlady39  3 days back

                                                                                    So were they pushed to extinction or simply absorbed into a single branch on the family tree?

                                                                                    • SatumainenOlento
                                                                                      SatumainenOlento  3 days back

                                                                                      What a beautifully presented video! I felt tearing up when presented said that: "we are only humans left" and we were sent to our own evolutionary path with gifts in our dna to survive better and not make a mess of it......eh, perhaps should have a a bit deeper look at ourselves and how we are behaving on this planet. Much depends on us.

                                                                                      • tolvajkergetok
                                                                                        tolvajkergetok  3 days back

                                                                                        Anyone who thinks there's a single humanoid race certainly haven't met Gypsies yet.

                                                                                        • L
                                                                                          L  3 days back

                                                                                          What if there's Denosivan DNA in Antarctica? Wasn't the temperature there very similar to modern southern Asia?

                                                                                          • Wali Hamid
                                                                                            Wali Hamid  3 days back

                                                                                            So this helped european/asian humans. What about the traits about everyone else???

                                                                                            • Tuho
                                                                                              Tuho  12 hours back

                                                                                              Well obviously if your ancestors don't have neantherdal blood it doesn't help you if you don't breed with europeans or asians. Video says that lot of the benefit might not help modern human that much so what does it matter.