There’s been a lot writing and discussion in the media about Neanderthals recently and it’s probably due to the increased interest in DNA testing for genealogy and Haplogroups. For instance it has now been discovered that people who belong to the R1b group share a common ancestor with Egypt’s Pharoh Tutankhamun (about 1341 BC – 1323 BC).  Egyptians today do not belong to the R1b Haplogroup. I wrote a short article back in August of this year to share the information that 70% of European men share King Tut’s DNA.

According to a new genetic analysis, part of the human X chromosome originates from Neanderthals.  The ancestors of Neanderthals left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 years ago and evolved over time mostly in what is now France, Spain, Germany and Russia. They became extinct or were absorbed into the human population about 30,000 years ago.

Our early modern human ancestors left Africa about 50 to 80,000 years ago and, in spite of the wide time frame, genetic material from Neanderthals can still be found in a DNA haplotype in the human X chromosome which means that the two mated.

To get to the point of this post the mental foramen is a small “hole in the mandible whose purpose is to allow passage of nerves and vessels to the brain and probably also to relieve tension during chewing and gnawing”.

According to the most recent post on the DNA Consultants blog, your dentist can tell you if you have one. It’s believed that about 1 and 4% of Europeans have one caused by an early out of Africa interbreeding period.  Science has not decided to consider Neanderthals as a separate species or sub-species in relation to humans.

It’s interesting to learn from Discovery News that Neanderthals possessed the gene for language and had sophisticated music, art and tool skills and were probably quite attractive to modern humans at the time.

Click on DNA Consultants to read their blog post.

Click on Discovery News to read the article All Non-Africans Part Neanderthal, Genetics Confirm

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1 Comment on If you have a mental foramen you could be part Neanderthal

  1. jl says:

    Came upon this post, as well as the DNA consultants post, accidentally in the course of research.

    This information is inaccurate. All humans have two mental foramina. The mental formaina are of interest to paleoanthropologists because they tend to be underneath the second premolar in modern humans, and under the first molar in Neanderthals.

    That 1-4% of Europeans have a mental foramen is a misreading of the original post. All humans have two. Europeans (and all non-Africans) have 1-4% Neanderthal DNA in their genomes.

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