Mitochondrial Footprints of Human Expansions in Africa
ABSTRACT mtDNA studies support an African origin for modern Eurasians, but expansion events within Africa have not previously been investigated. We have therefore analyzed 407 mtDNA control-region sequences from 13 African ethnic groups. A number of sequences (13%) were highly divergent and coalesced on the "mitochondrial Eve" in Africans. The remaining sequences also ultimately coalesced on this sequence but fell into four major clusters whose starlike phylogenies testify to demographic expansions. The oldest of these African expansions dates to approximately 60,000-80,000 years ago. Eurasian sequences are derived from essentially one sequence within this ancient cluster, even though a diverse mitochondrial pool was present in Africa at the time.
SourceAvailable from: Teresa E. SteeleCurrent Anthropology 01/2014; 55(4):434-435. · 2.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The past 200,000 years of human cultural evolution have witnessed the persistent establishment of behaviors involving innovation, planning depth, and abstract and symbolic thought, or what has been called “behavioral modernity.” Demographic models based on increased human population density from the late Pleistocene onward have been increasingly invoked to understand the emergence of behavioral modernity. However, high levels of social tolerance, as seen among living humans, are a necessary prerequisite to life at higher population densities and to the kinds of cooperative cultural behaviors essential to these demographic models. Here we provide data on craniofacial feminization (reduction in average brow ridge projection and shortening of the upper facial skeleton) in Homo sapiens from the Middle Pleistocene to recent times. We argue that temporal changes in human craniofacial morphology reflect reductions in average androgen reactivity (lower levels of adult circulating testosterone or reduced androgen receptor densities), which in turn reflect the evolution of enhanced social tolerance since the Middle Pleistocene.Current Anthropology 08/2014; 55(4):419-443. DOI:10.1086/677209 · 2.93 Impact Factor