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: https://252mya.com/

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios

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

Comments • 4 754

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   2 weeks 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)

    • MyName Jeff
      MyName Jeff  2 days back

      @EZboyrocks It's not meaningless. The concept of species is just very complex which makes it difficult to strictly define. Such is the nature of evolution and genetic drift, they don't just happen overnight.

    • Edward Edeh
      Edward Edeh  5 days back

      Shimrra I know I was just saying you don’t have to point out anything I know she won’t notice I’m not a idiot

    • Olav
      Olav  5 days back

      A lion and a tiger can produce a liger. The male ligers are always sterile, but the females are certainly not. They can chose to breed with a male of either species, and can produce healthy offspring. The big cats can interbreed and yet it certainly seems natural to distinguish lions from tigers, and to agree that they are not of the same species. A "species" is nothing more than a definition that we have invented to help us categorise animals, and it is useful. If the definition is wrong in some cases, clearly disagreeing with what we consider a species, we should modify or amend the definition, not use it where it obviously fails to describe our collective intuitive notion of a "species".
      Just my opinion though. Sorry for my English, I also don't really know much about any of this stuff to be honest.

    • Shimrra
      Shimrra  5 days back

      @Edward Edeh If she didn't add that, then you would have people saying that she has no idea what she is talking about. She clearly addressed the competing ideas out there and they chose one path that is just as scientifically valid as the other at this point.

    • Edward Edeh
      Edward Edeh  5 days back

      PBS Eons cool nice that you have a PHD

  • a_silent_songbird
    a_silent_songbird  2 hours back

    04:55 oh really? so they were kinky little cavemen... Hahaha

    • Spanish HoneyBadger
      Spanish HoneyBadger  3 hours back

      Why the low percentage? Were we capable of snatching just a few Neanderthal teens every decade ?

      • Destry Welch
        Destry Welch  4 hours back

        The narrator is absolutely adorable.

        • TurboDropTop
          TurboDropTop  5 hours back

          If you want your mind blown, look up the jewelry the denisovans made. There is a bracelet with a hole for a strap drilled into it from 70,000 years ago.

          • A Stick
            A Stick  6 hours back

            heh...twig 0:06

            • Old Panama City Beach
              Old Panama City Beach  6 hours back

              Neanderthal was assimilated out of existence.

              • Rick Robitaille
                Rick Robitaille  9 hours back

                Modern genetics is answering alot of speculative theories laid down by scientists
                who made a career arguing for,they must remain open minded and feel enlightened to be proved wrong,this is such a esoteric science,modern genetics will shed light on human origins

                • The Truth Boys !!
                  The Truth Boys !!  11 hours back

                  Sima translates to summit not pit

                  • Brandon BillTheCat
                    Brandon BillTheCat  17 hours back

                    Come on, it's not that hard. The reason we are here and they are not is because we are just one mean SOB's and they were just a bunch of nice guys.. And so, we beat the living daylights out of them and when they were gone we were sad, said oh well, and settled on beating the living daylights out of each other instead. And all was well.

                    • Brandon BillTheCat
                      Brandon BillTheCat  17 hours back

                      Come on, it's not that hard. The reason we are here and they are not is because we are just one mean SOB's and they were just a bunch of nice guys.. And so, we beat the living daylights out of them and when they were gone we were sad, said oh well, and settled on beating the living daylights out of each other instead. And all was well.

                      • Kratos Zues
                        Kratos Zues  18 hours back

                        im sure we killed all of the other hominids. Human nature is filth.

                        • BUFF IT
                          BUFF IT  19 hours back

                          all I hear is you contradicting your self stupid dum dum you do not even realize what your saying stupid liberials cant even comprehend what they r saying they just run there mouth thinking the whole world is going to believe the stupid stuff that comes out of there stupid face

                          • Top This!
                            Top This!  1 days back

                            The Neanderthal they keep showing looks like boskoe 100. Lol

                            • robert P
                              robert P  1 days back

                              Europeans are not out of Africa it's been proved 10x over

                              • That Mask I Wear
                                That Mask I Wear  1 days back

                                To bad thanos snaped the neaderthals

                                • Mob Rules
                                  Mob Rules  1 days back

                                  For the answers you are looking for, check in the Samarian Texts and Scrolls. Also, you did not discuss blood types and I know why.

                                  • allgoo19
                                    allgoo19  1 days back

                                    In short, homo sapiens survived because we are horn dogs.

                                    • steven gin
                                      steven gin  1 days back

                                      They live underground, yup they’re like goblin mole people now, troast me

                                      • Carla Ferraccini
                                        Carla Ferraccini  1 days back

                                        Basically... We were better at breading than the others. How peculiar

                                        • Adrian F
                                          Adrian F  1 days back

                                          I like that ending

                                          • Gabe M.
                                            Gabe M.  2 days back


                                            • Billy G Diaz
                                              Billy G Diaz  2 days back

                                              It is scientifically accepted that people from the Old World brought diseases the New World that destroyed most of the local population (some survived long enough to inter-breed), why don't scientists study the possibility that in the Old World when people from the south traveled north, they brought diseases that destroyed most of the local population; Neanderthals and Denisovans (some survived long enough to inter-breed).

                                              • Oki Krisbianto
                                                Oki Krisbianto  2 days back

                                                I feel sad for them. I wish they were never extinct

                                                • Bakunawa BenHierro
                                                  Bakunawa BenHierro  2 days back

                                                  the last of the man bear pigs :D

                                                  • Bakunawa BenHierro
                                                    Bakunawa BenHierro  2 days back

                                                    what if our ancestors called all the other homonids orcs and elves or some other tokien stuff.. lol :D

                                                    • Koroi 117
                                                      Koroi 117  2 days back

                                                      I love YouTube. .. the universal Library for cyber humans

                                                      • MANDO
                                                        MANDO  2 days back


                                                        • Locutus De Borg
                                                          Locutus De Borg  2 days back

                                                          Cro Magnons, Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Sub-Saharan Hominids. Even back then, races were still a thing people

                                                          • Wilbur Mcbride
                                                            Wilbur Mcbride  2 days back

                                                            Neanderthals didn't just go extinct but was genocide off by the Cro-magnum. The evil side of our human nature.

                                                            • jack jones
                                                              jack jones  3 days back

                                                              there are 13 different species living on the earth right now we are the most populous.

                                                            • PaulaMarie
                                                              PaulaMarie  3 days back

                                                              Is this the same SciShow guy?

                                                              • Donald Trump
                                                                Donald Trump  3 days back

                                                                We were the stupid one left out by annunaki

                                                                • Kayla Robertson
                                                                  Kayla Robertson  3 days back

                                                                  Fantastic episode!

                                                                  • Russell Contreras
                                                                    Russell Contreras  3 days back

                                                                    Is that Steven Suptic

                                                                    • Ken Schmitt
                                                                      Ken Schmitt  3 days back

                                                                      mitocontrial dna?.. isnt not rna?

                                                                      • Sammy Lee
                                                                        Sammy Lee  3 days back

                                                                        And that's why Eastern Europeans keep winning worlds strongest man cos of Neanderthal gene

                                                                        • nightlightabcd
                                                                          nightlightabcd  3 days back

                                                                          Resistance is futile! We will absorb your technology and DNA into that of our own! Yes, we used to think that we hunted you all down and killed you all to extinction, but now we think that we were your friends and relatives and you all died out own your own and we alone are left to carry on your legacy!!

                                                                          • Couscous Guy
                                                                            Couscous Guy  3 days back

                                                                            I wish i could've clapped some neanderthal cheeks.

                                                                          • TheReal Mexican American

                                                                            When Homo Sapiens leave Africa and meet Neanderthals

                                                                            Homo Sapiens: *Ayo, Hol Up*

                                                                            • Kasia
                                                                              Kasia  3 days back

                                                                              Actually, there exist many archeological sites with findings of bones of mass-murdered people of all sexes and ages, who were clearly killed with a use of human-made weapon, so I believe that if Homo Sapiens Sapiens were able to do that to each other (even long after the Neanderthals went extinct), than I supposed they would be just as able to do that to any other hominids.

                                                                              • Chip Walter
                                                                                Chip Walter  3 days back

                                                                                Despite all evidence of human behavior throughout history, we're asked to consider the proposal that humans who would've been in direct competition with (other tribes of humans as well as) Neanderthals and Denisovans DIDN'T actively wipe out those less adapted species.
                                                                                It's a cute flight-of-fancy but very contrary to all historical precedent.

                                                                                • Angel Midknight
                                                                                  Angel Midknight  4 days back

                                                                                  "Simo de los juesos" me encanta su acento X'D

                                                                                  • luke ploughman
                                                                                    luke ploughman  4 days back

                                                                                    We co-opted them

                                                                                    • Michael Timpson
                                                                                      Michael Timpson  4 days back

                                                                                      what about Flores Man?

                                                                                      • F. Jefferson
                                                                                        F. Jefferson  18 hours back

                                                                                        these offshoots (Floresiensis and Luzonensis) are mysterious to us, but unlikely they had any interaction with us, otherwise, they would have been extinct much sooner.

                                                                                    • Donnie Fermor
                                                                                      Donnie Fermor  4 days back

                                                                                      You don't say anything about Australian Aboriginal brain Less

                                                                                      • Bernardo Puppin
                                                                                        Bernardo Puppin  4 days back

                                                                                        Is it weird that I miss the Neanderthals like an old friend that said goodbye?

                                                                                      • Richard Deese
                                                                                        Richard Deese  4 days back

                                                                                        Thanks! Although I know there's no evidence for it - or against it, I can't help but seriously wonder if there was some bit of nastiness that led to us being the dominant hominin. I certainly wouldn't put it past us, knowing modern history. 𝓡𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲 𝓣𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲.