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Neandertals had evolutionary stamina. An unbroken genetic line of the jut-jawed, powerfully built human relatives inhabited Europe for at least 80,000 years until dying out around 40,000 years ago, scientists say.

DNA extracted from fossils of two roughly 120,000-year-old European Neandertals displays closer genetic links to 40,000-year-old European Neandertals than to a Siberian Neandertal who also lived around 120,000 years ago, say paleogeneticist Stéphane Peyrégne and colleagues. Later Neandertals in Europe and western Asia trace at least part of their ancestry back to Neandertals represented by the newly isolated DNA, the researchers conclude online June 26 in Science Advances.

 

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