Hypertrichosis seen in a young man
I got an email a while back and this post is in answer to that email but first here is the email with the name changed to protect the reader:
Dear Dr. Peron:
I realize you are an anthropologist and not a medical doctor but do you know anything about excessive body hair growth at birth? If so, can you put up a post about it? Here’s why I am asking you this question.
When I was born I had a reddish “fur” all over my newborn body. Probably it was hair but my grandparents described it as “fur” like that seen in a little monkey or puppy. I also had a projecting jaw that was corrected by orthodontics when I was about 13 years old, thankfully. I also had a somewhat flat nose and pointed ears. In fact, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. said I looked more like a ” baby ape” than a “human baby.” I lost the “fur” during the first few years of my life but retained a colorless hair type all over my body which kind of shines like a blond color when I am in the sun. I know this might all sound freaky but my family is reluctant to talk about this and my mother gets very angry and absolutely refuses to discuss it whenever I bring it up. Additionally, when my father arrived at the hospital (he was off somewhere and had to travel) he took one look at me and angrily said, “That’s not my son!” and stormed out of the hospital never to return. Needless to say he and I did not have a very good relationship when he was alive, unfortunately. I just want to know if you’ve ever heard of anything like this and if you can post a bit about it if you have.
Miguel I’m not claiming to be an expert in this subject but here are some things that might aid in your understanding of this phenomena. Also, note that things like this DO happen so you are NOT alone.
Before I begin let me define a few terms. First is the term “atavism.” An “atavism” is a term used in biology to describe an “evolutionary throwback.” Traits appear in a species or individual that have generally disappeared generations before. Atavisms can occur in several ways. One way, and the most common, is when genes for previously existing phenotypical features are preserved in DNA and they become expressed through a mutation that knocks out the overriding genes for the new traits OR makes the old traits override the new one(s). A number of traits can vary as a result of shortening of fetal development of a trait (neoteny) OR by prolonging of it (neoteny). In such a case a shift in the time a trait is allowed to develop before it is fixed can bring about an ancestral phenotype. I do not wish to insult you so please do not take what I’m writing that way. What you are describing comes closest to the ancient human ancestor species known as Homo habilis (aka: Tool Man, Handyman, et al) minus the heavy brow ridge. This species existed roughly between 2.1–1.5 mya. That in my mind is significant and if you have any pictures of you as a newborn with this condition I would be HIGHLY interested in taking a look at them. Continue Reading
Neanderthal-Modern Human comparison
New research conducted by Australian National University and the University of Sidney is providing a new window into the transition between Neanderthals to H. sapiens. Excavating in a cave in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic researchers have developed a timeline of evidence from 10 sediment layers spanning 28-50 kya. This is the period when it is generally believed that modern human ancestors first arrived in Europe.
20,000 animal bones have been recovered at the site along with stone tools, weapons, and an engraved bone bead believed to be the oldest of its kind every found in Central Europe. Dr. Duncan Wright (ANU) believes this project is highly important because it is providing some evidence for modern human activity in the area. During this time modern human ancestors were moving into the area and, I think, interbreeding with Neanderthals at least to some extent. Continue Reading
Irhoud Skull 1 notice the large brow ridge
In 1961 the bones & skeleton were determined to be Neanderthal hunters. Neanderthals are not Homo sapiens, however. “the oldest Homo sapiens ever found in Africa or elsewhere.” Seriously? But Neanderthals are not H. sapiens! Of course after the OOA was debunked last month with the discovery of a Neanderthal ancestor in Spain I suppose they had to come up with something (anything) to place the OOA back on it throne? So I take it that now we class Neanderthals as H. sapiens? And what about that little 3% Neanderthal DNA in modern humans? Sticky little point, no? Oh yes and something had to be done to dethrone the recent find near San Diego in the Americas too 🙂
“It’s the face of people you cross in the street today…” really? You mean back in 1961 they couldn’t tell the difference between a Neanderthal face and a H. sapien face?
“….the 300,000-year-old braincases—the part of the skull that houses the brain—are elongated in shape and accommodate a larger cerebellum…” Homo erectus had an elongated skull but I notice this is not mentioned at all and some had brains as big or slightly bigger than ours!
So are we now to date modern humans at 300 kyr rather than 200 kyr? Are we to now include Neanderthals as H. sapiens? I’m willing to bet they found some sort of Neanderthal-Erectus hybrid but they aren’t about to admit that for God’s sake!!! Continue Reading
Additional information has come to light regarding the age of H. naledi. This species has been dated at between 335-236 kya [thousand years ago]. What this date does is to place H. naledi at a time and place within the realm of archaic modern humans which means they lived for a time alongside modern humans in South Africa. This is highly significant because it is the first time paleoanthropologists have demonstrated that another species of hominin survived alongside modern humans IN AFRICA. These dates are for the fossil finds found in the Dinaledi section of the Rising Star Cave system.
As I mentioned in the post above the discovery of a second cave adds support for the hypothesis that H. naledi was using this cave system to basically dispose of their dead. This has been considered a behavior of modern humans and Neanderthals but now it appears we have yet another hominin species that also disposed of their dead and this shows that they were not animatistic but human. Continue Reading
The “Neo” specimen skull (Homo naledi)
Rising Star Cave is the site in South Africa excavated by Dr Lee Berger and his team. It was here that they found a new species of ancient human called Homo naledi. Now another chamber in the cave has been unearthed and yielded even more fossil bone evidence and this newest discovery has yielded a skull “wonderfully complete.”
It is believed H. naledi shared the landscape with early modern humans and probably other hominin species as well between 226-335 thousand years ago. Dr John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the research leaders and he says this newest discovery adds more evidence that the cave system was being used by H. naledi to cache their dead. The new chamber has been named the Lesedi Chamber. So far 130 bone pieces have been found in the new chamber. One skeleton is said to be remarkably complete and is being named “Neo.” Continue Reading
Neanderthal-Modern Human comparison
Climate change? Competition for resources? Lack of intelligence? All of these ideas have been floated around as to the cause of the “extinction” of the Neanderthals somewhere around 30 kya but, frankly, none of them hold water in my opinion as I do not think the Neanderthals went extinct at all. As I’ve said before on this blog I think the Neanderthals were basically “assimilated” by modern humans. That is, they interbred with modern humans which resulted in Neanderthal-H. sapien hybrids. So, the Neanderthals never went “extinct” as WE ARE THE NEANDERTHALS!…..or at least what is left of them. And we know this from the 3-4% Neanderthal DNA that exists within our genes today.
Past research has shown that all sub-Saharan Africans have about 3-4% Neanderthal DNA in them and the reason for this low amount is NOT because interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthals was low. Rather, the reason for this low amount of Neanderthal DNA in us is due to common diluting of that DNA over the eons of time. For example, you may have had a great, great, great, etc…grandfather who was Mongolian. But today you don’t look Mongolian at all and your DNA test may show only 1% Mongolian DNA in your genes while showing 75% or more German or Asian DNA. The reason for this is over time your ancestors interbred with other people so over time and due to such interbreeding the Mongolian DNA has basically been bred out of you. This is the same with your Neanderthal DNA and I, therefore, am pretty sure that the further each of us could go in our past, if possible, we’d find that our remote ancestors did indeed have much more than 3-4% Neanderthal DNA in their genes. Continue Reading
A new study and find has come out and in my mind it is MAJOR NEWS when it comes to ancient human ancestors being in North America. The San Diego Natural History Museum has announced that a recent Mastodon discovery shakes up our beliefs of when early man came to North America and the evidence comes from broken bones and rocks.
At an Ice Age site in San Diego, CA bones 130 kyr and teeth from a mastodon show evidence of EARLY HUMAN modification. Analysis of these finds dramatically alters the timeline for when humans first arrived in N. America. The report was published today in the journal “Nature.”
Museum paleontologists discovered the remains during routine work to clear the way for a new freeway expansion in the area. The discovery includes bones, teeth, and tusks and many of them have been sharply broken. They were buried alongside large stones that apparently were used as hammer stones and anvils. This makes the site the oldest in situ and well documented site in North America according to the museum.
According to Judy Gradwohl who is president and CEO of the Museum this discovery rewrites our understanding of when “humans reached the New World.” She went on to say, “The evidence we found at this site indicates that some HOMININ SPECIES was living in North America 115,000 YEARS EARLIER than previously thought.” Did you get that? SOME HOMININ SPECIES! That’s CODE TALK! Why didn’t she say Homo sapiens, or modern humans, or something along those lines? Instead she uses the phrase “some hominin species.” Why” Because I bet they suspicion this “hominin species” was NOT modern humans!!
Gradwohl went on to state, “This rasises intriguing questions about how these EARLY HUMANS arrived here and WHO THEY WERE.” In other words they don’t know who these early humans were and they don’t even know if they were early modern humans are some more archaic human like HOMO ERECTUS! And I’m betting my money on HOMO ERECTUS! In my mind this is evidence of this species being in the Americas around 100 kya!! Continue Reading