Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Neanderthal assimilation?

Four new Late Pleistocene European modern human genomes had Neanderthal ancestors in their immediate family history, suggesting that interbreeding with the last Neanderthals was common.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Map of western Eurasia showing fossils that have provided extensive genome-wide data in the putative contact period (40,000 to 50,000 yr bp) between Neanderthals and modern humans.


  1. Fu, Q. et al. Nature 514, 445–449 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Fu, Q. et al. Nature 524, 216–219 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Prüfer, K. et al. Science 358, 655–658 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Castellano, S. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 111, 6666–6671 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Hajdinjak, M. et al. Nature 555, 652–656 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Hajdinjak, M. et al. Nature (2021).

  7. Prüfer, K. et al. Nat. Ecol. Evol. (2021).

  8. Prüfer, K. et al. Nature 505, 43–49 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Lalueza-Fox, C. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 108, 250–253 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Ríos, L. et al. Sci. Rep. 9, 1697 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Kuhlwilm, M. et al. Nature 530, 429–433 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Seguin-Orlando, A. et al. Science 346, 1113–1118 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Sikora, M. et al. Science 358, 659–662 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Petr, M. et al. Science 369, 1653–1656 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Carles Lalueza-Fox.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lalueza-Fox, C. Neanderthal assimilation?. Nat Ecol Evol 5, 711–712 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing