The Sapien in the Mirror

Those crazy geneticists have been at it again, mapping all sorts of things.  This time they have mapped the first whole genome of our relative Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, a.k.a Neanderthal, a.k.a. Neandertal, in the new German spelling.

Good ol’ Neandertal was thought to be extinct, overrun and out thought long ago by Homo sapiens sapiens or anatomical modern man, but there seems to be a twist now revealed.  It seems modern man didn’t kill off Neandertal in the violent manner we thought. It looks like we may have killed them with kindness.

According to ongoing archaeological research, 1- 4% of our of nuclear DNA is composed of material donated to the gene pool by Neandertals.  Modern man apparently didn’t discriminate; more a lover than a fighter, perhaps?  Maybe Jean Auel wasn’t too off the mark.

What ever the case may be, this discovery sure explains a lot when you compare the forensic reconstructions of Kennis & Kennis to some of our more famous citizens. Kind of makes you want to check out your own brow ridge, huh?

Neandertal Elder by Kennis&Kennis

Wilma by Kennis&Kennis

Ernest Borgnine

David Boreanaz

(If you want to see more really cool archaeological reconstructions visit: They do fantastic stuff.)


  1. The comparisons are HILARIOUS!!! Makes me want to put my family up for comparison.. well, i’m most tempted to do it on my colleagues, but that could get me in trouble in this PC world. Family, no holds barred!

    I like that their reconstructions add facial expressions. I never really like museum versions because of the dull blank looks on the statues. Quite scary and a bit unnatural. These, make me appreciate the science more.

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