Interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans

What we know now

A topic of perennial interest to scholars and lay people alike is did Neanderthals and modern humans interbreed? Until recently, there was no strong evidence one way or another, although there was no reason to suppose that they did not. While Neanderthals would certainly have appeared strange to modern humans and vice versa, they would not necessarily have seemed unattractive to each other. For a present-day human, having sex with a Neanderthal could be a somewhat hazardous affair, given the considerably superior physical strength of the latter. To the rather more powerfully-built Homo sapiens of that era, it might have been less of an issue. There is no reason to suppose that such a union would not have led to viable and probably fertile offspring, as is often the case among closely-related species.
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