Genetic research has found that Neanderthals are not totally extinct, scientists discovered many people alive today have a small amount of Neanderthal genes in their genetic code, which implicates that there has been some interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans in the past. The research suggests between 1% and 4% of the Eurasian human genome comes from Neanderthals, which is much higher than scientists expected to find.
John Hawks, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US, told BBC News: "They're us. We're them.
"It seemed like it was likely to be possible, but I am surprised by the amount. I really was not expecting it to be as high as 4%," he said of the genetic contribution from Neanderthals.
The sequencing of the Neanderthal genome is a landmark scientific achievement, the product of a four-year-long effort led from Germany's Max Planck Institute but involving many other universities around the world.