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archaic Homo sapiens

[ är-kāĭk ]
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Relating to or being an early form or subspecies of Homo sapiens, anatomically distinct from modern humans. Neanderthals in Europe and Solo man in Asia are usually classed as archaic humans. Though archaic humans belong to the same species as modern humans, not all archaic groups or populations are necessarily ancestral to Homo sapiens sapiens. According to certain models of human evolution, modern humans replaced archaic populations throughout Asia and Europe after migrating out of Africa in comparatively recent times. In other models, widely separated but interbreeding archaic groups in different parts of the world evolved independently into today's physiologically distinct geographic populations.

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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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