Did Our Ancestors Face Near Extinction? 

 May 18th , 2024


A new study suggests early humans faced a population bottleneck around 900,000 years ago.  Could we have almost disappeared? 

Around 900,000 years ago, the ancestral population of modern humans dwindled to a mere 1,280 breeding individuals. 

The Bottleneck Event

Scientists analyzing DNA from modern humans discovered a severe reduction in genetic diversity, suggesting a drastic population decline. 

A Population Crash

The study estimates the human population dropped to as few as 1,280 breeding individuals – teetering on the edge of extinction. 

Dwindling Numbers

This dramatic decline lasted over 117,000 years, putting our ancestors on the brink of extinction. 

A Near-Extinction Event

This bottleneck likely shaped our genetic diversity and may have accelerated the development of certain traits, like larger brains. 

Impact on Our Evolution

This research highlights how vulnerable even the most successful species can be to external forces. 

A Reminder of Fragility

Understanding our past can inform how we address current threats like climate change and biodiversity loss. 

Lessons for the Future