If your ancestors are from Europe, the Middle East, Asia or Melanasia, then the answer is probably yes! What was a shocking discovery a few years ago (Neandertal DNA in the genetics of modern humans) has encouraged a vast amount of genetic research. This research now reveals that at multiple times from 60,000 to 40,000 years ago gene transfer (mating) occurred between Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and the Denisovans (either another species of human or a sub-species of our species).
Only a bit of the DNA coiled inside the cells of Europeans and Asians comes from Neandertals, but those snippets have sparked a flurry of research. In the past few years, researchers have traced them to one or two ancient encounters with our extinct cousins. Now, a report published online in Science this week details a far richer sexual past for modern humans and their archaic cousins, one that played out at multiple times and places over the past 60,000 years.