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Palaeontology

Neanderthals co-existed with us for millennia

By T.K. Randall
August 21, 2014 · Comment icon 32 comments



Neanderthals and modern humans lived alongside one another. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Tim Evanson
Humans and Neanderthals are now believed to have lived alongside one another for as long as 5,000 years.
A new study involving the most comprehensive ever dating of Neanderthal tools and bones has revealed that, far from disappearing upon the arrival of modern humans, Neanderthals lived alongside our ancestors for thousands of years.

Researchers collected over 400 samples from sites around Europe and used state of the art techniques to tease out as much information as possible from them.
"I think we can set aside the idea of a rapid extinction of Neanderthals caused solely by the arrival of modern humans," said lead researcher Prof Thomas Higham. "Instead we can see a more complex process in which there is a much longer overlap between the two populations where there could have been exchanges of ideas and culture."

The study suggests that the Neanderthals disappeared around 10,000 years earlier than previously thought at the beginning of a particular cold period in Europe.

"They were not hunted down and killed by modern humans or wiped out by diseases they might have brought with them from Africa," said Prof Chris Stringer. "It was a more gradual process."

Source: BBC News | Comments (32)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #23 Posted by jmccr8 8 years ago
Hi Docyabut2, I don't have time right now to find links as I am off to work soon .Neandertals had experienced several situations that affected their population over a period of time,the same thing happened with Denisovan populations as well.My personal view is that these archaic people were absorbed by a new and advancing population of H.s.s. just in the same way that other archaic hominids were absorbed into the Neandertal and Denisovan populations earlier in history which is how we came to be.The homo species is still evolving and will continue to do so it is how our species adapts to surviv... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by jmccr8 8 years ago
I will add this link for now and add a couple later. http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology/2010/10/26/the-neanderthal-romeo-and-human-juliet-hypothesis/ jmccr8
Comment icon #25 Posted by docyabut2 8 years ago
Humans Did Not Wipe Out the Neanderthals, New Research Suggests There is some genetic evidence that Neanderthals in Western Europe may have experienced declining genetic diversity about the time when the first modern humans began arriving on the continent, http://www.livescience.com/47460-neanderthal-extinction-revealed.html
Comment icon #26 Posted by Jeremiah65 8 years ago
This is a nice site for the evolution of hominids... But yeah...this "breaking news" has been around for some time...just check out the graph and you can see the timelines overlap. http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-evolution-timeline-interactive
Comment icon #27 Posted by psyche101 8 years ago
Love that guy; all round nice dude, and awesome character actor. Strongly agree, how much film has he done!! Crikey he is a busy man! I saw "Dead in Tombstone" recently, really fun flick I thought. I quite enjoyed it.
Comment icon #28 Posted by taniwha 8 years ago
not really jmccr8, there was only one grave site found of a family and children ,the rest of the infants bones were found in nook and grannies of the rocks. Wolves perhaps or grave robbers.
Comment icon #29 Posted by jmccr8 8 years ago
Hi Docyabut2, Yes,Neandertals were diminishing in numbers as well as other hominid groups that had survived through many events.I am inclined to consider that there may have been more significant increases of inter mating due to the necessity to survive,as an individual that wants to live with other individuals that want to live,and that these incidents are why they and other hominid groups are evident in our dna,and we know that these inter-actions changed H.s.s and helped each and every group to survive as the species that we are today. What we don't have are enough skeletal artifacts to mak... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by docyabut2 8 years ago
I Hi Docyabut2, Yes,Neandertals were diminishing in numbers as well as other hominid groups that had survived through many events.I am inclined to consider that there may have been more significant increases of inter mating due to the necessity to survive,as an individual that wants to live with other individuals that want to live,and that these incidents are why they and other hominid groups are evident in our dna,and we know that these inter-actions changed H.s.s and helped each and every group to survive as the species that we are today. What we don't have are enough skeletal artifacts to m... [More]
Comment icon #31 Posted by jmccr8 8 years ago
Hi Docyabut2, There were more than just H.s.s and Neandertals,Neandertals didn't just disappear overnight and without the inter-breeding within hominid groups H.s.s may not have evolved quickly enough to survive environmental changes.One must keep in mind that there were several incidences of these interactions between hominid groups as soon as H.s.s left Africa and spanned until they became a singular hominid group.The genetic transfer between these groups adapted H.s.s to survive in colder climates,resistance to some diseases,not to mention the survival techniques that were exchanged. I do n... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by TheSpoonyOne 8 years ago
victims of racism, in all probability. just to show how much we have advanced spiritually. and we're wondering why ETs don't come down and say hi. Wouldn't that be 'species-ism' or something?


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