Fascinating theories about the extinction of the Neanderthals

Fascinating theories about the extinction of the Neanderthals

The Neanderthals were a race of people who lived in the land of a few thousand years ago. They are similar to us in many ways, but at the same time were very different. So for what they still have died?

A bit of history

About 12 km to the east of the German city of Düsseldorf, is the valley of a small river called Neandertal.

During the 19th century, the valley served as a limestone quarry. In 1856, local workers stumbled into one of the caves in the bone, they thought it was a bear, who died many years ago. Workers gathered the bones and carried them. A local school teacher, when he saw them, I realized that they do not belong to a bear, and similar to human bone. The only problem was that they seemed unusually thick and had a rather strange shapes.

After several studies, a major breakthrough came in 1864, when the Irish geologist William King examining them, published a report stating that the bones were indeed human, but belonged to a different species than modern. He named this species, like Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal man), in honor of the valley where the bones were found.

Further studies on this topic have shed light on the fact that a Neanderthal was actually a distant relative of the modern human race reasonable. They lived in Europe 600 000-350 000 years ago. Moreover, archaeological research has shown that this kind of disappeared somewhere around 30,000 years ago.

Quick Fact

A recent breakthrough in the study of Neanderthals suggests that their large eyes led to extinction. Due to the large size of the eyes, their brain more power used for processing visual images rather than other functions.

Fascinating theories about the extinction of the Neanderthals

What happened to the Neanderthals?

Since the likely date when Neanderthals may have died, they have been put forward and found it was a lot of research to figure out because of what happened as these causes. Numerous hypotheses are still highly controversial.

Coexistence with modern humans

As already mentioned, it was not around 30,000 years ago, Neanderthals, possibly due to the fact that they do not get along with modern humans.

Modern humans migrated to Europe about 40,000 ago. Thus, this hypothesis has solid ground according to some studies. According to this hypothesis, when modern humans moved into Europe, or rather, encroached on the territory of the Neanderthals, they were forced to live in isolation because of the growing intervention of Homo sapiens in their original habitat. Thus, their number decreased every year, primarily due to their inability to compete with modern humans. This theory is highly controversial, as it has no concrete evidence about the interaction between Neanderthals and modern humans.

The inability to compete

This theory states that two species can not coexist in the same ecological environment, and at the moment when one gets a view of even the slightest advantage over the other, it will dominate the weakest kind of dying out completely. Perhaps this is what happened with Neanderthals as modern humans emerged.

• Homo sapiens higher than Neanderthal, and as they walk and run faster. • The ability of modern humans use spoken language and produce a huge range of sounds, giving them an advantage over the Neanderthals, who were not able to produce complex words.

• One of the main differences was that modern man had a more developed brain among them. This allowed him to do things much better and with greater ease.

Fascinating theories about the extinction of the Neanderthals

Violence and Genocide

Jared Diamond has suggested that Neanderthal extinction may result from acts of mass violence and genocide. According to him, the scenario is similar to some modern war. In addition, some archaeologists and scientists believe that the first Homo sapiens were cannibals. However, again, as the previous theory, this hypothesis is also not based on solid evidence.

The microbes and parasites

Homo sapiens came into the world of the Neanderthals from other parts of the world. During their migration, they may have brought with them a certain pathogens, viruses and micro-organisms that were completely unknown to the immune system of a Neanderthal.

It is quite possible that these two types come into contact with each other, one of them was able to withstand the purchased new diseases.

Climate Change

Another hypothesis, in relation to the extinction of Neanderthal refers to a sharp change of climatic conditions during the last Ice Age, when Europe was semi-desert with sparse vegetation. The result of all this is the disappearance of many species of plants and animals, which have been a major part of the Neanderthals food. One theory is that the Neanderthals suffered due to the reduction of food resources, which subsequently led to starvation and extinction. Another theory says that they are not adapted to the new climatic conditions, therefore, they could not survive the changes.

Fascinating theories about the extinction of the Neanderthals

Partial Extinction

This is a very interesting hypothesis, which puts forward the idea that they are not quite extinct, in fact, perhaps the Neanderthals and humans interbred reasonable.

According to spent research data in 2010 showed that "from one to four per cent of the DNA of many people alive today are descended from Neanderthals." This means that the complete disappearance of Neanderthals is very unlikely scenario.

However, no convincing theory, all these above, no. In the absence of hard evidence, it is very difficult to determine exactly what happened to the Neanderthals. Studies on this subject are continuing and so far, and if not there are strong clues, the results will always be not been clarified.