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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Neanderthal extinction

In August 2014 an international research team reported (in Nature) on a new analysis of 40 sites in Western Europe, concluding that Neanderthals died out about 40,000 years ago.

There are numerous theories which attempt an explanation of their extinction - including :

  • Failure or inability to adapt to climate change
  • Competitive exclusion by modern humans
  • Deliberate violent extinction by modern humans
  • Extinction via interbreeding (hybridisation)
  • Natural catastrophe
  • Species specific parasites and/or pathogens.

No theory as yet has has been universally accepted by experts in the field. The explanation could be a combination (or none) of the above.

Further reading Wikipedia


Also see Neanderthal behaviourplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigNeanderthal behaviour

"Almost everything about Neanderthal behaviour remains controversial. Source: Wikipedia"

Despite very extensive research using the fossil record and remains of artefacts, it's still unknown whether the Neanderthal people :

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