Modern humans killed Neanderthals

2012-07-23 22:40

Washington - Modern humans were probably a greater threat to the Neanderthals than major natural events like extreme cold weather or volcanoes, according to British-led research released on Monday.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was based on an analysis of volcanic ash that showed the largest known eruption in Europe came after traces of the Neanderthals had largely disappeared.

Researchers studied the remnants of ash from the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption about 40 000 years ago in sites in Greece, the Aegean Sea, Libya, and four central European caves.

"Our results confirm that the combined effects of a major volcanic eruption and severe climatic cooling failed to have lasting impacts on Neanderthals or early modern humans in Europe," said the study.

"We infer that modern humans proved a greater competitive threat to indigenous populations than natural disasters."

Neanderthals lived in parts of Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East for up to 300 000 years but appear to have vanished some 40 000 years ago. Why they died out is a matter of sharp debate.

Earlier theories have hypothesised that these upright but stooped cavemen were crowded out by modern humans, and that their demise may have been hastened by a series of harsh winters.

  • tyronlouw - 2012-07-23 23:25

    "40 000 years ago" - You've embarrassed yourself. DIdn't you hear? The earth is actually only 6 000 years old. Psshht, these scientists and their "evidence". Discuss critically. (60 Marks)

      abram.spamers - 2012-07-24 00:29

      Where in the name of humanity did you read that the earth is 6000 years old?

      Sean Wasserman - 2012-07-24 06:10

      @Abram. The bible. So starts the creationist/evolutionist debate.

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-07-24 07:06

      @Sean- who started recording this 6000 years ago? What evidence is there to support this as writing material was not invented then? How was this recorded over the first 1000 years and where was this archive kept?Your version of the bible is the only holy scripture to state that.

      Squeegee - 2012-07-24 07:12

      Pity we missed a few. They multiplied,banded together and formed the ANC. Now they are plaguing humans.

      tyronlouw - 2012-07-24 07:20

      Guys, did NO ONE pick up on the sarcasm in the tone of my message? Funny to be the sheep in wolf's clothing for once!

      paul.vanlooy.52 - 2012-07-24 08:32

      Tyronlouw. Be patient. Eventually Science will catch up with the bible.

      jacobus.hendrikse - 2012-07-24 10:38

      Pity modern humans took so long to reach Africa...

      JManAtheoi - 2012-07-24 10:39


      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-24 11:06

      considering neanderthal genes are found within modern european humans and not in africans, we interbred and assimilated them out of existance, more than likly killed as many of them as they killed of us too.

      Shaun.groenewald - 2012-07-24 12:17

      You people are way to easy to troll, geez

  • - 2012-07-23 23:41

    So human beings of today are truly African?

      Tree Spirit - NORML ZA - 2012-07-24 00:28

      We are all descended from a common ancestor in Africa all those thousands of years ago.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-07-24 06:49

      I prefer the concept that Neanderthals and early humans interbred, creating a superspecies that aquired a developed hind-brain as well as a developed fore-brain as a result of the genetic mix. This superspecies went on to master the earth.

      antin.herink - 2012-07-24 18:18

      Larry, now who on earth gave you that idea.....? ;-)

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-25 15:03

      spot on larry, my comment above was blown out of the water, more than likely by the militant religious folks,

  • tommo.too - 2012-07-24 02:39

    They didn't kill all the Neanderthals obviously. We still have a lot running around

      gerald.parker.9847 - 2012-07-24 06:30

      Tommo please leave the government out of this

      ina.cripps - 2012-07-24 08:59

      makesuthink, thanks you made my day! roflmao

      merven.halo - 2012-07-31 07:54

      Not just the government, the entire ANC supporta' base.

  • Blackpoison - 2012-07-24 06:07

    Modern humans kill everything, including themselves, just look at the state of the planet. Most destructive species on earth.

  • katlegojones.malemela - 2012-07-24 06:49

    Lmao! I don't think, all were obviously not killed we still got few folks of Neanderthals descent around *hides*, how else u explain how others look??

  • arno.pfohl - 2012-07-24 08:41

    Did you guys not watch that series on Discovery. Apparently we all have some DNA from Neanderthals. Some of us just more than others. It is clearly visible when you notice some people walking around, especially when you notice the ridge along the eye brow line.

      paul.myers.984 - 2012-07-24 10:01

      There seem to be plenty in Margate!

      antin.herink - 2012-07-24 18:53

      Arno -wrong, not "all"! Africans of pure decent do not have any such DNA. Now go figure if the presence of that DNA that Europids and Asiatics acquired from the Neanderthals (1-4%) and also from the Denisovans (4-6%), has stood us in good stead -when we compare ourselves with said Africans.

  • roscoe.samuels - 2012-07-24 10:29

    It really seems that no one had heard of the Sumerians that exsisted more than 450 000 years ago and they have found text that support these finding. Our earth is older than 6000 years.

      merven.halo - 2012-07-31 07:59

      NO!!!!! How dare you to deny the truth in the bible! You god hating SATANIST! You're going to burn in HELL!! If 7 people can feed and clean the shait of 40 million animals (including the dinos) on a daily basis on a boat smaller than a rugby field, how dare you try to advocate something as stupid as a 450 000 year old race!

  • roscoe.samuels - 2012-07-24 10:37

    Please read info on the sumerians they have been on this earth more than 450 000 years ago.

  • antin.herink - 2012-07-24 19:15

    Whaaaat? 450 000 years? Roscoe the Grand Prize for Supremely Ignorant Comment Of The Week goes to you. The name "Sumerian" generally refers to the people of man's earliest civilisation, in Mesopotamia, from 4500 BC onwards. So I don't know which "sumerians" you refer to -but it seems you are off by orders of magnitude, around 100x! May I suggest you do some reading yourself. You have no clue! (H. Sapiens -we, are not older than c.a 250 000 years.)

  • Roulon du Toit - 2012-07-24 20:30

    So we kicked their @$$es!? Humans!!! ... Humans!!! ... Humans!!! ... Humans!!! Now imagine that with cheering and out neanderthal-mashing fists in the air!

  • vitor.mosca - 2012-07-31 12:43


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