Modern humans scripted Neanderthals’ disappearance

July 29th, 2011 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 29 (IANS) What befell our Neanderthal ancestors to make them vanish after their domination of the world for 300,000 years? Modern humans, say scientists.

According to Cambridge University researchers, modern humans, who evolved in Africa, overran them.

They swarmed Europe with more than 10 times the numbers of Neanderthals and usurped their habitats.

Neanderthals were placed out of competing for animals and scarce food supplies during the freezing sub-zero winters, the journal Science reports.

Paul Mellars, professor emeritus of prehistory and human evolution at Cambridge, said: “Faced with this kind of competition, the Neanderthals seem to have retreated initially into more marginal and less attractive regions of the continent.”

His teams studied ruins from the Perigord region of south-western France which contains the largest concentration of Neanderthal and early human sites in Europe, according to the Daily Mail.

Researchers believe their findings demonstrate the massive numerical supremacy the earliest modern human populations had over the Neanderthals and resolve the long-running debate over the reasons for their extinction.

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