Archives par mot-clé : Homo

Supercomputer model simulations reveal cause of Neanderthal extinction

by Insitute for basic science, May 20, 2020 in PhsyOrg

Climate scientists from the IBS Center for Climate Physics discover that, contrary to previously held beliefs, Neanderthal extinction was neither caused by abrupt glacial climate shifts, nor by interbreeding with Homo sapiens. According to new supercomputer model simulations, only competition between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens can explain the rapid demise of Neanderthals around 43 to 38 thousand years ago.

Neanderthals lived in Eurasia for at least 300,000 years. Then, around 43 to 38 thousand years ago they quickly disappeared off the face of the earth, leaving only weak genetic traces in present-day Homo sapiens populations. It is well established that their extinction coincided with a period of rapidly fluctuating climatic conditions, as well as with the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe. However, determining which of these factors was the dominant cause, has remained one of the biggest challenges of evolutionary anthropology.


Figure 1: Computer simulations of population density of Neanderthals (left) and Homo sapiens (right)

Ancient Bones Found in Bulgarian Cave Are Oldest Evidence of Modern Humans in Europe

by P. Dockrill, May 12, 2020 in ScienceAlert

The oldest bones of Homo sapiens ever found in Europe have been discovered in a Bulgarian cave, providing the earliest known evidence of our species’ emergence in the European continent, according to new research.

The appearance and spread of modern humans in Europe is a difficult timeline for researchers to reconstruct, owing to a scarcity of sufficiently ancient remains that have been identified in the fossil record.

When modern humans did show up, though, our arrival ultimately sealed the fate of the indigenous Neanderthals who called Europe home before us, as we then proceeded to swiftly replace them over the course of the next several thousand years.