Tags: neanderthals | humans | africa | europe

Human Migration May Have Doomed Neanderthals

Human Migration May Have Doomed Neanderthals
(Hendrik Schmidt/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 November 2017 09:13 PM

The slow flow of human immigration from Africa into Europe might have doomed Neanderthals, a new study suggests, per a report in The Washington Post.

Neanderthals are humans' closest extinct relative. They lived at the same time as early humans, but only the humans endured, and many experts have debated why their extinction happened: climate change, the inability to compete with humans, epidemics. A study published in the journal Nature Communications argues Neanderthals were doomed to fail.

"For a wide range of parameters, this hypothesis cannot be rejected," wrote Oren Kolodny of Stanford University and colleague Marcus Feldman. "Moreover, we suggest that although selection and environmental factors may or may not have played a role in the inter-species dynamics of Neanderthals and modern humans, the eventual replacement of the Neanderthals was determined by the repeated migration of modern humans from Africa into Eurasia."

Neanderthals and humans shared landscape in Europe between 51,000 and 39,000 years ago. Humans were still trickling in from Africa, though, which gave them a larger chance of survival.

Kolodny and Feldman based their conclusion on a computer simulation of interactions between populations of the two species. The simulation was run more than a million times under a variety of assumptions, but each time the Neanderthal population became extinct in 12,000 years.

Neanderthals migrated to Eurasia long before modern humans, around 560,000 years ago, while humans first migrated there around 120,000 years ago.

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A new study suggests the slow flow of human immigration from Africa into Europe might have doomed Neanderthals, The Washington Post reported.
neanderthals, humans, africa, europe
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2017-13-01
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 09:13 PM
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