Why did the Ne­an­derthals go ex­tinct?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Science -

The spread of mod­ern hu­mans across Europe is as­so­ci­ated with the demise and ul­ti­mate ex­tinc­tion of Ne­an­derthal pop­u­la­tions 40,000 years ago, likely due to com­pe­ti­tion for re­sources. While the jury is still out on whether or not Ne­an­derthals and mod­ern hu­mans dif­fered in cog­ni­tion, the abil­ity of a small num­ber of hu­mans to re­place a larger pop­u­la­tion of Ne­an­derthals may have been due to a higher level of cul­ture – our power to de­velop and pass on knowl­edge of bet­ter tools, bet­ter cloth­ing, or bet­ter eco­nomic or­gan­i­sa­tion. In­ter­breed­ing may also have lent us an ad­van­tage. Be­tween 1 and 4 per cent of the DNA of all liv­ing hu­mans (ex­cept sub-Sa­ha­ran Africans) is Ne­an­derthal in ori­gin. AP

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