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What happened to Neandertals Why did they extinct - Essay Example

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Neandertals are the most well-studied representatives of the ancient Homo sapiens.The transition from archaic to modern humans is documented in Europe, however, what has caused the disappearance of these people is still not known to the science. …
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What happened to Neandertals Why did they extinct
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What happened to Neandertals Why did they extinct

Download file to see previous pages... Neandertals are the most well-studied representatives of the ancient Homo sapiens.The transition from archaic to modern humans is documented in Europe, however, what has caused the disappearance of these people is still not known to the science. One of hypothesis suggests that Homo sapiens migrated into Neandertal lands and caused their extinction. Homo sapiens had bigger brain and more advanced in technology. Another theory suggests that populations of that time merged and mixed, which resulted in the evolution of the new human species. Archeologists are still not sure which theory is right, even though more Neandertal skeletons have been found compared to other human species. It is well known that Neandertals lived in Europe and Asia more than 150,000 years ago. Neandertals managed to adopt physically and cultural to the ice age conditions, however, their disappearance still cannot be explained.These ancient people are not considered Homo sapiens, and even if they were the representatives of human species, they were of the different race. Neandertals disappeared 30,000 years ago and have left only traces of their living. Scientists from advanced countries are analyzing DNA samples from bones trying to find the cause of Neandertal extinction. It is not an easy task because genetic material is much degraded and mixed with other types of DNA. New technologies in this field gives scientists the hope to collect new valuable information from Neandertal's DNA. The first bones of Neandertal were discovered in 1820s in Europe (Green 2006). Later the skulls of a child and a female were found and stored in the museums. The discovery which recognized the existence of human-like species was made in Germany. After examination by paleontologists and medical pathologists, the agreement was reached that those fossils were not of animal origin as well as not of human as of modern Europe.
After publication of Darwin's works, the society was convinced that Neandertals were very ancient humans and disappeared in the result of the natural selection process. Neandertals were not humans as the investigation of two skeletons found in Belgium cave demonstrated. It was found out that these two Neandertals were associated with food bones from animals and stone tools which were more advanced. In general, more than 400 skeletons were found and majority of which were excavated in France. At first, Neandertals were described as dull-witted and ape-like creatures. However, the further analysis showed that this depiction was wrong and Neandertals were much like humans (Shreeve 1996).
However, the question whether Neandertals were of human origin or whether they were the representatives of other species. The evidence is still searched in the genes and bones. In 2004, the researchers conducted several tests and reached the conclusion that modern humans are much different genetically from Neandertals. Nevertheless, based on the current research, as much as 25 percent of Neandertal DNA is the same as of modern humans. Thus, it is possible that Neandertals did not disappear but rather evolved into the modern human species. Last year, the team of professors at Max Planck Institution have sequenced approximately 1/3 of the DNA from Neandertal bones and hope that within the next two years it will be possible to draft the entire genome and compared it with human.
The Neandertal disappearance is critically analyzed by scientists all over the world. Additional information was gathered in 1999 when the skeleton of the four year old boy dating 25,000 years ago was found. This child has the mixture of Neandertal and modern human features (Tattersall 1999). Therefore, he was the hybrid of two species. Scientists note that such hybrid was possible only if the genetic differences between modern humans and Neandertals was not very great. In other words, it means that Neandertals were not the representativ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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