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How Did Neaderthals Become Extinct

How Did Neaderthals Become Extinct

  • Submitted By: rl87
  • Date Submitted: 10/05/2008 9:05 AM
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Words: 486
  • Page: 2
  • Views: 576

Neanderthals are defined under the genus Homo and the species Neanderthalensis, meaning “man from the Neander Valley”. The Neander Valley was the site where the first Neanderthal fossils were discovered. Neanderthals were an intelligent species, capable of creating and using tools to aid them in their daily routine for survival. They habited Europe and western Asia for approximately 170,000 years, until they disappeared 35,000 years ago. Neanderthals became extinct due to competition between Homo sapiens and their inability to adapt as well as humans.
One of the primary reasons Neanderthals became extinct was their inability to compete with modern humans. Both species had to struggle with each other for food, shelter, and raw materials. Food was a large factor for the disappearance of the Neanderthals, as their main food source was large mammals (Stewart 2007). As large mammals began to diminish, the modern humans searched for other sources of provision ranging from insects to small animals (Latter 2007). As Neanderthals died from starvation due to the deficiency of large prey, Homo sapiens found innovative and efficient ways to use their resources. Humans boiled the animal bones to extract the fats which allowed them to gain more nutrition and in turn, allowed them to maintain their population size (Balter 2001). In addition, Homo sapiens used the bones and teeth of their prey to forge objects for practical and decorative purposes. The creation of these tools also allowed them to make pelts from the fur of their prey (Stewart 2007).
Another factor for the cause of the Neanderthals extinction was the large and sophisticated social networks of humans (Balter 2001). More effective linguistic skills allowed humans to disperse throughout the land and distribute the work load more efficiently. By spreading out across the land, Homo sapiens were able to adapt to a variety of environmental conditions. This allowed Homo sapiens to develop new technological...

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