While one school of thought has assumed for some time now that the last of the neanderthals were killed off by humans a new study using DNA samples reveals that many neanderthals likely died off in Western Europe as a result of the Ice Age.
According to a BBC report a large number of neanderthals died before they ever came in contact with modern humans while only a small group survived 10,000 years after the Ice Age with the rest becoming extinct around 50,000 years ago.
The study’s lead researcher says of his DNA work:
“The fact that Neanderthals in Europe were nearly extinct, but then recovered, and that all this took place long before they came into contact with modern humans, came as a complete surprise.”
To determine the likelihood that Neanderthals mostly died off around the Ice Age researchers used DNA variation tests to figure out when the group began to fade away. According to the study “low genetic variation can make a species less resilient to changes in its environment, and place it at increased risk of extinction.”
According to the Daily Mail had neanderthals survived the cold temperatures they may have led to the extinction of modern humans.
The neanderthal debate continues to rage on with the species making headlines just several short weeks ago when painting found in the Nerja caves of southern Spain are believed to be of Neanderthal origin dating back 42,000 years ago.
Do you think humans survived the neanderthals because we were located in the East while the neanderthals chose harsher conditions to populate?