NEANDERTHALS – The Species that Fell Behind

Were humans always the superior race? or were there any other species like us who lived in the past but don’t exist anymore? The answer is ‘YES’, and honestly up until 40,000 years ago, there were at least 3 other species like humans.

Neanderthals and Denisovans are the two other sister species that existed with the Homo sapiens.

Neanderthals are said to have lived somewhere between 40,000 to 350,000 years ago. They are also said to be at least 100,000 years older than Homo sapiens. Although it is still unclear how they went extinct, there are multiple reasons on the table such as diseases, plagues, inbreeding complications, and even us humans wiping them off.

They were a group of hunters that preyed on large animals but didn’t focus much on the smaller ones. They survived by hunting mostly deer and mammoths. Even that could have been a reason for their extinction as they were at constant risk of injury, fatality, and failure when hunting large animals and they were not skilled enough to hunt the agile little ones such as rabbits.

Neanderthals and Homo sapiens

Interbreeding between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens is said to have happened in several independent events. Depending on our heritage we are all likely to have a little Neanderthal in us, although the number might vary from less than a percentage to over 2%.

As for the appearance, Neanderthals are the closest looking species to Homo sapiens. However, there are differences to tell them apart, such as the height, physique, and unique characteristics in skull and teeth. They were shorter than us but had a larger body size with thicker bones.

DNA samples can be used to easily differentiate between Neanderthals and Humans. It is a proof to the fact that Homo sapiens were not the only group of archaic humans to walk on this planet. It also proves that there were other species along with Homo sapiens that once dominated the earth while we (Homo sapiens) were limited to the African region.

Neanderthals lived just the way we live now, in the sense of making tools, art, shelter, fire, and consuming plant-based food, they even buried their dead with rituals and offerings. It is said that we humans might have also acquired skills and characteristics from them, evolving us to what we are today.

After analyzing the known Neanderthals sites around the globe, archeologists have found sophisticated tools made out of ribs of deer. These are similar to the tools found across many prehistoric sites of modern human settlement. The tools were used to make clothes which indicates that we humans incorporated such tools to fit our needs, and thus ended up learning and adapting from them.

Neanderthals are said to be amongst thousands of species and subspecies that went extinct a long time ago. If that’s true, imagine how many species we have missed on this earth and how many we may have missed outside this small, big Earth?

Let me know what you think.

Manavi Kapur

Manavi is a fun-loving, tech-savvy, lady of the media and you better believe us when we tell you that she can sing! Needless to say, she has done all that with aplomb because some of her articles are highly cited in this niche.

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