Study: extreme cold from climate change may have killed off Neanderthals

New research suggests climate change may have contributed to extinction of Neanderthals

Reconstruction of the head of the Shanidar 1 fossil, a Neanderthal male who lived c. 70,000 years ago (John Gurche 2010)

Reconstruction of the head of the Shanidar 1 fossil, a Neanderthal male who lived c. 70,000 years ago (John Gurche 2010)

From the UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER

A researcher at the University of Colorado Denver has found that Neanderthals in Europe showed signs of nutritional stress during periods of extreme cold, suggesting climate change may have contributed to their demise around 40,000 years ago.

Jamie Hodgkins, a zooarchaeologist and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at CU Denver, analyzed the remains of prey animals and found that Neanderthals worked especially hard to extract every calorie from the meat and bones during colder time periods. Her results were published in the Journal of Human Evolution last week.

Hodgkins examined bones discovered in caves once inhabited by Neanderthals in southwestern France for marks demonstrating how the carcasses of deer and other animals were butchered and used for food. During colder, glacial periods, the bones were more heavily processed. In particular, they showed higher frequencies of percussion marks, indicating a nutritional need to consume all of the marrow, probably signaling reduced food availability.

“Our research uncovers a pattern showing that cold, harsh environments were stressful for Neanderthals,” said Hodgkins. “As the climate got colder, Neanderthals had to put more into extracting nutrients from bones. This is especially apparent in evidence that reveals Neanderthals attempted to break open even low marrow yield bones, like the small bones of the feet.”

These findings further support the hypothesis that changing climate was a factor in Neanderthal extinction.

“Our results illustrate that climate change has real effects,” said Hodgkins. “Studying Neanderthal behavior is an opportunity to understand how a rapidly changing climate affected our closest human relatives in the past. If Neanderthal populations were already on the edge of survival at the end of the Ice Age, the increased competition that occurred when modern humans appeared on the scene may have pushed them over the edge.”

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228 thoughts on “Study: extreme cold from climate change may have killed off Neanderthals

  1. So we neanderthals were driving around in SUV’s and burning coal and caused the climate to change? Tut tut tut!

    • Seems like starvation is as good an excuse as any. Who is going to argue with her ? Probably no-one before she gets her PhD.

      Then she’ll find out what starvation is all about, because nobody is going to pay her to see if there is anything edible left on some old Neanderthal bones.

      Besides that chap in the selfie looks pretty well fed to me.

      G

      • “””””…..“Our results illustrate that climate change has real effects,” …..”””””

        That’s a fact. Climate change really does result in changes to the climate.

        g

      • You have to realize she uses a scientific weasel phrase “may have.” She isn’t asserting certainty, just a possibility. Most science is only discovering possibilities not certainties.

      • Besides that chap in the selfie looks pretty well fed to me.

        He looks almost exactly like a fellow I went to college with in Farnborough. The guy was on a special grant because he had an XXY or something in his genome. I think, maybe it was XYY, anyway it was odd and he looked just like the Neanderthal pictured above. He was a poet.

        Which brings me to my next pet peeve; it seems pretty obvious the Neanderthalers never “died out”, then interbred with Homo Sapiens and we’re still wandering around doing things like inventing Bordelais sauce and folk rock.

      • Bartleby

        Which brings me to my next pet peeve; it seems pretty obvious the Neanderthalers never “died out”, then interbred with Homo Sapiens and we’re still wandering around doing things like inventing Bordelais sauce and folk rock.

        Far more likely is that they never died “culturely” either: The bones, the residue left in caves, the long tribal memories of the surviving HomoSapiens would be the “real world” source for trolls, giants, and “evil things” living in caves that threaten the (now-civilized) surface dwellers sitting around a bar (well, a campfire) drinking and telling tales … Equally, if you want to describe a dragon, its pretty easy to begin by describing a T Rex skull and the large bones found in the rock wall of a landslide or creekbed. Or vice versa: Find a T Rex skull, and invent a dragon to tell why the skull was found in rocks.

    • showing that cold, harsh environments were stressful for Neanderthals
      ============================
      in other words, what Neanderthals needed was some Global Warming.

      • Well maybe Neanderthals did interbreed with Moderns. However, gene flow between African and Eurasian human populations was limited, though probably not completely shut down, by about 800,000 years of continental glaciations.

        The limited gene flow may have been sufficient to reduce the fertility of “hybrids” and thus impact survival of small bands that comprised Eurasian human populations in those times.

        I placed the word ‘hybrids’ in brackets because Neanderthals may not have been a separate species from us or inferior in any way.

        Perhaps there was just enough genetic difference to reduce fertility of Neanderthal women below the replacement level. A very slight shortage of fertile women would cause extinction in a few thousand years, band by band, until none were left.

        Of course most of ours and Neanderthal mitochondrial and nuclear genomes match because we share common African ancestors who have also probably become extinct, probably before or during the “Bantu” expansion from West Africa. (‘Bantu’ also in brackets because a reference to language and culture.)

        For all of these reasons, the results of genetic comparisons between Moderns and Neanderthals are difficult to interpret. Once in a while you may pass somebody in the street who looks like an artist’s reconstruction of a Neanderthal, but it seems best not to read much into this.

  2. Colorado is truly the center of global stupidity. The garbage that comes from there is extensive, they produce rubbish paper after rubbish paper.

    • Just the academics are morons – same as everywhere. The common people of Colorado are just fine thank you.

      • Some in Colorado confuse ‘stone age’ with ‘stoned age’.

        Given the profusion of confusion that has emerged from Colorado with respect to climate, are we even sure it was cold 40,000 years ago? Maybe the Cro Magnon hunters were simply better at grabbing the meals and the women. Given that European DNA is 3% Neanderthal it is a bit of a stretch to say they ‘went extinct’ at all.

        Sitting around the fire, one Neanderthal says to another, taking his time bashing the head of a thigh bone on a rock, “Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend, pass it over to me.”

      • Yes, Neanderthals are extinct, for the reason I note elsewhere, ie that most of their distinctive genome is lost.

        Chicken DNA is roughly 100% dinosaur, yet their non-avian dinosaur ancestors are extinct. Chickens retain the ability to grow teeth and long, bony tails, but they only very seldom express those non-avian traits. Such atavistic expression is, well, rare as hen’s teeth. But less rare than dolphins growing rear flippers where their legs used to be, and whales developing leg bones.

      • Ain’t Evolutionism a grand Siants?

        “Chicken DNA is roughly 100% dinosaur, yet their non-avian dinosaur ancestors are extinct.”

        Having no DNA samples from dinosaurs does not inhibit the Siants of evolution one little genome ; )

      • PS, BD, if what you say there is true, why has no new DNA evolved into existence among all them birds?

      • Because Whole Foods, won’t sell genetically modified foods. so for them, chickins is just chickins, and tastes just like chickin too !

        g

      • John,

        There are some innovations in bird DNA, but they still retain most of the same genes. The main differences are in control genes rather than coding genes.

        For instance, teosinte and corn (maize) are identical genetically but the huge difference between them is in control of gene expression.

        We don’t have non-avian dinosaur DNA, but we do have some of their proteins, which are the same as in birds. Besides the fossils showing bird evolution from theropod dinosaurs, we have embryological development, recapitulating dinosaur ancestry. Again, it’s genetic growth control mechanisms which largely regulate the differences in expression of the largely identical genes.

        As noted, bird embryos develop teeth and long tail bones before losing them. Same with embryonic human and other ape tail bones. How stupid and incompetent would a designer have to be to design wasteful, nonsensical growth and development like that?

        The BS belongs to creationists.

      • I notice you back nothing up, BD, but just say things as though it’s up to others to somehow prove Evolution is wrong . . much like the climate Siants clan does. One wonders if there is a link ; )

      • John,

        I’ve provided you papers for every point I make. Yet you refuse to bother to educate yourself. You can lead a creationist to the truth, but you can’t make him accept reality.

      • “John,

        I’ve provided you papers for every point I make.”

        That’s a bald faced lie, BD, as anyone who can read can see. You been caught spouting bullshit, including the total crap about “Chicken DNA is roughly 100% dinosaur”, with nothing (even possible) to back it up, and did a bait and switch to proteins, (with nothing to back that up), which by no sane logic would render what you said about their DNA scientifically true . .

        I suspect you are just regurgitating Evolutionist talking points (rather sloppily), and are not really much of an expert on any of it. A google expert ; )

      • John,

        Why do you persist in lying when it’s so obvious that I did provide you a recent paper on the origin of bird DNA? Or did you miss it by accident?

        New flash! DNA codes for proteins! To make keratin, you need the DNA that codes for keratin. For instance.

        I regurgitate nothing, since evolution is my job. My specialty involves forms of biomolecular and genetic engineering, to include synthetic biology and directed evolution. That might sound modern, and at the level we work today, it is, because it’s based upon the genome rather than the expressed phenotype.

        But in effect it’s no different from the directed evolution which humans have practiced for thousands of years. As noted, maize is a new, man-made species, indeed incapable of reproducing without human help. Yet it’s genetically indistinguishable from its wild ancestor teosinte. Mexican farmers and breeders created this new species about 5000 years ago.

        Domestic sheep today are a different species from their wild ancestors. Artificial selection has produced so many genetic differences that the new and old species can no longer interbreed successfully.

        New plant species are made all the time now in the lab the same way that 30 to 70% of them evolved in the wild, ie in a single generation due to polyploidy. As I told you before, we make not only new species but new genera in the lab, both de novo and repeating evolution observed in the wild.

        I can recreate in the lab the same mutation that turns sugar-eating bacteria into nylon-eating bacteria in the outside world. Experiments (dangerous!) recreate the evolution of drug-resistant microbes, in order to discover and test new antibiotics with which to attack these genetic innovations.

        Evolution is a consequence of reproduction.

        There is no evidence whatsoever in favor of creationism and all the evidence in the world, everywhere on every side, in support of the fact of evolution. From every possible source–rocks, molecular clocks, biogeography, anatomy, genomics, embryology–all evidence shows the repeatedly observed fact of evolution.

      • Wow, you can spout things . . and act like you have no burden of proof at all. The new Siantific way ; )

      • Well, guys and gals, whether you like it or not Bye Doom is right. Unequivocably. I speak as the former senior MOT exec responsible for Chris Galvin’s gene chip initiative. Our first client for our version was Mayo Clinics, trying to resolve personalized treatment of cancer. You object to that?

      • John,

        Why don’t you try to show false anything that I have said? You won’t because you can’t.

        Ristvan,

        Thanks for your great work on that chip.

        Creationists can’t handle the truth and don’t even want to hear it.

        As I’ve said, the fact of evolution has long been just a trivial observation, not the insightful inference it was in 1837. Besides fossils in stone, we have microbiological fossils. We can see in molecular detail the actual evolutionary events in the history of life at the genetic level.

        As more and more organisms’ genomes are sequenced, we can see the changes that produce the difference between lobe-finned fish and amphibians, between amphibians and reptiles, between birds and other reptiles.

        Genetic bases of the traits that distinguish humans from other apes is known. Mostly it’s a difference in the duration of operation of the control “genes” rather than the coding genes. As for instance the fact that humans and chimps have the same number of follicles per unit of skin area, but our body hair grows short and theirs long. Our leg bones grow longer and our arms shorter than theirs. The protein differences are minimal. Humans and gorillas share blood groups. We have all the traits characteristic of great apes, plus a few uniquely human.

        Not only the genetic basis of two important human traits are known, but roughly when and how these innovations occurred, thanks to the intersection of molecular, cellular and geologic “fossils”.

        Our upright walking is associated with a gross chromosomal mutation, the fusion of two smaller, standard great ape chromosomes into a larger human one, #2. John ignored my prior explication of this truth so inconvenient to creationism.

        Our big brains took off about 2.4 to 2.7 million years ago thanks to a mutation.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/25/us/less-jaw-big-brain-evolution-milestone-laid-to-gene-flaw.html

        We have good fossil sequences across this transitional period. There is really only time for two species in that East African space, and both of them are in the fossil record. So this mutation accounts for the transition from Genus Australophithecus to Genus Homo.

        As a taxonomic lumper rather than splitter, IMO not only australopithecines but even chimps and bonobos should be classified into the same genus with humans. There are lots and lots of other unanswerable genetic bases for classifying chimps and humans in the same genus. We’re more closely related than horses and donkeys, both in Genus Equus. Even in the 18th century, Linnaeus himself said that he would have put humans and chimps in the same genus but for the religious objections such seeming impiety would surely have raised.

      • That’s all the climate Siantists want, it seems to me, the same power as Evolutionism has . . to simply declare what is so. Why would anyone be so unfair as to deny them that right? ; )

      • For “is known”, please read “are known”. Changed the number of the subject without the verb.

      • John,

        Instead of blathering and bloviating, why not try to explain from a creationist perspective why human chromosome #2 consists of two smaller chimp (gorilla and orang) chromosomes stuck together, which is why we have 23 pairs and they have 24?

        Then please tell me why evolution doesn’t happen when I can, with the simplest possible point mutation (deleting a single base), turn a sugar-eating bacterium into a nylon-eating bacterium. That is, I can make a new species in about 20 minutes.

        Follow that explanation with another as to why via whole genome duplication I can make an entirely new species of plant in the lab or recreate the origin of a recently new one in the wild, in a single generation. BTW, as I previously mentioned, there have been at least two such duplications in the history of human evolution, producing a lot of extra genetic material upon which mutation and selection can act while preserving the original gene functions.

        Thanks!

      • “John,

        Why don’t you try to show false anything that I have said? You won’t because you can’t.”

        You mean like somehow show that chicken DNA is not roughly 100% dinosaur?

        (This new Siants stuff is lunacy, I say. And it’s the very same “What I say about things is fact, unless you can disprove it” crappola that you can see coming from Evolutionism zealots without batting an eye, that is being taken up by the climate Siants clan, it seems very clear to me.

        But don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Evolution is dis-proven, just that it is being believed based on faith. Faith meaning belief in things one cannot actually observe, like real science is about)

      • We’re more closely related than horses and donkeys, both in Genus Equus. Even in the 18th century, Linnaeus himself said that he would have put humans and chimps in the same genus but for the religious objections such seeming impiety would surely have raised.
        ==================
        Horses and donkeys produce hinny’s. Do humans and chimps produce hillary’s?

      • John,

        Since birds are dinosaurs, the vast majority of their DNA is the same as the other dinos, those which went extinct 68 Ma. Again, as I told you, the genes coding for proteins are practically the same, well over 90%, but genetic control elements cause such innovations as resorbing embryonic teeth. Many dinosaur lineages, both saurischian and orinithischian, developed toothless beaks.

        “Disproven” is not a scientific term. The closest technical term is falsified, ie shown false. Evolution has never been shown false. The predictions made on the basis of evolutionary theory “prove” correct, as for instance Darwin and Huxley’s predictions that the ancestors of humans would be found in Africa. As for example that the forms transitional between lobe-finned fish and tetrapods would be found in Late Devonian rocks of the Canadian Arctic. As in the case of proto-mammals with two jaw joints.

        Evolution is a fact. The only reason you don’t know that is because you have never studied the subject, never have made new species or genera in a lab or observed in the field, as have real biologists and medical researchers.

        Ignorance I guess must be bliss.

      • John,

        I note you’re not even trying to reply to my direct questions.

        As for bird DNA, apparently you’re unaware that birds share 93% of their DNA with crocodilians. That’s comparable to humans and macaque monkeys.

        http://today.ttu.edu/posts/2014/12/biologist-leads-group-that-mapped-crocodilian-genomes

        Thus, birds and their non-avian dino kin share DNA in the high 90s, especially with theropods (mainly bipedal carnivores like T. rex) and sauropods (giant herbivores) more than with ornithischians like Stegosaurus and Tricerotops. Like birds (which are theropods), theropods and sauropods have an advanced respiratory system and bones filled with air sacks.

        Birds (dinosaurs) and crocs are archosaurs, the branch of the reptilian group more closely related to each other than to lepidosaurs, ie squamates (lizards and snakes) and tuataras. Turtles appear more closely related to archosaurs and might even be archosaurs. More work is needed.

        As a biologist would predict, crocs are closer to the ancestral archosaur, while birds have undergone more rapid evolution. Pretosaurs, the Mesozoic flying reptiles, were also archosaurs, more closely related to dinos than to crocs.

      • My kids are different from me; they are also different from their mother. In fact they are different from anybody in our family, including each other.

        Gotta be something changing there somehow. The differences between My kids, could even be described as variability. Over time those changes could have a real effect. Maybe as much as sea level rise.

        G

      • “John,

        Since birds are dinosaurs…”

        See, folks? There’s no hesitation at all, to state as fact, that which cannot be observed to be fact.

        If, I say IF, humans and chimps (or gorillas, to be truly apropos to the recent trend of this thread ; ) were both created by some very highly advanced being(s), then one would naturally expect them to have very similar genetic coding, since they are very similar creations, right?

        Am I going to declare that such similarity scientifically proves creationism? Of course not, and no one has to disprove such a hypothetical contention lest I be shown right in it, as I see the reality I find myself in.

      • John,

        That birds are dinosaurs is an inference supported by so much evidence that it would be perverse not to recognize it as an observation, ie a scientific fact. Unless you have a better explanation for the superabundant similarities. Even the few ornithologists who resisted this fact 20 years ago have come around in the face of incontrovertible evidence from every possible source.

        They were reduced to pointing out the difference between finger development in bird embryos from Triassic dinosaur fossils as a last gasp, but then we molecular biologists solved that problem.

        I can assert that fact because all the evidence in the world supports it, from every possible source. Instead of complaining, why not educate yourself on the topic.

        So if birds and crocs are 93% identical genetically, what do you suppose birds and their fellow theropods would be? Based upon anatomical and protein similarities, likely over 95% for ornithischians, around 97% for sauropods and 99% for theropods, give or take a point.

      • Just to help Bye Doom in this slightly erudite discussion, please google the research history of master control gene ‘eyeless’ , an ironic complete misnomer first proven in the fruit fly.
        Separate request. Those that do not know about ‘Eyeless’ should shut up and learn more experimental science before commenting. You give genuine climate skeptics here a very bad name based on your evident scientific ignorance.

      • “That birds are dinosaurs is an inference supported by so much evidence that it would be perverse not to recognize it as an observation, ie a scientific fact.”

        Don’t you mean a creationism fact? ; )

        We have very different notions of what (real) science means, and your version looks just like faith to me.

      • Ristvan, apparently you didn’t get my hint ; ) . . you are just a man, not a God, so you must put your actual logic on the screen, if you want others to take your reasoning seriously (speaking for myself). No arguments from authority will intimidate me.

      • John,

        If you had a clue what science is, you’d have long ago shut up and started putting yourself through a course in biology.

        What looks like faith to you because you’re totally ignorant of all relevant topics is in fact based upon overwhelming evidence, which you’re too scared to try to find out about.

        The form of beta keratin in feathers is the same as that found in the skin of crocs and preserved in dinosaur tissue. You have no leg to stand on, and won’t even try to learn more.

        It’s pointless to try to educate the willfully ignorant.

      • “If you had a clue what science is, you’d have long ago shut up and started putting yourself through a course in biology.”

        To me, what you said there was simply an appeal to authority, as though whatever is taught in biology classes (today) HAS to be ultimate truth . . which would spell the end of any climate crisis skepticism, if applied to what is being taught at university right now, by real live professors, concerning matters clearly not treated as Gospel, so to speak, by some now acting like it is wrong/unscientific for me not to accept what those “experts” they favor, figure.

        “The form of beta keratin in feathers is the same as that found in the skin of crocs and preserved in dinosaur tissue.”

        And you expect me to accerpt without question, that if those critters were designed, then it is irrational to think such a designer would use keratin in a variety of ways in a variety of critters, right?

        Color me amused ; )

      • Crispin surmises:

        Given that European DNA is 3% Neanderthal it is a bit of a stretch to say they ‘went extinct’ at all.

        Indeed. Even more interesting when you consider there’s only a 3% difference between modern humans and the great apes.

      • Sorry Crispin & Dinsdale, seems I accidentally stumbled into a mud hole. Should have read the rest of the thread before engaging.

        It is very educational though and I hadn’t known Bye Doom and ristvan were accomplished molecular biologists. Something new every day…

      • On Evolution, so to speak, it seems most reasonable to me that the respiratory system of birds indicates a separate creature line, from the time of emergence from water.. I don’t see why it could only happen once . . And similarities sometime down the evolutionary lines, with the most dino looking birds, resembling the most avian looking dinos, seeming rather unremarkable to me. On Evolution, I mean.

        Now, I grant I could be wrong, but I won’t grant that you couldn’t be wrong . . Even on Evolution, god-men ; )

      • It is really sad the way some people let their animosities towards others infect every conversation they have.

      • Bartleby
        May 11, 2016 at 7:58 pm

        Not quite the same thing.

        While Out of Africa Moderns show one to four percent Neanderthal DNA, that’s not the same thing as is being compared between chimps and humans. In this case, it’s that Neanderthals have different versions of alleles and genes in their sequences.

        In the case of chimps and bonobos, whole genomes, ie genes, are being compared. We share about 99% of genes which code for proteins with chimps, but a smaller share of control genes and what used to be called “junk DNA”.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7055/full/nature04072.html

        Neanderthals and Moderns are both “human”, so the same kind of comparison as with chimps would find us more closely related across the whole genome.

        Even on the gross chromosomal level, humans and chimps are remarkably similar. As I’ve mentioned before, our karyotypes would be practically identical were it not for the fusion of two smaller chimp (and other great ape) chromosomes into human #2.

        As biologists predicted, humans share the most chromosomes (practically all of them) with chimps and bonobos, fewer with gorillas and fewer yet with orangutans, although still a lot. But the other great apes all have 24 pairs and we only 23, thanks to the fusion event, which is associated with our upright walking posture. The details of the differences in our karyotype with those of our fellow African and Asian apes are interesting and educational.

      • ~ And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?

        They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. ~

      • John,

        Will see if I can post on genetics, since apparently no longer can on Neanderthals. A test:

        Outdated, since from 2008, but much still relevant on the evolution of birds from theropod dinosaurs.

        The scientist who found the same structure in a T. rex as in female birds when making eggs happens to be a conservative Christian:

        http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/not-so-dry-bones-an-interview-with-mary-schweitzer

        She also subsequently found the same protein in dinosaur osteocytes as in birds.

        http://www.nature.com/news/molecular-analysis-supports-controversial-claim-for-dinosaur-cells-1.11637

      • OK, that worked.

        John,

        Here’s another, shorter video for you, since you apparently don’t want to read about the fact of evolution:

        It complements the prior link on proteins, embryology and other evidence with anatomy, showing the easy stages by which tetanuran, coelurosaur, maniraptoran theropods evolved into birds, such as losing their tails and teeth to obtain pygostyles (“pason’s noses”) and beaks, developing halfmoon-shaped wrists (“semilunate carpals”), etc. For instance, among derived, shared traits with tetanurans, they still have three-fingered hands. In late tyrannosaurs, the third finger becomes a stub, so that it looks as if these bird-relatives had only two fingers.

      • Bye Doom,

        Wow, some people figure lots of evolving has gone on . . what a surprise ; )

        What a great faith they seem to have, that there once existed many gradually Evolving creatures (which we have no actual tangible evidence of) which gave rise to all the creatures we have tangible evidence of.

        When we look at humans, for instance, they are currently just floating at the top of the apish critter line, with no actual specific ancestral candidates “connecting” them to the many other forms of apish critters that have been found, isn’t that true?

        Right from the (assumed) get-go, that’s what we actually have, and not remains of creatures demonstrably evolving (that I am aware of, after searching). The Cambrian “explosion” being a sudden appearance of fully evolved creatures, with no identifiable precursors, that remain essentially the same till they disappear from the record.

        And this was what Mr. Darwin said he saw as the greatest problem his theory faced, and I agree. It MIGHT be that we just haven’t yet come upon truly good examples of clearly evolving discreet lineages (which is of course why you aren’t showing us actual remains that reveal evolution in action, so to speak), but it MIGHT be that we haven’t because they never existed.

        I only recently stopped have great faith in Evolution, and am not saying faith is unwarranted . . just that it is faith.

      • So, anyway, no comment on the avian respiratory system, BD? Do you figure all dinosaurs had that form?

      • John,

        I already told you that birds share the same respiratory system as other saurischian dinosaurs, ie theropods and sauropods. The fragility of their hollow bones is one reason why it’s so rare to find complete sauropod remains, despite their gigantic size.

        Avian breathing is one of the innumerable derived traits which birds share with the closest kin, ie theropod dinosaurs, specifically coelurosaurs.

        Birds are closest to the avialae, then to paravians, which includes “raptors” (dromeosaurs and troodontids), then to the other maniraptoran “dinobirds”, such as alvarezsaurs, oviraptors, therizinosaurs, etc, and then ornithomimids, followed by tyrannosaurs, then the more “primitive” coelurosaurs and their larger kin the carnosaurs, such as Allosaurus and its descendents.

        We know a lot more about dinosaurs than we did when you were a kid playing with not very good models of them.

      • Bye Doom,

        “I already told you that birds share the same respiratory system as other saurischian dinosaurs, ie theropods and sauropods.”

        But not those classified as ornithischians (bird hipped)?

        I sense little or no understanding of the difficulties inherent in fully functional creatures switching from one respiratory system to another . . a little bit at a time . . what with oxygen being such a persistent need and all. I also sense no ability to question whatever you are told is true, by “experts” you want to be right. Your language has virtually no qualifiers, such as one familiar with logic and science customarily uses when discussing these sorts of things (ie; It seems most likely, many conclude, current thinking generally favors, etc, etc) . . That drops your credibility to near zero, with me, as that indicates you just don’t grasp the skeptical approach required for scientific thinking.

      • PS,

        “We know a lot more about dinosaurs than we did when you were a kid playing with not very good models of them.”

        And you imagined I didn’t know that? And what you imagined became “fact” in your mind? And you have no problem with such presumptive “reasoning”?

        You seem like one trained in propaganda, not science . .

      • John,

        I’ve presented you sufficient facts for a rational person to conclude, as did Huxley in the 1860s and as have scientists in general since Ostrom in the 1960s, that birds are dinosaurs.

      • “Among the many non-avian dinosaurian traits of early “bird” Archaeopteryx is its curved clawed second toe, like those of the raptors:”

        Wow, curved claws . . that would mean (on Evolution) it was advantageous in some way for that critter’s claw to grow more curved . . virtually nothing if Evolution generated all living forms.

        I realize Evolutionist experts like to pretend they have some sort of crystal clear big picture, but that’s no more true than the crystal clear big picture climate Siantists likes to boast they have .We do not have anything like a complete “record” of living things (you better hope, or there’s no freaking way Evolution can be true, since there are multitudes of huge “gaps” between virtually all discovered creature lines.

        We have only a truly fractured “record” from that time when tetrapods seem to have originated In fact, we can’t even be certain that a “birdline” archosaur didn’t give rise to the theropods. We can’t know how many “fishlines” emerged from the water to become amphibious, so there could have been completely separate lineages from different fish that are classified as dinosaurs.

        You bore me with your simplistic “shotgun” evidence. Take care.

      • John,

        Yes, phylogenetically we tetrapods (terrestrial vertebrates, or those whose ancestors were land animals) are indeed “fish”. Tetrapods are descended from lobe-finned fish. Our closes “fish” relatives are lungfish, which are practically amphibians themselves.

        Based upon latest cladistic and genetic analyses, among many other included categories I left out, we are members of the Domain Eukaryota, Kingdom Animalia (or Metazoa), Phylum Chordata, Unranked Clade (natural group) Craniata, Subphylum Vertebrata, Superclass Osteichthyes (bony fish), Clade Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish), Clade Rhipistia (lungfish and tetrapods), Superclass Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates and their descendents), Clade Reptiliomorpha (aminotes and other non-amphibian tetrapods), Clade Amniota (egg-layers and descendants), Clade Synapsida (ancestrally having one temporal fenestra rather than two such openings behind the eye), Clade Eupelycosauria, Clade Sphenacodontia, Clade Sphenacodontoidea, Clade Therapsida (mammals and their closest relatives), Clade Eutherapsida, Clade Neotherapsida, Clade Theriodontia, Clade Eutheriodontia, Clade Probainognathia, Clade Chiniquodontoidea, Clade Prozostrodontia, Clade Mammaliaformes, Class Mammalia, Subclass Theriiformes, Infraclass Holotheria, Superlegion Trechnotheria, Legion Cladotheria, Supercohort Theria, Cohort Placentalia, Clade Exafroplacentalia, Magnorder Boreoeutheria, Superorder Euarchontoglires (living glires are rodents and rabbits), Grandorder Euarchonta (primates, colugos and treeshews), Mirorder Primatomor[ha (colugos and primates), Order Primates, Suborder Haplorhini (tarsiers, monkeys and apes), Infraorder Simiiformes (or Anthropoidea, ie monkeys and apes), Parvorder Catarrhini (Old World monkeys and apes), Superfamily Hominoidea (gibbons and great apes), Family Hominidae (great apes), Subfamily Homininae (African apes), Tribe Hominini (chimps, bonobos and humans, plus extinct relatives), Subtribe Hominina (Homo and extinct ancestors and relatives), Genus Homo, Species sapiens and Subspecies sapiens.

      • John,

        Why can’t you even try to respond to any of my questions?

        Scientists don’t have a crystal ball, but we can look into the past.

        The second episode of this series (Planet Dinosaur, 1-3) is a pretty good, up to date summary of information from Early Cretaceous China and Mongolia on some of the dinosaurs most closely related to birds. The episode starts around 24 minutes.

        There is a lot more evidence supporting the fact that birds are dinosaurs, but viewing these 24 entertaining minutes will leave you better informed without having to read scientific papers.

      • BD,

        “John,

        Why can’t you even try to respond to any of my questions?”

        Obviously, I can. That particular question is “unanswerable”, therefore.

        Get it? If you don’t form rational/clear/non=presumptive sentences, you limit my ability to respond rationally, and I have little interest in responding at all. Here’s an early example, that perhaps you will grasp;

        “But less rare than dolphins growing rear flippers where their legs used to be, and whales developing leg bones.”

        Where their legs used to be, presumes they used to have legs there . . which in rational lingo (I assume) ought to have been put in terms of their ancestors, having had legs there . . so any answer by me either involves grappling with that presumptive . . mess, or tacitly agreeing they (their ancestors really, not them), had legs there, before I even get to the question of what you are talking about, example/evidence wise (‘member when you claimed; “I’ve provided you papers for every point I make” ? Well, no, but you could argue (I feared) that was not a “point” you made, and I had no stomach, so to speak, for going down that rabbit hole, so to speak ; ) . .

        And, whales developing leg bones, requires whales growing legs, by default . . so, I figured you prolly meant the bones near the rear of whale bodies, near the location their ancestors would have had legs (on evolution from land animals, etc), which bones involve no legs . . . So, I declined attempting to discuss the matter of those bones with you. It’s not that I “couldn’t”, but that it looked like a difficult task, and I saw no proportionate potential “reward” at the end of what I thought I might be able accomplish by bringing up things like this;

        https://pressroom.usc.edu/whale-sex-its-all-in-the-hips/

        “New research from USC and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) flies directly in the face of that assumption, finding that not only do those pelvic bones serve a purpose – but their size and possibly shape are influenced by the forces of sexual selection.”

        For even if what you were referring to was those bones, I cannot, of course, prove the negative that they did not morph from what were once leg bones, so I figured the attempt would result in nothing more than you telling me how herds of Evolutionist figured they did morph from what were once leg bones . . So I didn’t (as it seemed to me) waste my (our) time responding at all . .

        That’s just on small example of what it’s like trying to reason (or even consider reasoning) with a non-skeptical Evolutionism adherent, as I see/experience the . . option. It’s no fun, and there’s essentially zero potential pay-off in terms of getting such a person to even question their . . faith.

  3. Anatomically modern humans entered Europe before 43,500 years ago, during the long period (57-24 Ka) of fluctuating but “middling” climate during the last glaciation.

    http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nercEUROPE.html

    Slightly edited:

    “Around 43-41 Ka, a brief interstadial event, about as warm as the present-day, seems to have followed on suddenly from a previous phase somewhat drier and colder than present. Fossil beetle evidence found in eastern England by Coope suggests that in north-west Europe at least, this phase was comparable in warmth to the present-day (Huijzer & Isarin 1997). Conditions remained treeless, however, probably due to the lack of time for tree populations to return from more southerly refuges. The warmth ended suddenly, with a switch to extreme cold.

    “During 41-39 Ka (possibly corresponding in age to Heinrich Event H4), Europe experienced a relatively cold phase during the ‘middling’ period (Oxygen Isotope Stage 3). Huijzer & Isarin (1997) have summarized the general climatic and ecological conditions for north-western and central Europe for this phase, based on a range of indicators including plant fossils, insect fossils, ancient dune features and permafrost features.

    “Huijzer & Isarin suggest that to the south of a large ice sheet (approximately following the southern limits of present-day Norway and Sweden), there would have been arid conditions with sparse vegetation cover, with aeolian sand sheets active, and some loess (windblown dust) deposition in areas where at least some vegetation was present. Mean annual temperature was similar to the high Arctic of the present-day; around -9 to -4 deg.C, and the mean temperature of the warmest month across north-west Europe was around 10-11 deg.C; equivalent to the tundra zones today. The coldest month would have varied from around -27 to -20 deg.C from north (Denmark) to south (northern France).

    “This interval, correlated with a Heinrich event or ice surge in the north Atlantic, was one of the intense cold and dry stages of the last 100,000 years in western Europe, though it is uncertain whether this cooling extended much outside of Europe (unlike the glacial maxima which seem to have been fairly global in their extreme conditions).”

    So Moderns entered Europe during a relatively mild, if not quite interstadial, phase, proliferated during a true, balmier interstadial, then were able to adapt to a cold stadial, during which the local Neanderthals would already have been stressed.

    • Neanderthals appeared in Europe about 400,000 years ago. That means they’d already lived through 4 ice ages prior to the immediately past one.

      The must have been well-adapted to cold climates. But somehow, the last one was climatologically especially stressful? Permit one to have doubts.

      The only unique aspect of the last ice age was that Cro-Magnons were present. One guesses that they gifted the Neanderthals with some special stress when they arrived.

      • Correct. Except that Neanderthals evolved in Europe, northern Africa and western Asia rather than migrating there. They share a common ancestor with H. sapiens sapiens, ie us. H. heidelbergensis lived in both Eurasia and Africa. The northern population evolved into H. sapiens neandertalensis (usually without the “h”) and the African population into us.

        We’re a more lightly built, tropical subspecies, while H. s. n. was a more robust boreal temperate zone form.

      • I think those African Bushmen decided to go walkabout, much more recently that 400 kya.

        So ho did they get to Europe that early ?

        g

      • George,

        Bushmen are similar to the ancient AMHs who inhabited southern Africa 120 Ka or more. Their fellow Africans didn’t go on walk about to Europe until about 50 Ka, although they waxed and waned in the Levant from c. 90 Ka. Aurignacian culture developed in the Near East before people carried it into Europe.

        Europe was repeatedly invaded by Genus Homo during warm spells. First around 800 Ka, then again c. 400 Ka (H. heidelbergensis), which migrants evolved into Neanderthals, then again by AMHs after 50 Ka.

      • There was a volcano in Italy? IIRC that blew right at the extinction boundary and very cosely covered the Neadertal range with ash. Those not promptly killed had to deal with very few surviving animals to eat.

        We are a few percent Neanderthal due to not many surviving the volcano, then being genetically swamped when they left the ash area moving in to CroMagnon areas.

        No war. No cold issues. No failure to stand up to “moderns”. Neanderthals had larger brains and long success. But major volcanoes are a different thing…

      • “The only unique aspect of the last ice age was that Cro-Magnons were present. One guesses that they gifted the Neanderthals with some special stress when they arrived.”

        It’s mere speculation on my part but I think Moderns gifted Neanderthals with children who had reduced fertility, sufficienty reduced to place bands below the population replacement level.

      • @E.M.Smith,- The 250-300 cubic meters of volcanic ash you refer to is called the Campanian Ignimbrite layer in site digs. It is
        dated to 39,300 years ago & actually happened after Neanderthals were already extinct.

      • Here’s the oldest known definite Neanderthal:

        http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/skeleton-locked-limestone-yields-oldest-neanderthal-dna

        The article mentions Neanderthal traits possibly as old as 600 Ka, but the study it cites suggests younger more likely.

        The youngest Neanderthals however date to well after the Italian eruption, so it didn’t wipe them out.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7113/abs/nature05195.html

        Some have questioned the dating of the Gibraltar find to 24 to 28 Ka, but well dated remains from 28 Ka are known. Southern Spain appears to have been a Neanderthal refugium for thousands of years.

        Science keeps marching on. Conclusions from 50 years ago have been improved upon or overturned as new evidence emerges. Twenty years ago, who would have thought the expansion of the universe is (or could be) accelerating?

    • Bye Doom,
      Sorry to be about 3 threads late, but a nit-pick from much further up the page:-
      You talk of “orangs”. “Orang” is Indonesian for “man”. “Orang Puti” is “white man”, “Orang Utan” is “man of the woods” or “forest”.
      Which “orang” were you talking about earlier?

      • Oldseadog,

        In anthropological and biological slang, “orang” is shorthand for “orangutan”. Words from Malay and other languages often get coopted by speakers of other lingos and jargons.

  4. key point here is that it is cold that kills, not warmth.
    And the greens are worried about 2C of warming.
    What a pack of bozos.

  5. “Our results illustrate that climate change has real effects,” said Hodgkins.

    What she meant to say was “Our results illustrate that a cold climate has real effects,” said Hodgkins.

    • Well, if we would live in normal times, one could openly publish a paper, stating that a “cold climate” is bad for any sort of hominids. But since we live in a post-scientific and post-enlightenment era, every career-minded “scientist” must use the official “Newspeak” and call it “Climate Change”, if he describes dangerous living conditions…

  6. So what have firmly established is that cold weather kills. And people flourish under warmer climes. So global warming is bad… why????

    • As a Canadian I say: “Global warming? Bring it on”

      And current governments in Canada want to fight it? My question to them is “How much colder do you want Canada to be?”

      • “And current governments in Canada want to fight it?”

        The “one percent-ers” don’t want to lose their ocean front property …

        /mild sarc

  7. “may have contributed to extinction of Neanderthals”

    That’s a reasonable guess. :-)

  8. Haha – why did they bother doing that “reconstruction”?
    The Neanderthals have not died out. Because that person is clearly closely related to famous french rugby player called Sebastien-Chabal. (see image link).
    So, the Neanderthals walk among us. And play rugby:

  9. NO NO NO

    The neanderthals weren’t killed off. We are here inside us at 0-5% of modern humans. The DNA evidence is well known. “We” did not evolve from them as previously preached by the scientismists. Neanderthals interbred with other hominids. The premise of the “die off” assertion is antiquated.

      • @ Tom:

        Nope, bled out although bred out works too. It’s a line from Braveheart: “If we can’t get them out, we’ll bleed them out–referring to the Scots in Scotland.

      • No Jenn, I believe the line was we’ll breed them out, referring to the resumption of prima notte or first night.

      • @ Tom in Florida:

        You are so right! It is BREED them out–I looked up the quote to make sure. You know I’ve watched that movie at least 10 times over the years and could have sworn the actor said, bleed them out. Dang, and here I thought I didn’t have a problem with accents in movies and TV. So I am wrong–I acquiesce to your superior movie quote knowledge and admit my defeat. LOL.

        Back on topic and away from the threadjack—the article is a clear example of why Climate Change funding needs to be eradicated. As with any species (forgive the term) die off there are a myriad of factors to it’s decline and demise but lumping the study under the ALL SCIENCE–i.e. climate change–produces much ado about nothing. It’s not a headline stopper that changing environment puts pressure on species adaptability that may lead to it’s demise–but it is again…only a factor, not the whole story.

    • Probably right Paul. The simplest answer is standard population genetics. Neandertals and modern humans interbred. But the population of modern humans was larger than the population of Neandertals. So assuming random mating in each generation there was a slightly higher probability of genes being passed on from the larger modern human population than from the smaller Neandertal population. Over thousands of years most of the genes from the original smaller Neandertal population would have gradually been swamped out and replaced by genes from the larger modern human population. Except for those few Neandertal genes (like for for example disease immunity) where there was positive selective pressure for the Neandertal version. Those of us who are of European or Oriental descent are hybrids of the original African version of modern humans and Neandertals.

      • Yep Marty. And spacial perception skills too. Current thinking is that Neanderthals were pretty smart “people.”
        Dilution by a population that is 20X bigger is inevitable. Except, as you say, if a gene is tuned for dominance.

      • Sorry, but one to four percent doesn’t make us hybrids. It means that some of our ancestors 28 to 45 thousand years ago were hybrids.

        Your genetic swamping scenario may well have contributed to the demise of the Neanderthals, but so did violence and out-competition for resources. Most likely Moderns killed and ate Neanderthal males and kept their women as slaves. Not that it would be all that easy to subdue an adult female Neanderthal who didn’t want to cooperate.

        Scientists disagree over the degree of overlap between Moderns and Neanderthals, let alone the amount of violence, but Spanish, French and Italian researchers have recently found what they consider compelling evidence of inter-subspecies cannibalism, which is only to be expected, since both groups practiced it within themselves.

      • This “breeding out” theory is rather unlikely since interbreeding seems to have s brief and episodic There is evidence for three interbreeding episodes in ancestors of extant modern humans. One that affected the ancestors of all non-africans, one that affected the ancestors of all except papuans/aborigines and a third that only affected the ancestors of east asians.
        However there probably were further ones, which have left no trace because the affected Homo sapiens population has since gone xtinct without offspring. The DNA from Romanian “Oase” skeleton seems to indicate interbreeding just a few centuries earlier.

      • ” Except for those few Neandertal genes (like for for example disease immunity) where there was positive selective pressure for the Neandertal version.”

        Thanks for this. You have just pointed to another potential driver to extinction. Neanderthals, having lived in isolation from the main African populations, had probably little resistance to diseases imported by Moderns.

        I feel foolish for not having thought of this. It seems obvious, Moderns wiped out Neanderthals just by shaking hands and kissing.

    • Who preached that AMHs evolved from Neanderthals? You are a fount of misinformation. You shouldn’t presume to comment on topics about which you are so ignorant. Evolution is a fact. Get used to it.

      AMHs and Neanderthals both evolved separately from H. heidelbergensis, which evolved from H. erectus-grade humans (various specific names), which evolved from H. habilis-grade humans, which evolved from australopithecines.

      Neanderthals did indeed go extinct. Despite people outside of Africa having one to 4% Neanderthal genes, scientists could at best come up with maybe 20% of their entire genome from the fragments that are left in present AMHs from ancient hybridization. And even those genomic remnants are mostly on their way out, as they tend to be toxic.

      I’m about 2% Neanderthal, typical of people of European descent, with similar amounts of African and indigenous American ancestry.

      • If so, that was a very bad textbook. As a human biology undergrad at Stanford, 1969-73, no zoologist, paleontologist or anthropologist advocated such a ludicrous proposition.

        Maybe in the 19th century, before the great fossil hominid discoveries in Africa and Asia, some might have speculated as to the relationship, but already before the 1970s, it was clear that Moderns and Neanderthals shared a common ancestor about 400,000 years ago or so. To Darwin and Huxley it was clear that modern humans came out of Africa.

      • Embryological ontogeny does indeed recapitulate phylogeny, despite Haekel’s puffery drawings. Not in every detail, but enough to show evolutionary relationships. The drawings were imperfect, but the fact of embryological evidence remains.

        For instance, human embryos develop a tail that measures about a sixth the size of the embryo itself. As the embryo develops into a fetus, the tail is absorbed by the growing body. Same with the embryos of our fellow apes.

        Chicken embryos grow and resorb teeth and develop five fingers before losing two of them. Their Jurassic and Cretaceous theropod dinosaur ancestors had three fingers, but were descended from Triassic dinosaurs with five, then four fingers. Even the earliest dinosaurs were already losing their fifth fingers, along with developing the traits characteristic of the Superorder Dinosauria.

      • “Who preached that AMHs evolved from Neanderthals?”

        ;Lots of anthropologists (e. g. Wolpoff) did just that a few decades back. It was known as the “regional continuity model”, and I think it isn’t completely dead even know, at least not in China.

        I agree that it is nonsense – evolution just doesn’t work like that, but anthropology like climate science is a very politicized science.

      • Tty,

        Nope. The regional hypothesis says that moderns evolved from H. ergaster/erectus in Africa, then developed as a single species everywhere at once, thanks to gene flow. The evidence is against this proposition. Both antique forms of humanity and AMHs came out of Africa in waves at different times.

        But in any case, it doesn’t rule out the fact that Moderns replaced Neanderthals in their range. Clearly there was gene flow, but essentially the Modern subspecies overwhelmed the locals, by whatever means.

      • From the study there is zero base for speculation about competitive populations – other there had to be information / findings of the competitors.

      • That’s the real Problem with nowadays education – superfluent Information.

        What can be done without computer and sparse evidence.

        2m years man had coped with nature as his sole data bank.

      • Well if my memory doesn’t fail me, the Kon Tiki, and the Ra expeditions show that travel to and from America to the Pacific, was possibly feasible in both directions.

        But Genetic studies of native Americans from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, seem to show, they all carry a gene that has been traced to some chap living today, in a nomadic tent in Uzbekistan.

        As I understand it the Out of Africa expedition went very quickly all around the Arabian middle Eastern and Indian Coastal regions, at least to the tip of India, and then headed up to where Uzbekistan now is. And from there they all went (one Sunday afternoon) across the thousand mile wide Bering Land bridge to Alaska (to visit Wasila) and thence to the Americas (Once the ice melted and let them get out of Alaska, so all American indigenies, including my MIL carry the Uzbeki gene.

        He seemed like a very nice chap too.

        But apparently somewhere along the way, some of the Bushie trekkers decided to go back and visit Europe. So evidently they were in a hurry to get to America, and gave Europe a pass on the first trip.

        It all amazes the hell out of me, and then when you start investigating the Uzbek region, and look into places like Samarkand and Tashkent and our good buddy Timor the lame; pleasant fellow, and the reasons for the Great Wall of China. Seems absurd to me that the modern Great wall is all post Ghengis Khan.

        Does everybody remember that the 19 year older brother of the Boston Bomber pair was named Tamerlane by his oh so friendly mother. Well she left off the e-to disguise who he was.

        So I don’t quite get how all those blondes finally get to Scandinavia, or how the Vikings made it all the way back around into the Black Sea and Russia.

        It’s all a bit of a mysterious mess if you ask me.

        Don’t ask me, ask these chaps here who know all about that.

        G

  10. I love it. Heads I win tails you lose. So if it gets colder it’s bad if it gets warmer it’s bad, any change is bad. Hence the dumping of global warming to climate change. Perfect. Gotta love lefty’s tenacity. Lol. Idiots!

  11. Is that really a picture of a Neanderthal? It looks like a picture of Pachauri, the once chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Very naughty

  12. “If Neanderthal populations were already on the edge of survival at the end of the Ice Age, the increased competition that occurred when modern humans appeared on the scene may have pushed them over the edge.”

    Isn’t that called natural selection? Didn’t Darwin say that is how evolution works? So is the author saying evolution is bad? Or just that the climate wiped out Neanderthals and that’s the way it is?

  13. Yes. “Climate change” did them in. Not the extreme cold, and lack of food. “Climate change”. It’s like a mantra for them.

    • Neanderthals had survived previous cold snaps in both the last glaciation and previous ones. So while “climate change” probably played a role, the added stress of competition with Moderns was more than they could handle.

      Much the same thing happened to the New World and Australian megafauna when humans invaded those continents.

  14. Whoa there! This a discovery by the U of CO. The rest of us have known about the plight of Neanderthals in the cold for a long time. Extinct? I thought it was common knowledge that, although diminished by the cold, they did interbred with cro magnon types, having moved southward following game and warmer weather. Yeah, climate change where you are freezing your A55 off will do a lot of harm. Warmth, not so much. Turkeys!

    • ..Does that mean that all Canadian young men will have to move South and …GASP !….have to have sex with American women ??… Wait…isn’t that called “Spring Break” ? LOL

  15. It’s well known that the perfect global temperature and CO2 level in the atmosphere occurred right when humans began to burn fossil fuels. Any deviation from that, whether it be colder or warmer is less than ideal.

    This is also true for all other realms………..sea level, ocean ph, number of polar bears and butterflies.

    A version of this belief system applies to any pests or threats that have increased recently. For example: mosquitoes, ticks or terrorists…………all of which have increased in tandem with the planets deviation from those perfect levels of temperature and CO2.

  16. Too bad the Neandertalers didn’t have liberals to tell them how to live… oh, wait, maybe they did!

    • Yeah, the neanderthals might have gotten some bad advice from the Liberals of the day. Like: Trust us, we know what we are doing, and it will be to your benefit.

      • “To Serve Man” goes hand in glove with “Fighting for us,”

        A further food stock in the vein of Soylent Green.

  17. Dubious. In Archeology nov 1999 there is a paper on a neanderthal find in Germany proving cannibalism. Two adult males, two adult females, two juveniles plus many red deer. Dated 80,000 to 120,000 ya. All butchered (stone cut marks) and eaten the same way. Every bone containing marrow broken open for marrow extraction. That is every bone, except for hand and foot bones, which contain no marrow. Ditto for the deer bones
    So wrong by about 60,000 years, and wrong as to how neanderthals butchered and ate. No big cold snap change 40,000 ya.
    The two hypotheses as to extinction (outcompetition by humans, interbreeding) remain unsettled, but it looks like outcompetition from ‘superior’ stone tool technology. Neanderthals were mainly Mousterian technology, Cro Magnons were first Aurignacian and later (20,000 ya after Neanderthals gone) Magdalenian stone tool technology. Better tools, better weapons, better results.

    • As I commented above, there was a cold snap c. 40 Ka, but not all that different from previous such episodes during the last and previous glaciations.

      Also, between Aurignacian and Magdalenian cultures were the Gravettian in Eastern Europe and Solutrean in the West. The latter is associated with the LGM.

      • TY. Did not know that, as did not research stone tools in detail. Was just curious whether Neanderthals and Cro Magnons (modern homo sapiens) shared a key technology or did not. Answer, not. Which suggests any interbreeding was opportunistic, not some cultural/subspecies fusion. Which further strengthens the competition hypothesis.
        BTW my interest stems from my ‘modern’ stone tool collection, mostly ‘modern’ but very geographically diverse. Inuit, African ‘pygmy’, Aztec, Inca, Plains tribes, Amazon tribes, Middle East, European Cro Magnon, Japanese. Started when I found a finely crafted milk quartz Piscataway tribe bird point (small arrowhead) on Piscataway Creek opposite Fort Washington National Park on the Potomac just south of DC as a teenager.

      • There is some evidence of acculturation of neanderthals near the end. The very conservative and geographically fairly homogenous Mousterian culture breaks up into regional cultural groups some of which seem to adopt techniques introduced by Homo sapiens. Examples are Chatelperronian, Uluzzian, Lincombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician and perhaps Szeletian. However they only lasted a fairly short time.

      • Tty,

        It’s not certain that Chatelperronian, etc., was made by Neanderthals, but at least possible. Chatelperronian generally predates AMH entry, so might be a Neanderthal development without copying Moderns. Or our technology might have preceded us in spreading into Europe.

      • Actually Chatelperronian is the only one of these “transitional” cultures where there is strong evidence that it was connected to neanderthals. The other ones are more uncertain. However it seems likely since they are all based in the Mousterian. As far as I know there is no evidence anywhere that connects Homo sapiens to Middle Paleolithic/Mousterian technologies after the end of the last interglacial.

      • Tty,

        My impression is that the most recent dating work found Chatelperronian to be from Neanderthal time, contrary to Zilhao. Mellars was first on Zilhao’s side, then switched interpretation after better dating. But Hublin’s dating is even more up to date and finds otherwise.

        That’s why I said that this Late Paleolithic culture of apparently recent Middle Paleolithic origin at this moment again appears to be associated with “pre-contact” Neanderthals.

        But you seem to know more about it than I.

    • Yes, going on through all ages, nowadays called ‘the demographic problem’, any time adherent as ‘birth control’.

      • talking of germany – you want search South Dakkota for anglo-saxon remnants 40,000 BC, will ya.

      • And talking about anglo saxons:

        Angles are german heritage; saxons are slavic origin, theire 3 faced god

        – Svetovid, Svantovit or Sventovit is a Slavic deity of war, fertility and abundance

        Changed your habits in the new world?

  18. you know…..anything up or down..from right now
    …is called climate change

    we’re are the ones in the change…..right now

    • Lat, good soul,
      You are right.
      And I prefer warmer to colder.
      Imagine having to crack even foot bones for marrow to get through the winter . . . .
      It certainly males me vividly aware of how close some groups must have been to starvation.
      And some, inevitably, starved. Ice Ages are pretty brutal.
      Goodness – even Little Ice Ages are pretty unpleasant – and we had some trapping of civilisation in, say, 1650.

      Food for thought.

      Auto

  19. LoIthNeaderthals hunted by ambushing their prey – they used cover like tall vegetation. Their tools were designed to stab & slash. Humans hunting was more versatile – they attacked from a ways off; their tools used spear throwers.

    The humans also hunted a more diverse set of mammals & their success cut into the food chain that the Neanderthals relied upon. Changes in climate also influenced the population in
    the food chain.

    The period from 24,000 – 60,000 years ago (defined by oxygen isotopes,, O.I.S. & also termed marine isotope stages,M.I.S. 3) experienced a lot of climate flipping Heinrich Events. The cold period of 60 – 71,000 years ago (M.I.S.4) saw the Levant become dry & desert like; the humans that came out of Africa & Neanderthals moved away. Then 45,000 years ago humans found conditions suitable for repopulating the Levant.

    This example of climate changing is given to point out how in cold epochs the Mediterranean woodlands shrank 75%, the open area increased, steppe became more common & the Neanderthals lost cover for their ambush style of hunting. Similarly, the steppe-like territory favored animals that normally feed on open country grasses. These were hunted successfully by spear throwing humans & their higher 15Nitrogen isotope w/lower 13Carbon isotope bones are found associated with human remains, but not with Neanderthal.

    To get an idea of how humans were stripping the hunting grounds see(2002) “A common rule for the scaling of carnivore density”, by Carbone & Gittelman They look at 75,000sq.km. in W.Europe & assuming an equal number of males + females was suitable for sustaining a self-replicating population of 3,800 humans. A male human needed 9,412kg of herbivore to eat, pregnant women needed 20-30% more calories than otherwise & when breast feeding even more calories. Since Neanderthals were naturally heavier their basal metabolic rate had a higher set point & they would have required comparatively more calories – but their open country grassland hunting success rate would not be able to support many breast feeding

    • There is as yet no evidence that Neanderthals exploited fish. Even bears catch fish, but apparently Neanderthals didn’t. Yet 70,000 year-old fishing gear has been found in the African homeland of modern humans.

      • Tty,

        I should have said no evidence that they fished with hooks, gorges, lures, nets, etc. They likely scavenged dead fish, such as spawned salmon (although Atlantic salmon don’t all die after spawning the first time). However there is still no evidence of fishing gear, unless you know of some.

        For marine mammals, they could have used their terrestrial spears. They might also have managed to stab some live fish with spears, but no specialized equipment has been found.

        True that coastal areas from glacial phases would be drowned, but salmon go far upstream. And Neanderthals also lived in Europe during interglacials, when sea level was as high or higher than now, as during the Eemian.

      • There is as yet no evidence that Neanderthals exploited fish. Even bears catch fish, but apparently Neanderthals didn’t.

        Bye Doom, salmon are not the only species of fish that migrate in-mass up small rivers, streams and creeks for their “spring spawning” ritual.

        When the smeltt are “running” in the spring, they are easy to catch a “bucket load” or three, and they are mighty tasty.

        The white sucker is another fish that migrate in-mass up small rivers, streams and creeks for their “spring spawning” ritual.

        Thus it only seems reasonable and prudent to assume that the Neanderthals exploited those “springtime” fish runs ….. which they could have easily done via hand-grabbing, whapping with a flint hand ax or beating severely with a big stick.

        And the lack of fish bones in their fossil habitat doesn’t mean that fish was not consumed.

        [Or by consuming the bears that ate the fish and berries and fruits. 8<) .mod]

      • Just though I should mention the fact that it would surely have required a big brutish Neanderthal wielding a large flint hand-ax to exploit (kill and drag ashore) one of these “springtime” spawning fish, to wit:

        Sturgeon is the common name for the 27 species of fish belonging to the family Acipenseridae. Their evolution dates back to the Triassic some 245 to 208 million years ago

        Several species can grow quite large, typically ranging 7–12 feet (2-3½ m) in length. The largest sturgeon on record was a Beluga female captured in the Volga estuary in 1827, weighing 1,571 kg (3,463 lb) and 7.2 m (24 ft) long. Most sturgeons are anadromous bottom-feeders which migrate upstream to spawn but spend most of their lives feeding in river deltas and estuaries. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon

        And an added note of interest:

        Excerpted from: http://www.stoneagetools.co.uk/palaeolithic-tools.htm
        Many of the Palaeolithic tools (hand axes) found in England have not been found at such sites of habitation but in river terrace gravels where they were deposited by the waters from rivers and melting glaciers.

        HA, most likely those hand axes that were found “in river terrace gravel beds” ….. were simply lost (deposited) there by Neanderthals who required their use when “fishin” for spawning sturgeons.

      • I’ve seen some pretty Neanderthal looking fishing gear down in the Sea of Cortez, and yet it seems to catch fish.

        g

    • During the warm and wet last interglacial Homo sapiens, togedther with several other african species, colonized the Levant, however when climate turned colder and drier they were supplanted by neanderthals. It seems that these first extra-african Homo sapiens simply died out, since there is no trace of such an early out-of-africa movement in modern eurasian humans. However Homo sapiens genes were recently found in a neanderthal from the Caucasus who lived well before the second out-of-africa migration, so presumably there was some interbreeding during the Last Interglacial as well.

      • There must have been a shifting frontier not only in the Levant, but all the way from NW Africa to Uzbekistan, so at the margins gene flow might well have been more or less constant. Call it weak Wolpoff.

      • The first OoA around 100 kyr ago resulted in the interbreeding event that you mention, that got sapiens DNA into neanderthalensis, and also neanderthalensis DNA into sapiens.

        That H. sapiens population could not get into Europe for lack of cultural adaptation to increasingly cold conditions (first winter experience), so they turned East and they got to China, were sapiens teeth 80,000 years old has been found. There they probably mixed with Denisovans and might be ancestors to the Melanesian population when they were pushed by the second OoA wave. That could be the reason there’s more Neanderthal DNA in Asia, as they inherited from two interbreeding events, and the reason the Denisovan DNA is so peripheral in human populations. Denisovans were probably extinct when the second OoA wave arrived to Asia, or perhaps they didn’t interbreed.

  20. “If Neanderthal populations were already on the edge of survival at the end of the Ice Age”

    Uh – they went extinct c. 40,000 years ago, which is almost exactly halfway through the last ice age and c. 28,000 years before the end of it.

    Sounds like typical post-modern U of C science.

  21. And this is why climate alarmists are so full of crap. Warmer climate + higher CO2 equals longer growing seasons, fewer arid lands, higher productivity. Most life–except for extreme cold adapted–would benefit. See: Cretaceous.

    We should be prepared for a cooling climate, of which we should be very afraid.

    • If so, how come there is no Neanderthal mt-dna (which is transmitted by women) in modern humans. The traffic seems to have all gone the other way, from neanderthal males to sapiens females.

      • They took our women, so we killed them all.

        Now seriously, they were very strong close-range hunters of dangerous prey. We have very few remains, yet we know that they led very dangerous lives and sustained a lot of wounds, many from infighting. As top predators they must have been very, very aggressive, and territorial. We know they exterminated rival clans quite often (at least two occurrences documented). Now, how do you think they would have reacted to the arrival of AMH to their territories? Conflict was served, and they fought it to the bitter end.

        We have seen the same too many times to pretend otherwise. North American indians suffered the same fate at the hands of Europeans, except it didn’t go all the way to extinction except for some tribes. How much native-american ancestry has the current US population? 2%?

        The extermination of Neanderthals is just an episode of the megafauna extermination caused by AMH wherever they went.

      • The traffic seems to have all gone the other way, from neanderthal males to sapiens females.
        ==================
        that is an easy one. today, in populations across the globe, regardless of social taboos, 17% of all children are not fathered by the person that thinks they are the father.

        what this means is at a minimum, 1/3 of all human females have more than one partner at the time they get pregnant. all across the earth.

        males talk about fooling around on their partners. not thinking to ask how this is possible without females fooling around as well. what better answer to survival, than to have multiple males all thinking they are the father.

    • Ferd,

      Right on. Selective pressure has fine tuned human development so that babies resemble their fathers more than their mothers, preferentially expressing paternal traits when young more than maternal. But not too much, just in case there was the cave equivalent of a milk man in the mix. Thus, the putative dad will be attracted to his child, but nature plays it safe and doesn’t overdo it.

      The shape of the human penis also evolved to help pump first coming sperm out of the vagina, back when the best hunter got first dibs on the most desirable women in the band, as is usually if not universally still the case among the dwindling population of hunter-gatherers.

  22. Crap of the highest order, but anything that you can attribute to climate change increases your chance of exposure. Charge people less for degrees in chemistry, physics, engineering etc. and let their schooling be subsidized by degrees in sociology, history, English, women’s studies et al.

    • Grant, a not so gentle chide. Your comment is ignorant, and undermines the general skeptic case here against the general CAGW claims. Please either educate yourself, or go elsewhere.

  23. exactly as we find today, probably 90% of human habitation over the past million years lies along the coast. Due to the current interglacial, most of that is now below sea level. what we find in the fossil records is the history of the relatively few people that lived in the interior. this gives us a skewed view of human development.

    • True, since glacial intervals last longer than interglacials. But the Eemian and some prior interglacials were warmer than now, with higher sea level. The toasty Eemian of course occurred without benefit of a Neanderthal industrial age.

      An archeological wag once suggested that characteristic Solutrean point, similar to the Clovis in America, was used for opening clams.

      • By the way,

        Thank you guys or guyesses for your expertise.

        See even the dumbest of thread heads, can lead to a wealth of education, for those of us who were otherwise engaged, way back when. WUWT is way better that SciAm or NatGeo, for getting to the nuts and bolts of some of these fascinating journeys of our past.

        My eternal thanks for your knowledge.

        G

      • “But the Eemian and some prior interglacials were warmer than now, with higher sea level.”

        True, but Eemian (or older) coastal sites are virtually unheard of, except perhaps in South Africa. It would seem that the coastal adaptation may have evolved first there. By late last glaciation coastal lifestyles were probably widespread. Up north in Sweden where late glacial coastlines are preserved thanks to isostasy coastal site from Alleröd-Younger Dryas are fairly common. Many are from what was then offshore islands, so boats must have been in use. And remember that people reached Buka in the Solomons 30,000 years ago and Manus by 15,000 years ago.
        But the solutreans were apparently inveterate landlubbers. They never even got to Corsica, which is actually visible from the mainland.

      • Tty,

        Corsica might not have attracted Solutreans, since it was heavily glaciated during the Würmian.

        Since the LGM coasts are now submerged, I would suggest that we can’t really know to what extent Solutreans were seafarers. For all we know, they might have hunted seals on land fast ice, like the Inuit and other Eskimos.

      • “Corsica might not have attracted Solutreans, since it was heavily glaciated during the Würmian.”

        No it wasn’t. There was some montane glaciation on the central mountain range that’s all. Very much less glaciation than in some of the areas the solutrean settled on the mainland (e. g. Pyrenees, Massif Central) and Sardinia (at that time contiguous with Corsica) wasn’t glaciated at all. Details:

        http://www.univie.ac.at/ajes/archive/volume_97/kuhlemann_et_al_ajes_v97.pdf

        “For all we know, they might have hunted seals on land fast ice, like the Inuit and other Eskimos.”

        Land fast ice? In the mediterranean? No, not even at glacial maximum. In the Bay of Biscay, possibly yes. And what is/was special to inuits is essentially that they weren’t dependent on hunting on fast ice due to their very advanced kayaks. And if the solutreans were using fast ice, how come they never made it to Ireland either? Or do you think they never left beaches except in southern France and Spain? And while they settled at Gibraltar they apparently never made it Morocco either, or the Balearics, or the Canaries, or Madeira for that matter.

        And by the way we know what Solutrean points were used for. They were projectile points as shown by Plisson and Geneste by use-wear analysis more than 20 years ago.

  24. Inbreeding among Neanderthals can also have been a factor in going extinct. A bone dated to at least 50,000 years ago has been determined to have parentage who were “… either half-siblings who had a mother in common, double first cousins, an uncle and a niece, an aunt and a nephew, a grandfather and a granddaughter, or a grandmother and a grandson.” As per (2014) ” The complete genome sequence of a Neanderthal from Altai mountains”, by K.Prufer, et.al. Figure 3 charts this homo-zygosity & authors remark in text how “… hetero-zygosity in Neanderthals … is among the lowest measured for any organism ….”

    • Inbreeding was less of a problem for Nenderthals as it is for sapiens. Their population bottlenecks, strong genetic drift and long term inbreeding probably had reduced a lot the frequency of deleterious alleles, so probably the deleterious charge per individual was probably not too different to ours.

      There’s a lot of people searching for excuses an alternative explanations to the obvious answer. The arrival of sapiens marked the end of Neanderthals as the arrival of Europeans to North America marked the end of Native Americans. Sapiens killed them off through more advanced culture and higher numbers. A lot of big mammals suffered the same fate at the same time in Europe and Neanderthals were just one of them. It is clear that the cause has to be the same, so it cannot be inbreeding, low numbers, low reproductive rate, high energy requirements, or climate change. Sapiens killed them all. A hunter-gatherer so resourceful that it could extinct many of their prey without consequences.

      • While I agree that AMHs killed off the Neanderthals by one means or another, much of the devastation wrought by Europeans on American Indian populations was caused by diseases rather than warfare and enslavement alone. And in a wrinkle, the indigenous population ate captive invaders, not the other way around.

      • Diseases may well be part of the explanation, but remember that neanderthals certainly carried pathogens too, and immune systems tailored to them. It is probably not a coincidence that neanderthal genes seem to be particularly common in those parts of the genome that are linked to the immune system, while for example genes connected with language are “neanderthal deserts”, i e neanderthal genes there have been selected against.
        It has even beren hypotesized the autoimmune diseases may be particularly common in non-african humans because we have a hybrid immune system.

  25. ““Our research uncovers a pattern showing that cold, harsh environments were stressful for Neanderthals,” ”

    Yes, I imagine a period of colder climate would cause great distress to the CAGW climate Neanderthals.

    • Cold is stressful for Homo sapiens as well. Read up on the really big european famines like in the 1310’s och 1690’s. Hint: those weren’t hot decades.

  26. From that font of lots of wisdom, Wikipedia……

    “At some Levantine sites, Neanderthal remains date from after the same sites were vacated by modern humans. Mammal fossils of the same time period show cold-adapted animals were present alongside these Neanderthals in this region of the Eastern Mediterranean. This implies Neanderthals were better adapted biologically to cold weather than modern humans and at times displaced them in parts of the Middle East when the climate got cold enough”.

    Hmmmmn……that suggests that Neanderthals got along quite nicely in the cold.
    That there was a bit of extra stress during periods of extreme cold is hardly a surprise.

    Rather than extreme cold killing off Neanderthals it may have been competition for resources with modern humans in areas that both could inhabit. Neanderthals required more energy/food than modern humans. So warming sufficient to allow modern humans to move in

    Modern humans seem to have lived in larger groups than Neanderthals and have better organised social structures, allowing them to exploit more than the just the local area.
    For example Australian aboriginal groups traded material across the continent, equivalent to someone in [to become] London trading sought after stone and pigment with someone in [to become] Moscow.

    According to Hoffecker [A Prehistory of the North: Human Settlement of the Higher Latitudes]….”There is no reason to suggest that the Neanderthals became extinct because they could not adapt to changing environments at this time “.

  27. There is a problem though. 40,000 years ago we had a warm interstadial known as Maritieme Isotope Stage 3, following the early Weichselian glaciations of 90,000 and 60,000 years ago with an abundance of wide spread evidence that the temperatures were about the same as nowadays.

  28. It’s always climate change. They carefully avoid the use of the term global cooling.

  29. When I first saw the photo I thought this was a story about Rajendra Pachauri, former Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    • Nope, Rahendra doesn’t use a scrunchy to keep his hair in place … the guy in the photo puts a little more effort into his appearance than does Rahendra.

  30. “Instead of blathering and bloviating, why not try to explain from a creationist perspective why human chromosome #2 consists of two smaller chimp (gorilla and orang) chromosomes stuck together, which is why we have 23 pairs and they have 24?

    Then please tell me why evolution doesn’t happen when I can, with the simplest possible point mutation (deleting a single base), turn a sugar-eating bacterium into a nylon-eating bacterium. That is, I can make a new species in about 20 minutes.”

    DB
    The creationist perspective for that happening is humans were made in the image of their creator. Just like you can make a new species in 20 minutes.

    • Michael,

      So the creator’s image is like an upright walking chimp? Or is it like a nylon-eating bacterium?

      In any case, continuously creating new species is not what the Bible says that this hypothetical creator did or does. Humans can and do make new species, but using the same evolutionary processes as observed in nature.

      The Word of God, ie the Bible in its many forms, is valuable for what it says. The Work of God, ie the observable universe, is valuable for what it shows us has happened and can be made to happen. For the purposes of physical and life science, the Work counts; the Word, not so much.

  31. While it’s interesting to speculate that cold/warm may have contributed to their demise it could equally have had something to do with isolated (inbred) communities that, over generations, eventually got some ‘bug’ and then (locally) died like flies.

    I suppose that if one were looking for a ‘climate’ link then one will find it with a big enough grant and ignore the alternative theories. The idea that they survived a whole bunch if temperature changes over 100’s of thousands of years leads me to believe that temperature wasn’t a major issue when it came to extinction.

  32. Neanderthals survived several cycles of glaciation/deglaciation over about 600,000 years. If you want to play the “correlation = causation” game, the only major change in their environment between 40,000 and 28,000 years ago when they went extinct was immigration into Europe from south of the Mediterranean by Homo sapiens.

    • Your point is valid and salient, made above by others and me.

      But Neanderthals aren’t quite that old. Neanderthal-style skull traits have been found in 400,000 year old fossils from Spain. As with most evolution, it’s hard to say when a population quits being H. heidelbergensis and becomes H. s. neanderthalensis, but the full suite of characteristic traits was present before 200 Ka, and probably quite a while earlier.

      The common ancestor of Moderns and Neanderthals surely lived 600 Ka, however. The interglacial of around 400 Ka was warm, allowing humans to reinvade at least southern Europe. Neanderthals developed cultural behaviors and perhaps physical traits to allow them to remain and survive in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East through subsequent glaciations.

      • No evidence that neanderthals were ever anywhere in North Africa. There is a reasonably good fossil record from Morocco and those are early sapiens back to about 200,000 years ago, like elsewhere in Africa.

        Neanderthals have only been found in Europe and in western Asia as far east as the Altai and in parts of the Near East. However they are only known in the Levant south of the Taurus-Zagros ranges from a rather brief beriod c. 50-80,000 years ago.

      • Tty,

        You may well be right that there is no archaeological or paleontological evidence for Neanderthals in North Africa, but there is genetic evidence:

        http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0047765

        When we say that Africans lack Neanderthal DNA, what we really mean is Sub-Saharan Africans. The study concludes that the Neanderthal DNA in modern North Africans comes from ancient mixing rather than having drifted in from contact with western Asians or Europeans.

        Gibraltar Strait and between Sicily and Africa were even narrower for most of Neanderthal time, and the Sinai less forbidding.

      • There is significant neanderthal gene admixture in e. g. Greenland inuits, Australian aborigines and New Zealand maoris (as a matter of fact rather more in inuits than in Europeans). That is not evidence that neanderthals were ever present in Greenland, Australia and New Zealand, only that all humans outside subsaharan Africa have neanderthals among their ancestors. Homo sapiens has moved about quite a bit in the last 50,000 years you know.

      • North Africans have fair skin. They must have gotten those genes from Out of Africa back migration, together with Neanderthal DNA.

        Neanderthal DNA has made it as far as some Khoisan tribes. However there is no evidence that any Neanderthal was ever in Africa.

  33. Apparently my answer has also disappeared, so I’ll repeat: Inuit in Greenland and Maoris in New Zealand have neanderthal genes (inuits rather more tha Europeans as a matter of fact), but this is not evidence for the former presence of neanderthals in Greenland and New Zealand. Humans have moved quite a bit in 50,000 years.

    • As I said in my disappeared response, the study found that the Neanderthal DNA had not drifted in from the Near East or Europe, but was anciently local.

      The straits at Gibraltar and between Sicily and Africa were narrower for most of Neanderthal time, and Sinai less forbidding. So the non-Neanderthal people are from Sub-Saharan Africa, not all of Africa.

      It seems reasonable that at least under some environmental conditions, Neanderthals from the Levant would have made it into the Nile Valley, if not farther west. Island hopping on purpose or by accident from Europe is also possible.

      However, they might have been thin on the ground, so left no physical traces.

    • I give up. My reply disappeared again.

      I mentioned that Neanderthals could have entered Africa via the Sinai or across the narrower straits from Europe, and that the study I linked found N. African DNA to be local. The strictly non-Neanderthal people are from Sub-Saharan Africa rather than North Africa.

      I won’t try again.

    • I don’t know if I’m still 86ed from commenting on Neanderthals, but will give it a try.

      In previous attempts to post comments, I mentioned that Neanderthals could have entered Africa via the Sinai or across the narrower straits from Europe, and that the study I linked found N. African DNA to be local.

      The strictly non-Neanderthal people are from Sub-Saharan Africa rather than North Africa. In the first half or more of the last century, physical anthropologists thought they had found Neanderthal material from Morocco and Malta.

      No surprise that there is no physical evidence of Neanderthals in the Nile Valley, for instance, as they would have been thin on the ground and not continuously present.

      The Sinai Peninsula is a subplate of the African Plate located at the triple junction of the Gulf of Suez rift, the Dead Sea Transform fault and the Red Sea rift. The Neanderthaliferous caves in Israel just aren’t that far from the Sinai. During the intervals in which Neanderthals rather than Moderns occupied the Levant, it’s hard to imagine what would have kept Neanderthals out of Sinai and the Nile Valley. Except maybe hostile Moderns.

      Here goes nothing.

    • Inuit and Maoris have an Asian origin and also have Denisovian genes.
      Again not evidence for the presence of Denisovians in Greenland or New Zealand.

      As for me, an Australian of very mixed Celtic origin and with a hint of red hair, I probably carry some Neanderthal DNA but that is not evidence for the presence of Neanderthals in Australia.

    • I don’t know if I’m still 86ed from commenting on Neanderthals, but will give it a try.

      In previous attempts to post comments, I mentioned that Neanderthals could have entered Africa via the Sinai or across the then narrower straits from Europe (Spain-Morocco and the Sicily-Tunisia), and that the study I linked found N. African DNA to have been ancient and local.

      The strictly non-Neanderthal people are from Sub-Saharan Africa rather than North Africa. In the first half or more of the last century, physical anthropologists thought they had found Neanderthal material from Morocco and Malta.

      No surprise that there is no physical evidence of Neanderthals in the Nile Valley, for instance, as they would have been thin on the ground and not continuously present.

      The Sinai Peninsula is a subplate of the African Plate located at the triple junction of the Gulf of Suez rift, the Dead Sea Transform fault and the Red Sea rift. The Neanderthaliferous caves in Israel just aren’t that far from the Sinai. During the intervals in which Neanderthals rather than Moderns occupied the Levant, it’s hard to imagine what would have kept Neanderthals out of Sinai and the Nile Valley. Except maybe hostile Moderns.

      Here goes, probably nothing.

  34. I give up. My reply disappeared again.

    I mentioned that Neanderthals could have entered Africa via the Sinai or across the narrower straits from Europe, and that the study I linked found N. African DNA to be local.

    The strictly non-Neanderthal people are from Sub-Saharan Africa rather than North Africa.

    No surprise that there is no physical evidence of Neanderthals in the Nile Valley, for instance, as they would have been thin on the ground and not continuously present.

    I won’t try again.

    • “As I said in my disappeared response, the study found that the Neanderthal DNA had not drifted in from the Near East or Europe, but was anciently local.”

      “Anciently local” must mean that it is found in the berber populations, which is the oldest population stratum in N Africa. They almost certainly “drifted in” from from the Near East in the early Holocene. They are certainly not an old African population, and their language belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family

      “The straits at Gibraltar and between Sicily and Africa were narrower for most of Neanderthal time, and Sinai less forbidding. So the non-Neanderthal people are from Sub-Saharan Africa, not all of Africa.”

      The straits may have been narrower, but not necessarily easier to cross. Sicily as a matter of fact was not populated by any humans until c. 22,000 years ago when it was briefly connected to the mainland.

      And neanderthals were no sailors. They never got to any islands not connected to the mainland, not even islands visible to the mainland. They didn’t colonize the British Isles during the previous interglacial for example. And they never got to Corsica/Sardinia, the Balearics, Sicily, Malta, Crete, Cyprus.

      And Sinai (and the Negev) was not less forbidding during neanderthal times. If anything it was worse than now most of the time. I happen to be quite familiar with the Sinai and the Negev and under current climatic conditions it is actually one of the more forbidding desert areas of the world, though relatively small. There are worse ones, yes, but not many.

      Incidentally Egypt has a rather good late Pleistocene archaeological record, and nary a trace of neanderthals has been found there.

  35. If humans were so similar to neanderthals, then some new viruses in the neighborhood might have been lethal.

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