Neanderthal Extinction Essay

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In recent years, there has been an ongoing debate as to what caused the extinction of the Neanderthals around forty thousand years ago. Some researchers speculate that Neanderthals did not develop sufficient tools that would allow them to gather and hunt food efficiently while others speculate that early modern humans introduced deadly pathogens into Neanderthal populations which led to their extinction. However, researchers led by zooarchaeologist Jamie Hodgkins have found that frequent and lengthy glacial periods may have led to the extinction of the Neanderthals. They hypothesized that glacial periods may have reduced the quantity of prey that the Neanderthals hunted therefore they were unable to intake the required amount of food to survive.…show more content…
This finding was further supported by the significant amount of spongy bone fragments that were found in both caves which indicated that bone marrow extraction had taken place. Furthermore, the findings from this study supported the researcher’s hypothesis that the Neanderthals struggled to intake more nutrients on a daily basis during the glacial periods since there was less prey in the environment which lead to their starvation and extinction. To further support this hypothesis, researchers suggested that other Neanderthal sites must be examined in order to determine whether nutrient extractions at those sites match the intensity of the nutrient extractions reported in this study. Overall, I found this article to be very interesting because of how the researchers were able to shed light on the mystery that surrounds the extinction of the Neanderthals by utilizing something simple as bone fragments. Lastly, I found this article to be fascinating because it led me to the ask the question of what will happen to human populations when the effects of climate change begin to devastate our

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