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Study shows competition, not climate change, led to Neanderthal extinction
www.physorg.com ^ | 12/29/2008 | Source: Public Library of Science

Posted on 12/29/2008 11:33:05 AM PST by Red Badger

In a recently conducted study, a multidisciplinary French-American research team with expertise in archaeology, past climates, and ecology reported that Neanderthal extinction was principally a result of competition with Cro-Magnon populations, rather than the consequences of climate change.

The study, reported in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE on December 24, figures in the ongoing debate on the reasons behind the eventual disappearance of Neanderthal populations, which occupied Europe prior to the arrival of human populations like us around 40,000 years ago. Led by Dr William E. Banks, the authors, who belong to the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, l'Ecole Pratique d'Hautes Etudes, and the University of Kansas, reached their conclusion by reconstructing climatic conditions during this period and analyzing the distribution of archaeological sites associated with the last Neanderthals and the first modern human populations with an approach typically used to study the impact of climate change on biodiversity.

This method uses geographic locations of archaeological sites dated by radiocarbon, in conjunction with high-resolution simulations of past climates for specific periods, and employs an algorithm to analyze relationships between the two datasets to reconstruct potential areas occupied by each human population and to determine if and how climatic conditions played a role in shaping these areas. In other words, by integrating archaeological and paleoenvironmental datasets, this predictive method can reconstruct the regions that a past population could potentially have occupied. By repeating the modeling process hundreds of times and evaluating where the errors occur, this machine-learning algorithm is able to provide robust predictions of regions that could have been occupied by specific human cultures.

This modeling approach also allows the projection of the ecological footprint of one culture onto the environmental conditions of a later climatic phase―by comparing this projected prediction to the known archaeological sites dated to this later period, it is possible to determine if the ecological niche exploited by this human population remained the same, or if it contracted or expanded during that period of time.

Comparing these reconstructed areas for Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans during each of the climatic phases concerned, and by projecting each niche onto the subsequent climatic phases, Banks and colleagues determined that Neanderthals had the possibility to maintain their range across Europe during a period of less severe climatic conditions called Greenland Interstadial 8 (GI8).

However, the archaeological record shows that this did not occur, and Neanderthal disappearance occurs at a point when we see the geographic expansion of the ecological niche occupied by modern humans during GI8. The researchers' models predict the southern limit of the modern human territory to be near the Ebro River Valley in northern Spain during the preceding cold period called Heinrich Event 4 (H4), and that this southern boundary moved to the south during the more temperate phase GI8.

The researchers conclude that the Neanderthal populations that occupied what is now southern Spain were the last to survive because they were able to avoid direct competition with modern humans since the two populations exploited distinct territories during the cold climatic conditions of H4. They also point out that during this population event contact between Neanderthals and modern humans may have permitted cultural and genetic exchanges.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Germany; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: caveman; geico; neanderthals

They should have has GEICO insurance policies............

1 posted on 12/29/2008 11:33:05 AM PST by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

“HA HA! Neanderthal. Can’t make fire” - The Far Side


2 posted on 12/29/2008 11:40:25 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Red Badger; blam

I thought there was some inbreeding between Neanderthal
and Cro-Magnon, meaning “they” are still with us today...
But I want to hear what Blam has to say about it.


3 posted on 12/29/2008 11:40:47 AM PST by Repeal The 17th
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To: Red Badger

Wait a sec, how was there climate change back before we had cars? This doesn’t make sense... /s


4 posted on 12/29/2008 11:43:23 AM PST by icwhatudo
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To: Red Badger

So what we are saying...is that Yurg and Randy couldn’t survive in a world with each other...so Yurg had to go?

What about evolution? Couldn’t Yurg just evolve? Couldn’t we just turn up the old Yurg and make him a better and improved Yurg? Are we saying that Yurg was just a loser and couldn’t make it in a modern world?

I think we are looking at discrimination.....clearly here. No doubt. If only Yurg had real rights and marriage rights....he might have survived on...maybe. What we haven’t said here or hinted at....is that Yurg might have been a Prop-Eight kinda guy and he kinda non-produced himself out of existence.


5 posted on 12/29/2008 11:43:33 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: icwhatudo

6 posted on 12/29/2008 11:45:22 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: pepsionice

Maybe Duck with Mango Salsa is bad for the nad?...............

7 posted on 12/29/2008 11:47:32 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: massgopguy

LOL, I was thinking more along the lines of the Far Side cartoon, showing the real reason the dinosaurs became extinct.


8 posted on 12/29/2008 11:48:23 AM PST by dfwgator (I hate Illinois Marxists)
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To: Red Badger
I'm just not buying it. There is no evidence that the availability of resources in the nutrient rich environment resulted in the disappearance of the Neanderthal, let alone to suggest that a shortage was the result of over hunting by competing populations.
9 posted on 12/29/2008 11:49:14 AM PST by Natural Law
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To: Natural Law

My personal theory is they migrated out of Europe into the Middle East and became Arabs.........


10 posted on 12/29/2008 11:52:10 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: Red Badger
"Study shows competition, not climate change, led to Neanderthal extinction"

Conclusion: We must do away with all forms of competition, specially the free enterprise system!

But wait... isn't that what the "Globull Warming" hoaxers are all about?

11 posted on 12/29/2008 11:52:46 AM PST by ETL (Smoking gun evidence on ALL the ObamaRat-commie connections at my newly revised FR Home/About page)
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To: dfwgator

“Zog Jones cooks his meat”.


12 posted on 12/29/2008 11:57:11 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Red Badger
“eventual disappearance of Neanderthal populations, which occupied Europe prior to the arrival of human populations like us around 40,000 years ago.”

Blame it on the Neanderthal’s lack of secure borders.

13 posted on 12/29/2008 11:58:43 AM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Repeal The 17th; SunkenCiv
"But I want to hear what Blam has to say about it."

It is my opinion that we are Neanderthals. All the evidence/data is against that position but, I still believe it.

I think we have an AHA DNA moment in our future that will validate my belief.

14 posted on 12/29/2008 12:03:08 PM PST by blam
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To: dfwgator

That smokin’ll getcha every time...


15 posted on 12/29/2008 12:09:10 PM PST by jagusafr ("Bugs, Mr. Rico! Zillions of 'em!" - Robert Heinlein)
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To: Red Badger
There is some merit to that theory even if it does not include actual Neanderthals. In the continuing competition for the richest regions on earth you have to ask how and why the Arabs found themselves pushed into a region wanted by no one else until oil was found. I have my theories.
16 posted on 12/29/2008 12:13:02 PM PST by Natural Law
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To: Red Badger

“an approach typically used to study the impact of climate change on biodiversity.”

They THINK! They don’t really KNOW! They just wanna get paid. Of what importance is this? Money could be spent much more wisely.


17 posted on 12/29/2008 12:18:01 PM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
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To: Natural Law

Pertaining to Abraham’s son, Ishmael (Father of all Arabs) , by Hagar the slave of Sarah:

Genesis 16:12 (King James Version)

12And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.


18 posted on 12/29/2008 12:20:11 PM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: Red Badger

I think that at least some of the inbreds are employed at our local newspaper, The Times Reporter in New Philadelphia, Oh.


19 posted on 12/29/2008 12:22:56 PM PST by Rannug
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To: blam

Mr. Blam, sir,
I always appreciate your thoughts and comments on this and similar subjects.
I know you have put a lot of time, effort, and thought into the matter.
Here’s me wishing you a 2009 that is full of healthy dogs and free of storms.


20 posted on 12/29/2008 12:26:48 PM PST by Repeal The 17th
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To: Repeal The 17th
"Here’s me wishing you a 2009 that is full of healthy dogs and free of storms.'

Thanks...And, a happy and prosperous new year to you too.

21 posted on 12/29/2008 12:36:22 PM PST by blam
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To: Repeal The 17th
You are on the right track. They coexisted for a long time, and finally died out. Their off-springs still exist today, they are called Democrats. Now you know.
22 posted on 12/29/2008 12:45:20 PM PST by ANGGAPO (Leyte Gulf Beach Club)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Yup. The Wright Brothers only THOUGHT, they did not KNOW.

You do realize that human knowledge increases every time we learn something didn’t happen a particular way, as much as when we learn that something DID happen a certain way.

Scientists represent chump change in the grand scheme of things. I’m OK with the money they are spending and, in fact, what they are spending it on.


23 posted on 12/29/2008 1:17:52 PM PST by dmz
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To: Red Badger

Our early Homo sapien ancestors survived the ice ages better than the Neanderthals, resulting in our dominance of Earth today, say scientists in Discovery magazine.

Quite simply, our caveman cousins had better tools and brains for securing food and shelter. Plus the Homo sapiens were built better anatomically to survive the freezing ice-age temperaturtes. Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens competed for dominance until about 30,000 years ago when the Neanderthals went extinct.

Homo sapiens had the latest high-tech tools, including warm clothing made of fur, enclosed shelters and effective weapons to kill and ensnare animals and fish. Specialized projectile weaponry like javelins and spearthrowers also increased the range to effectively kill animals.

Neanderthals, meanwhile, mostly hunted with spear in hand. This decreased their effective hunting range, especially in winter when animals were scarce and hunting was more difficult.

Because the Neanderthals literally didn’t “bring home the bacon” that meant less food and fewer calories to burn in ice-age temperatures when those calories were needed for survival.

In the end, the Homo sapien brain and superior body simply out-competed Neanderthal brute force.


24 posted on 12/29/2008 5:21:32 PM PST by sergeantdave (Michigan is a bigger mistake than your state.)
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