Something about all this doesn’t sound quite right: From “European Neanderthals Were On the Verge of Extinction Even Before the Arrival of Modern Humans” (ScienceDaily, February 25, 2012), we learn,
New findings from an international team of researchers show that most Neanderthals in Europe died off around 50,000 years ago. The previously held view of a Europe populated by a stable Neanderthal population for hundreds of thousands of years up until modern humans arrived must therefore be revised.
Climate change is suggested as a cause. Interesting interpretations, but
The results presented in the study are based entirely on severely degraded DNA, and the analyses have therefore required both advanced laboratory and computational methods. The research team has involved experts from a number of countries, including statisticians, experts on modern DNA sequencing and paleoanthropologists from Denmark, Spain and the US.
Only when all members of the international research team had reviewed the findings could they feel certain that the available genetic data actually reveals an important and previously unknown part of Neanderthal history.