Whither the Neanderthals?

  title={Whither the Neanderthals?},
  author={Richard G. Klein},
  pages={1525 - 1527}
  • R. Klein
  • Published 7 March 2003
  • Geography
  • Science
Thousands of Neanderthal fossils and artifacts are known, making Neanderthals the best-characterized fossil humans. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Neanderthals and their modern human successors did not mix and that the Neanderthals are an extinct side branch of humanity. Yet, as [Klein][1] explains in his Perspective, it remains unclear why they disappeared shortly after modern humans arrived in Europe and west Asia. Archaeological studies show that Neanderthals shared many advanced… 
The Neanderthal Enigma: A New Theoretical Approach
A new general dynamic theory is presented and applied to the available evidence and shows that, despite possessing distinct mitochondrial DNA, Neanderthal minds and society were little different to those of modern humans, and that the authors' ultimate success was far from inevitable.
To what extent did Neanderthals and modern humans interact?
The current anthropological, archaeological and genetic data are reviewed, which shed some light on these questions and provide insight into the exact nature of the relationships between these two groups of humans.
When Neanderthals and modern humans met
W Neanderthals and Modern Humans Met comprises 20 papers first presented in the context of a conference held in Tübingen in 2004 on the nature of the interactions between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons
Neandertals and moderns mixed, and it matters
It is clear that, in Europe, fully symbolic sapiens behavior predates both the Aurignacian and moderns, and, in line with evidence from the nuclear genome rejecting strict replacement models based on mtDNA alone, the small number of early modern specimens that passed the test of direct dating present archaic features unknown in the African lineage.
Neanderthals and Their Contemporaries
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Why not the Neandertals?
Evidence is presented from skeletal anatomy, mitochondrial DNA, morphology and genetics of speech and the archaeology of the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition in Europe that directly contradicts all of the elements in this replacement scenario.
Living on the edge: Was demographic weakness the cause of Neanderthal demise?
The extent of demographic changes needed over a period of 10,000 years to lead to Neanderthal extinction is examined, finding a slight but continuous decrease in the fertility rate of younger Neanderthal women could have had a significant impact on these dynamics, and could have precipitated their demise.
Art as a biological adaptation, or: why modern humans replaced the Neanderthals Kunst als Anpassung, oder: Warum moderne Menschen die Neanderthaler ersetzten
Newer biological theories attribute important adaptive functions to human art and thus provide an important, so far mostly overlooked factor that may explain the survival of modern humans and the


Molecular analysis of Neanderthal DNA from the northern Caucasus
Phylogenetic analysis places the two Neanderthals from the Caucasus and western Germany together in a clade that is distinct from modern humans, suggesting that their mtDNA types have not contributed to the modern human mtDNA pool.
A late Neanderthal associated with Upper Palaeolithic artefacts
The evidence supports the hypothesis of a long term coexistence with technocultural interactions between the first modern humans and the last Neanderthals in Europe and argues against phylogenetic continuity between the two populations in this region.
Direct radiocarbon dates for Vindija G(1) and Velika Pecína late Pleistocene hominid remains.
New accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates taken directly on human remains from the Late Pleistocene sites of Vindija and Velika Pecina in the Hrvatsko Zagorje of Croatia raise the question of when early modern humans first dispersed into Europe and have implications for the nature and geographic patterning of biological and cultural interactions between these populations and the Neandertals.
Out of Africa again and again
A coherent picture of recent human evolution emerges with two major themes: first is the dominant role that Africa has played in shaping the modern human gene pool through at least two—not one—major expansions after the original range extension of Homo erectus out of Africa, and second is the ubiquity of genetic interchange between human populations.
The early Upper Paleolithic human skeleton from the Abrigo do Lagar Velho (Portugal) and modern human emergence in Iberia.
A morphological mosaic indicates admixture between regional Neandertals and early modern humans dispersing into southern Iberia and establishes the complexities of the Late Pleistocene emergence of modern humans and refutes strict replacement models of modern human origins.
Y chromosome sequence variation and the history of human populations
Binary polymorphisms associated with the non-recombining region of the human Y chromosome (NRY) preserve the paternal genetic legacy of our species that has persisted to the present, permitting
Mitochondrial genome variation and the origin of modern humans
The global mtDNA diversity in humans is described based on analyses of the complete mtDNA sequence of 53 humans of diverse origins, providing a concurrent view on human evolution with respect to the age of modern humans.
The Sima de los Huesos Hominids Date to Beyond U/Th Equilibrium (>350 kyr) and Perhaps to 400–500 kyr: New Radiometric Dates
The Sima de los Huesos site of the Atapuerca complex near Burgos, Spain contains the skeletal remains of at least 28 individuals in a mud breccia underlying an accumulation of the Middle Pleistocene
Inactivation of CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase occurred prior to brain expansion during human evolution
  • H. Chou, T. Hayakawa, A. Varki
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2002
The studies indicate that the CMAH gene was inactivated shortly before the time when brain expansion began in humankind's ancestry, ≈2.1–2.2 mya.