Why aren't there Neanderthals anymore? It seems odd that such a close relative of humans wouldn’t be around anymore. Especially since modern humans occupy nearly every part of the planet. Why are we around and not the Neanderthals? There's an older theory that says that Neanderthals were driven to extinction by the ancestors of modern humans. This theory made sense because lets face it, humans have not always been accepting of those different from them.
However, recent evidence suggests that there is a different reason. Science Daily has an article that refers to research done by Barton and Julien Riel-Salvatore of the University of Colorado Denver. This research consisted of using stone artifacts to tract the paths of these ancient groups as well as computer modeling. Basically, their research says that during the the Upper Pleistocene the ancestors of modern humans, and Neanderthals encountered each other in Western Eurasia. The two groups then mated and hybridized, but because the Neanderthal population was much smaller than the ancient human population, the Neanderthal population became “absorbed” into the ancient human population.
The above is supported by genetic analysis which shows that some DNA (1-4% of the total human genome) that came from Neanderthals. This is especially seen in modern humans of European descent.
Posted by Joseph Frimpong Group A March 28 2011