While trying to get the image of what the Playmate of the Month would look like had we lost out of my mind, the struggle between humans and Neanderthals was far more prosaic than previously pictured.
Humans may not have been more aggressive than the Neanderthals they replaced in Europe 40,000 years ago. They were more prolific, growing their population ten times faster, a study suggests.Sometimes simply out-breeding 'em is a winning strategy.
Better tools, food storage techniques and, importantly, stronger social bonding helped humans multiply at a faster rate, helping to drive the Neanderthals into extinction over a 15,000- year period, according to a study in the journal Science.
The researchers used new methods to assess human population growth, measuring the number and density of skeletal remains, living places and tools in a 75,000 square kilometer location in western France. Neanderthals, who had been in control of Europe for almost 300,000 years, rapidly went extinct after humans arrived, said Paul Mellars, lead author of the study. [More]