Thanks for the great question. I will try to
answer each part.
Homo sapiens are the only living species of
the genus Homo. However, as recently as 40,000
years ago, our species shared the earth with other
closely related species of human, notably
including the Neanderthals (Homo
These two species shared the European continent
together for about 5,000 years after modern humans
migrated out of Africa. Recent genetic research
suggests that there was some interbreeding
between humans and Neanderthals. Scientists
know this because they compared DNA found in
fossilized remains of Neanderthals with DNA from
modern humans of European ancestry and found that
they share around 5% of the same genetic
This means that people of European descent
today share some of their genes with another
species of human!
Sowhy are the Neanderthals extinct?
Genetic and archaeological evidence shows that
Neanderthal populations began to dramatically
decline as modern humans migrated. It is
hypothesized that modern humans brought with them
pathogens or germs from Africa that the
Neanderthals were not immune to, and disease lead
to their extinction.
From what they produced and left behind, we
know the Neanderthals made stone tools, used fire,
and hunted just as modern humans did around the
same time. So, they at least approached modern
humans in terms of intelligence. There is also
debate as to whether the Neanderthals cared for
their sick and buried their dead – if true, this
would be evidence of advanced symbolic thought
equal to modern humans.
Despite this, Neanderthals were apparently less
capable of living together in large groups, and
anatomical studies show that their throats were
not capable of making any sort of complex language
that modern humans are naturally able to produce.
Modern humans, then, were able to out-compete
all other species of humans, pushing them into
Thanks for the interesting question,