A new computer model has been used to test a variety of factors that may have influenced the extinction of the Neanderthals. And the results suggest that humans probably did not kill them off.
The computer results suggest that wars or epidemics brought on by contact with modern humans
would have caused Neanderthals to die off more rapidly than appears to
have been the case.
Based on findings from the archaeological record,
Neanderthals are believed to have lived alongside modern humans in
Europe for some 4,000 to 10,000 years. The researchers think a slight
drop in the fertility rate among young Neanderthal women, perhaps
brought on by climate change and resulting food shortages, could instead
be to blame.