Together with other scientists from the Gibraltar Museum, Stanford University and the Japan Marine Science & Technology Center (JAMSTEC), the Spanish scientists published in the scientific journal Quaternary Science Reviews an innovative work representing a considerable step forward in the knowledge of human ancestral history. The results of this multidisciplinary research are an important contribution to the understanding of the Neanderthal extinction and the colonisation of the European continent by Homo Sapiens.
During the last Ice Age, the Iberian Peninsula was a refuge for Neanderthals, who had survived in local pockets during previous Ice Ages, bouncing back to Europe when weather conditions improved.
The study is based upon climate reconstructions elaborated from marine records and using the experience of Spanish and international research groups on Western Mediterranean paleoceanography. The conclusions point out that Neanderthal populations did suffer fluctuations related to climate changes before the first Homo Sapiens arrived in the Iberian Peninsula. Cold, arid and highly variable climate was the least favourable weather for Neanderthals and 24,000 years ago they had to face the worst weather conditions in the last 250,000 years.
The most important about thes
e data is that they differ from the current scientific paradigm which makes Homo Sapiens responsible for the Neanderthal extinction. This work is a contribution to a new scientific current ?leaded by Dr. Clive Finlayson, from the Gibraltar Museum ?according to which Neanderthal isolation and, possibly, extinction were due to environmental factors.
Source:Universidad de Granada
Related biology news :
1. Climate model links higher temperatures to prehistoric extinction
2. Climate change will affect carbon sequestration in oceans, model shows
3. Climate change: The rice genome to the rescue
4. Climate change drives widespread amphibian extinctions
5. Climate change has surprising effect on endangered naked carp
6. Climate experts search for answers in the oceans
7. Climate change creates dramatic decline in red-winged black bird population
8. Climate change could trigger boom and bust population cycles leading to extinction
9. Climate change impacts stream life
10. Elusive HIV shape change revealed; Key clue to how virus infects cells
11. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes