Archaeologists and palaeontologists have long suspected Homo Neanderthaliensis, a subspecies of pre-historic humans, died due to changes in the planet’s climate. But a group of Neanderthals living in the Western Mediterranean some 42,000 years ago appears to have escaped this faith. A team of researchers from the University of Bologna in Italy have now recreated Earth’s prehistoric climate to better understand what happened to the Neanderthals.
The researchers analysed stalagmite formations found in caves in Apulia, a region on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in Southern Italy.
Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens are known to have coexisted in this region, particularly on the Murge karst plateau, for at least 3,000 years.
The two species lived here between 45,000 and 42,000 years ago.
Data extracted from stalagmites in this region shows climate change in this timespan was not particularly significant.
Lead researcher Andrea Columbu said: “Our study shows that this area of Apulia appears as a ‘climate niche’ during the transition from Neanderthals to Homo Sapiens.
“It doesn’t seem possible that significant climate changes happened during that period, at least not impactful enough to cause the extinction of Neanderthals in Apulia and, by the same token, in similar areas of the Mediterranean.”
Scientists have theorised the Neanderthals were killed by climate change that occurred in Europe nearly 42,000 years ago.
read more: www.express.co.uk