Scientists say that 41,000 year old teeth found in Italy belonged to modern humans. This puts modern humans in Europe at the same time that Neanderthals were going extinct there. Moreover, it suggests that modern humans may have had something to do with Neanderthals going extinct there. Per the article:

 

Ancient teeth from Italy suggest that the arrival of modern humans in Western Europe coincided with the demise of Neanderthals there, researchers said. This finding suggests that modern humans may have caused Neanderthals to go extinct, either directly or indirectly, scientists added....Recent findings suggest that Neanderthals disappeared from Europe between about 41,000 and 39,000 years ago....Now scientists analyzing two 41,000-year-old teeth from two Protoaurignacian sites in Italy find that the fossils belonged to modern humans. "We finally have proof for the argument that says that modern humans were there when the Neanderthals went extinct in Europe," study lead author Stefano Benazzi, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Bologna in Ravenna, Italy, told Live Science....It remains unclear just how modern humans might have driven Neanderthals into extinction, Benazzi cautioned. Modern humans might have competed with Neanderthals, or they might simply have assimilated Neanderthals into their populations....The scientists detailed their findings in the April 24 issue of the journal Science.

 

http://news.discovery.com/human/evolution/teeth-suggest-humans-play...

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Replies to This Discussion

Oh, I thought neanderthals died out more like 100,000 or 200,000 years ago.  My timeline seems to be a bit screwed up.  I'll have to go do some reading.  Thanks.

It's possible that the Cro Magnons had a disease that the Neanderthals didn't.  Like the Europeans affected  the American indians with small pox.

I didn't know there was still any question as to whether modern man and neaderthals existed together, or not.  Didn't they just announce in the last year, or two, that we all have neanderthal genes in us, except those who live in subsahara Africa? 

If I am not mistaken I think there has been some debate as to whether Neanderthals and modern humans ever coexisted in Western Europe.

That's true.  We could have mixed somewhere else in the world other than western Europe.

I've heard all sorts of random things.  I've gotten the impression that we've had a lot of hypothesizing and not a lot of solid evidence to back up any particular proposition.

They managed to get DNA from a Neanderthal bone and it seems we've all got between three and five % Neanderthal genes. So there was probably a fair bit of interbreeding. I shall see if I can dig up the info.

at least 20% Neanderthal  genes influencing the skin, hair and diseases people have today, researchers say.

Although modern humans are the only surviving human lineage, other groups of early humans used to live on Earth. The closest extinct relatives of modern humans were the Neanderthals, who lived in Europe and Asia until they went extinct about 40,000 years ago. The ancestors of modern humans diverged from those of Neanderthals between 550,000 and 765,000 years ago.

Recent findings revealed that Neanderthals interbred with ancestors of modern humans when modern humans began spreading out of Africa perhaps about 40,000 to 80,000 years ago, although some research suggests the migration began earlier. About 1.5 to 2.1 percent of the DNA of anyone outside Africa is Neanderthal in origin.

However, scientists reasoned that the Neanderthal DNA found in one person might not be the same Neanderthal DNA of someone else.

I was informed by Donald I think that it took about 30,000 years for the Crow Magnon people in northern Europe to evolve their fair skin etc .The Neanderthals we think were in northern Europe for 200,000 years and 500,000 years before that as an evolving Heidelbergensis, so all things considered they must have fully evolved fair skin, blue eyes etc. If the crow magnons were black as they think, interbreeding may account for at least part of the evolutionary time scale between a black crow magnon and white crow magnon.

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