Scientists now say there might be almost no overlap of humans living with Neanderthals. They believe the Neanderthals simply dematerialized. I suggest we and our dogs not only hunted and ate them but the dogs left few bones behind.
Special to LiveScience
LiveScience.com Mon May 8, 12:02 PM ET
The number of years that modern humans are thought to have overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe is shrinking fast, and some scientists now say that figure could drop to zero.
Neanderthals lived in Europe and western Asia from 230,000 to 29,000 years ago, petering out soon after the arrival of modern humans from Africa.
There is much debate on exactly how Neanderthals went extinct. Theories include climate change and inferior tools compared to those made by modern humans. Anthropologists also disagree on whether modern humans and Neanderthals are the same species and interbred.
And now, some scientists dispute whether they lived side-by-side at all in Europe.
OK, how many geological years did it take for the barbarian hordes to overrun the Roman Empire? 50? 100? When looking into the dim past for fossils, 100 years is an eyeblink. The humans who left Africa had already wiped out all their nearest relatives except for the jungle apes. After being expelled from that Garden of Eden two million years earlier and developing a strong taste for meat which is hard to find in jungles but easy to find on the savannahs, the human tribes tended to avoid each other because I am supposing we ate each other. So the propulsion of people outwards was very strong, so strong, humans ended up in Australia in what is to geologists, an eyeblink.
Whereever humans came, all other humanoids died. This destruction of all other savannah dwelling humanoids was pretty complete. The Neanderthals were closer to homo sapiens and knew how to use tools that were slightly worse than homo sapiens but they didn't have the sophisticated language tools that the invaders had. The invaders had better tools, better everything.
And most likely, dogs. These dogs accompanied the colonists who ended up in Australia. Wherever humans are, dogs are. Our tribal mentality is very similar to dog packs. It would explain why there are few Neanderthal bones for our scientists to pick through. Dogs can chew the smaller bones of humans which are no bigger than deer bones, to nothing. They can worry and gnaw on bones until there is nothing left. They even like to gnaw on hooves. So during the long winter months, the dogs hung out with the humans, chewing up all the bones.
Armed Sierra Leonean police are hunting up to 20 chimpanzees which killed a local taxi driver and injured three American visitors after they broke out of a wildlife sanctuary, officials said on Tuesday.
The Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in forested hills outside the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown where the incident happened, has been closed since Sunday's attack by the screaming and excited apes, which mobbed and mauled the four men.
"Some people had turned up at the gate before normal opening time, and before staff could react, they realized somebody was being attacked," the sanctuary's director, Bala Amarasekaran told Reuters.
The animals killed local taxi driver Issa Kanu and bit and mauled three U.S. employees of a construction company helping to build the new U.S. embassy in Freetown.
The three Americans, Gary Morris, Paul Gregory and Donald Ford, were flown to the United States on Monday to receive medical treatment for their injuries.
Amarasekaran said the attack was the first incident of its kind since the sanctuary was set up in 1995 to give shelter to orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees. It is billed as one of Sierra Leone's leading eco-tourism attractions.
Last week's chimp attack shows what happens when humans and chimps interact and humans are disarmed. The chimps are stronger and faster. They can kill using very little. Modern humans make the mistake of going around nature fairly disarmed. Normally, all animals are scared of humans and the only way we can live with them is to tame them so they don't fear us even when we plan to kill them. The taming of animals coincides with the annihilation of all humanoid relatives of our species.
We now know that chimpanzees aren't gentle creatures at all but are like us. They eliminate their own species in competition in the wild. Gorilla.com:
Two employees at Utah's Hogle zoo were injured this morning in an incident involving chimpanzees. Three chimpanzees were out of their primary enclosure and had access to the employee service area. Two of the animals became dangerously aggressive and an employee who was present in the building was seriously injured. Another employee who came to assist obtained minor injuries. Emergency protocol was implemented as soon as staff was aware of the situation. The initial priority was to protect the lives of the people involved and contain the animals. One chimpanzee was safely contained, but the other two had to be shot. One died of his injuries and the second is alive, but seriously injured and under veterinarian care. To ensure safety for the general public, all visitors who were present were escorted inside buildings until all animals were secured.
The chimps saw the humans disarmed and so they attacked. We are trying to keep these chimpanzees in various penal situations in order to see them. In this particular battle, armed humans showed up and killed or severely injured the chimpanzees. These chimps had lost their fear of humans because of their sheltered situation. In Africa, though, they hide from humans who eat them which should tell us something.
If we eat them now, we ate them in the past! And to our eyes, all non-tribal members are "dinner."
Scientists like to say that the Neandertal's environment changed and they simply rapidly died out. But when one considers what changes occured, there seems to be only one that is remarkable: the invasion of Eurasia by a new wave of violent humans who were rushing outwards to avoid each other's tribes thanks to ferocious warfare in Africa.
This last group of colonizers from Africa finally developed sophisticated enough social systems to stemm the tide of cannibalism. The most sophisticated system we devised was to figure out with the help of our dogs, how to domesticate animals. This didn't stop us from killing each other and this situation remains today. Our demented desire to eliminate all human competition might end in WWIII.
And geologists 100,000 years later won't find too many bones from that!