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Why did the Neanderthals die out? Disease theory

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posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 03:08 PM
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I've often mused over why the Neanderthals and the mega fauna of the last ice age died out. I personally believe that Neanderthals and mega fauna died out during the last ice age for reasons related to each other some extent, however some of the reasons could have been completely unrelated to the changes in weather and us modern humes killing stuff.

Right now i think one of the most likely causes for the Neanderthals extinction is them being killed off by diseases/viruses that we unintentionally brought with us as we explored Europe during the last ice age.
Its pretty certain that we certainly came into contact with Neanderthals during the last ice age (see Neanderthal hybrid child skeleton link news.bbc.co.uk... ), although to what extent we cannot really say (the amount evidence so far points to there being little contact between us and them). I do not personally believe that we wiped the Neanderthals out by us intentionally killing them all off, because the vast majority of Neanderthal skeletons we have found so far suggest their owners died of non-violent causes, and the few which do suggest a violent end are so rare they amount to there being evidence for little more than isolated non-related murders.

But you don't have to come into much contact with someone to pass on something like a virus you are carrying onto them. Is it possible that Neanderthals were simply driven to extinction by diseases/virus's we brought over to them with us?
Certainly cases of such things happening in other groups of people has been documented, like the Spanish bringing Smallpox over to the Aztec empire (which the Aztecs had no immunity against)- Smallpox had an even more devastating effect on the Inca's.

The Neanderthals had been in decline for a very long time, thousands of years, before they finally went extinct. However they had survived previous ice ages, which is why there is so much mystery over why they went extinct during the last one. But i think its possible that perhaps diseases/viruses that we brought over with us to the Neanderthals homelands was just too much for the Neanderthals to deal with during the harsh fluctuations of the ice age. Also, caves can make ideal places for parasites carrying diseases/viruses to take shelter and it would have been near impossible for the Neanderthals to get rid of such parasites in their caves, so the parasites could end up killing generations of newcomers to the caves.

What do you think
?

[edit on 19-6-2008 by Tokis Phoenix]

[edit on 19-6-2008 by Tokis Phoenix]




posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 03:16 PM
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What makes you think they are extinct?

Could they be the creature we now call Big Foot?



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by OhZone
What makes you think they are extinct?

Could they be the creature we now call Big Foot?




They are extinct because they completely disappeared off the fossil record (of which their existence is only known from in the first place) and because there is absolutely no evidence of them having any connection to this Big Foot character (of which there is only scant evidence in the first place and is very doubtful- but lets not go off-topic and get into that right now right here).

To me, something is extinct when there is no solid evidence of its existence for thousands of years etc. Suggesting that Neanderthals have some connection to Big Foot is pure fantasy and no more realistic than suggesting that Werewolves exist or that dinosaurs still exist in some remote location in the world etc.
Unlike some here, i try to base my beliefs on solid evidence/proof/facts, and leave the dreaming up to the fantasist's, no offense.

And besides, from what i have heard Big Foot is supposed to be a rather large creature (many people estimate around 7-8ft tall etc)- Neanderthals were very short beings and much smaller than the average modern human.

[edit on 19-6-2008 by Tokis Phoenix]



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