What Happened to the Neanderthal?

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Ed Green

Ed Green has helped pioneer the use of advanced genetic sequencing technology to read ancient DNA extracted from fossilized bones. In 2010, he and large collaboration of other scientists announced that they had used 40,000-year-old bone fragments excavated in a cave in Croatia to map out the genetic code of Neanderthals, humans’ long-dead ancestral cousins.

Where did the Neanderthal go? On one hand, fossil records make it seem as if modern humans displaced or drove off Neanderthal populations. But anthropologist Chris Stringer sees it as more of the result of climate and competition.

This program is part of The Big Idea Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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