For the longest time, Neanderthals have been closely linked with the modern human in terms of characteristics and biological makeup. Several aspects of the Neanderthals life have been observed in humans including their way of doing things and the physical appearances. In fact, at some point, both Neanderthals and modern humans were thought to belong to the same species with different subspecies. However, subsequent theories observed that they only share a genus but belong to different species. Homo neanderthalensis were closely related to humans having about 99.7% of similar DNA and became extinct around 40,000 years ago (Ovchinnikov et al, 2000). In view of these theories, the relationship between Neanderthals and the modern human is a controversial subject in research and academia. Particularly, the extinction of the Neanderthals and the survival of the modern human pose serious questions regarding the differences and similarities between the two species or subspecies. In addition, archaeological and fossil records suggest significant similarities and differences between the two species.
There is considerable evidence in support of the relationship between Neanderthals and human beings from archaeological and fossil records. In addition, biological records paint a clear picture of the relationship including the genetic makeup of the DNA of the two species. The idea that humans originated from Africa and spread throughout the world forms some basis in support of this theory. The replacement of Neanderthal populations is however controversial with several theories attempting to explain the process of extinction. While some theorists suggest that humans did not interbreed with the Neanderthals while expanding their ranges geographically, others are of a different view. Indeed, some theorists have suggested that the two species interbred, albeit in small volumes with the resulting population having modern human domination (Van Andel & Davies, 2003). In fact, this view is supported by the evidence of similarities in DNAs of the two species. Despite these variations, both genetic and fossil evidence are in support of the view that the modern human originated from Africa.
One of the most striking similarities between the Neanderthals and the modern human is the physical appearance. However, the Neanderthals were stockier and shorter with a wider nose than the current modern human. In addition, they had prominent brow ridges and an angled cheekbone something that is significantly different from the modern human. Fossil records collected from deep in Africa have supported these views since the physical appearance is almost similar. In fact, there are claims that the relationship between the Neanderthals and the Homo sapiens was more like the racial differences among the modern human. The two species could thus interbreed to form viable offspring forming the basis of the subspecies theory. Scientists have also discovered that the Neanderthals did in fact use
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