Neanderthals disappeared earlier than previously thought

New fossils discovered in a cave in Belgium reveal that the Neanderthals’ last survivors perished in Europe thousands of years before the earlier estimate. The new study, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, undertaken by a collaborative team from Belgium, Britain, and Germany sheds light on when our close relative disappeared from the planet. Earlier readings of remains from “Spy Cave” put Neanderthals’ existence at roughly 24,000 years ago, but the new findings push the date to between 44,200-40,600 years.