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Artist's rendition of Earth approximately 60,000 years ago
Larger JPG (1.7 MB)

Artist's rendition of Earth approximately 60,000 years ago

This image shows a family of Neanderthals. The Neanderthals lived in the Northern and Western areas of Eurasia, during the Pleistocene epoch, in the time of the last Ice Age. Neanderthals looked very similar to modern humans. They had slightly more pronounced foreheads, wider noses and larger jaws. They were short and stocky, robust people. The Neanderthals were hunter-gatherers. They created stone tools and weapons, wore garments made of leather and fur. They wore ornamental jewelry and buried their dead ceremonially. Neanderthal also used fire. They lived in Plains, Forest and Mountain areas. Plant foods were only eaten seasonally, so up to 90% of their diet was meat.

The extinct animals of the Pleistocene epoch pictured in this image are, the Woolly Mammoth, the Bush Antlered Deer, and the Sabre Toothed Cat. Pleistocene animals in this image that still exist are the Eurasian Horse, the Oryx, the Banded Lemming and the Musk Ox. Some of the plant life of the Pleistocene epoch consisted of grasses (which did not exist until this time), ferns, trees, sedges and shrubs.

Neanderthal Man appears to have "died out" about 35,000 years ago. It is speculated that he was out-competed by modern man (Cro Magnons). Neanderthals vanished about 10,000 to 15,000 years after contact with Cro Magnon Man.

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