Neanderthals were not dimwitted and primitive, researchers are now saying.
* Neanderthals thrived in a large swath of Europe and Asia between about 350,000 and 40,000 years ago. They disappeared after our ancestors, a group referred to as “anatomically modern humans,” crossed into Europe from Africa.
* In the past, some researchers have tried to explain the demise of the Neanderthals by suggesting that the newcomers were superior to Neanderthals in key ways, including their ability to hunt, communicate, innovate and adapt to different environments.
* But recent Neanderthal research makes the case that the available evidence does not support the opinion that Neanderthals were less advanced than anatomically modern humans.
Researchers have shown that Neanderthals likely herded thousands of bison for food. Some were even smart enough to trap and kill mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses to avoid being killed. These findings imply that Neanderthals could plan ahead, communicate as a group and make efficient use of their surroundings.[More.](http://richarddawkins.net/2014/06/neanderthals-were-not-inferior-to-modern-humans-study-finds/)