Early humans may have overwhelmed Neanderthals by dint of sheer numbers. Of course, that begs the question of why homo sapiens had such larger numbers than our homo neanderthalensis cousins.
Between 35,000 and 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals in Europe and Asia were replaced by the first modern humans. Why and how this transition occurred remains somewhat controversial. New research from the journal Science suggests that sheer numbers may have played a large role in modern humans’ eventual takeover; archeological data shows that early populations of modern humans may have outnumbered Neanderthals by more than 9 to 1.