iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Episode 3

Listen now 28 mins

Listen in pop-out player

More episodes

See all episodes from Extinct!

Episode 3

Episode 3 of 3

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 29 May 2012

Adam Rutherford looks at the extinction of humans in the distant past. He examines the fate of the first and longest-surviving of human species, Homo erectus. This early human wandered the Earth for 2 million years before disappearing.

Adam also investigates the theories put forward to explain the extinction of the Neanderthals who died out about 30 000 years ago. Did our species have a hand in their demise? Did we will kill them off? Did we absorb them through inter-species breeding? Or were they just victims of bad luck?

Whatever the causes behind the extinction of other human species, we have been living in unprecedented times for the past 20,000 years in that there has been only one species of person on Earth - our own. 50 000 years ago, there were five including ourselves.

Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker.


Buy online

Available on: Audio download

From one supplier: Audible.co.uk

Where to buy

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss