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Episode 3 of 3
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.