Neanderthal skull and a modern skull
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Neanderthal large eyes 'made them extinct'

A study of Neanderthal skulls suggests that they became extinct because they had larger eyes than our species.

As a result, more of their brain was devoted to seeing in the long, dark nights in Europe, at the expense of high-level processing.

This ability enabled our species, Homo Sapiens, to fashion warmer clothes and develop larger social networks, helping us to survive the ice age in Europe.

The study is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B Journal.

Pallab Ghosh reports.

  • 13 Mar 2013