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BERLIN — New research finds that humans and Neanderthals may have coexisted in Europe for more than 5,000 years, providing ample time for the two species to meet and mix.

Using new carbon dating techniques and mathematical models, researchers examined about 200 samples found at 40 sites from Spain to Russia, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. They concluded with a high probability that pockets of Neanderthal culture survived until between 41,030 and 39,260 years ago.

Although this puts the disappearance of Neanderthals earlier than some scientists previously thought, the findings support the idea that they lived alongside humans, who arrived in Europe about 45,000-43,000 years ago.

While it's known that Neanderthal genes have survived in the DNA of many modern humans to this day, suggesting that at least some interbreeding took place, scientists are still unclear about the extent of their contact and the reasons why Neanderthals vanished.

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  • AmericasDoomed
    August 20, 2014 at 5:19 p.m.

    Humans and Neanderthals are still co-mingling as far as I can see.

  • GCW
    August 20, 2014 at 7:37 p.m.

    Pockets of Neanderthal culture survive today.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    August 20, 2014 at 8:14 p.m.

    We know where conservative republicans came from, Neanderthals.
    As their ideology is from the flintstone era.

  • Packman
    August 20, 2014 at 8:44 p.m.

    Hey FSM - You do realize that Neanderthals lived a peaceful and productive existence based on self-reliance and respect. Anthropologists tell us Neanderthals exhibited a certain behavior illustrative an intelligent being that cared greatly for fellow Neanderthals. As a conservative, I find it highly complimentary to be compared to a Neanderthal.

  • Dontsufferfools
    August 20, 2014 at 8:54 p.m.

    Packman, may your numbers multiply as did the Neanderthals.