What comes to mind when you think of a neanderthal? Even though perceptions of these ancient humans have changed drastically over the past few decades, it's still likely that the word is synonymous with brutish, primitive, knuckle-dragging apes.
The classic image of Homo neanderthalensis, the neanderthal, is that of a dim-witted savage, wielding a colossal club which it uses to bash its tribe mates on the head.
20th-century pop culture is full of these depictions, and the general public all over the world has come to know the neanderthal as a monster, a subhuman, more ape than man. The reality could not be more different.
Homo neanderthalensis was in fact as human as you and I - they lived complicated lives, they created music and art, they were exceedingly intelligent, and they even interbred with us, the first Homo sapiens.
That's right - it's more than likely that your DNA contains that of the neanderthals that were roaming much of the Northern Hemisphere in the Late Pleistocene Epoch.
These early men and women were just that - men and women. Although they belonged to a different species to our ancestors, they were just as human as you and I, only in their own way.
Obviously, there are no living, breathing neanderthals around today, but we do know they coexisted with our ancestors.
So, what happened to them?
Where did they all go?
Today, we will be answering these questions and more as we take an in-depth look at Homo neanderthalensis, some of our closest cousins in the hominid world.
We will look at many aspects of neanderthal life as we do so - their culture, their lifestyles, their evolution, and their appearances. Join us, as we take an intriguing trip into the lives, loves and legacies of Homo neanderthalensis - the neanderthals.
00:00 | Introduction
02:37 | What exactly was Homo neanderthalensis?
09:39 | Evolution
13:06 | Coexistence
17:57 | Lifestyle
31:48 | Paleoenvironment
37:40 | Extinction