An Agent Based Simulation for a Neanderthal Extinction Hypothesis
Homo neanderthalensis is the closest relative to Homo sapiens in the tree of evolution. It is estimated that the Neanderthals became extinct around 20-30 thousand years ago. There are several hypotheses for this extinction. Here we use the Agent Based Modelling approach to test a hypothesis that has been put forward by one of us. Our hypothesis states that the Neanderthals became extinct as a result of its relatively lower healthy birth rate compared with Homo sapiens once they started sharing the same environment. The lower fertility rate was due to the fact that the Neanderthals had a larger skull and head than Homo sapiens complicating its birth process and resulting in the deaths of baby as well as mother more frequently than is the case for Homo sapiens. This difference caused the slow but eventual extinction of the Neanderthals.
Keywords - Neanderthal, Evolution, Extinction, Agent Based Model, Simulation.