An Individual-based Network Model Explains Neanderthal Extinction through Competitive Exclusion
18 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 19, 2020
This paper presents a social/economic explanation for the Neanderthals' demise, along similar lines with the competitive exclusion theory, by considering the differences in both species' social structures and showing how those differences influenced the competition between them. Individuals are represented as the nodes of a network such that each link corresponds to an acquaintanceship between the respective nodes. We rely on the findings that Sapiens had superior social skills and social structure compared to Neanderthals; and running individual-based simulations, we illustrate how both species' social structures asymmetrically evolved and how such an evolution favored Sapiens in their competition against Neanderthals.
Keywords: Neanderthals, Neanderthal extinction, competitive exclusion, Homo sapiens, networks, social structure, hunting and gathering
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