The skull of a man who lived between 36,200 and 38,700 years ago in Kostenki in western Russia
Some of Europe's earliest inhabitants mysteriously vanished toward the end of the last ice age and were largely replaced by others, a new genetic analysis finds.
The finds come from an analysis of dozens of ancient fossil remains collected across Europe.
The genetic turnover was likely the result of a rapidly changing climate, which the earlier inhabitants of Europe couldn't adapt to quickly enough, said the study's co-author, Cosimo Posth, an archaeogenetics doctoral candidate at the University of Tübingen in Germany. [Top 10 Mysteries of the First Humans]
The temperature change around that time was "enormous compared to the climactic changes that are happening in our century," Posth told Live Science. "You have to imagine that also the environment changed pretty drastically."Read the rest of this article...