What brought about the demise of the Neanderthals? Was it the arrival of the Cro-Magnon early-modern humans? John Fa of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust suggests that it was rabbits – or more precisely, the Neanderthals’ lack of skill in catching them.
In a study in the Journal of Human Evolution, Fa looks at how, judging from the remains of various animals that can be found in caves, deer started to be replaced by rabbits about 30,000 years ago. And that’s when Neanderthals were being replaced by modern humans.
According to Fa, Neanderthals just weren’t as good at catching fast-moving bunnies.
Of course, those of us who studied ancient history under Prof. Monty Python know that killer bunnies were wiping out whole armies of humans well into the Middle Ages: