Experts believe that nine different types of human species had roamed across the earth around 3,00,000 years ago. In these nine different species, the Neanderthals were hunters, and in the ancient days, it is believed that they have interbred with homo sapiens, the modern-day human beings. Neanderthals majorly lived in the cold regions of Europe, while Denisovans, another human species lived in Asia.
Homo Erectus lived in Indonesia, while Homo rhodesiensis is believed to have roamed across central Africa. Some of the other noted human species that lived in the ancient past includes, Homo naledi in South Africa, Homo luzonensis in the Philippines, Homo floresiensis in Indonesia, and the mysterious Red Deer Cave People in China. However, only one human species remains in the earth now, and the question that arises is what happened to the remaining species.
What happened to eight human species?
In a recent article published in The Conversation, Nick Longrich, a senior lecturer of palaeontology and evolutionary biology at the University of Bath discussed the fate faced by the remaining eight human species that are no more on earth's surface.
Longrich reveals that the disappearance of eight human species around 10,000 years ago resembles a mass extinction event on the earth. However, historical studies suggest that there were no such events like asteroid impacts or volcanic eruptions during this period.
The evolutionary biologist added that the extinction time of these eight species suggests it was caused by the spread of homo sapiens.
"10,000 years ago, they were all gone. The disappearance of these other species resembles a mass extinction. But there's no obvious environmental catastrophe – volcanic eruptions, climate change, asteroid impact – driving it. Instead, the extinctions' timing suggests they were caused by the spread of a new species, evolving 260,000-350,000 years ago in Southern Africa: Homo sapiens.
The spread of modern humans out of Africa has caused a sixth mass extinction, a greater than 40,000-year event extending from the disappearance of Ice Age mammals to the destruction of rainforests by civilization today," wrote Longrich.
Homo sapiens overpowered other human species?
As per Longrich, the violent nature of homo sapiens that we even witness in the modern age might have contributed to the extinction of these eight human species that once roamed across the surface of the earth. As these species fought each other in the ancient days, sophisticated weapons used by homo sapiens gave them an additional advantage and thus overpower other species.
Longrich believes that complex tools and culture would have also helped homo sapiens efficiently harvest a wide range of animals and plants, thus helping them to feed more tribes.
"Cave paintings, carvings, and musical instruments hint at something far more dangerous: a sophisticated capacity for abstract thought and communication. The ability to cooperate, plan, strategize, manipulate and deceive may have been our ultimate weapon," Longrich further added.