Two plus two still makes four.

Listen&Learn: Neanderthals

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about a prehistoric species that was very similar to humans.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • extinction: the death of an entire species
  • species: a group of similar living things
  • fossil: the remains of a prehistoric creature
  • originate: to come from a certain place
  • migrate: to move from one place to another
  • interbreed: to reproduce with another species

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Neanderthals were a relative of humans that lived in Eurasia until their extinction around 28,000 years ago. The first Neanderthal fossil was found in Belgium in 1829, but scientists did not know what it was. They only learned that the fossil came from a species to humans in 1856. Neanderthals were an species – possibly as intelligent as humans. It’s hard to know if they used , but many scientists believe it’s . Today, most people have some Neanderthal DNA, especially people who originate from Europe or Asia. This is because many early humans migrated from Africa to Europe around 40,000 years ago. When they got there, they interbred with the Neanderthals. In fact, some scientists believe that the Neanderthals only went extinct because they were absorbed into the human .

Comprehension questions

1. Neanderthals lived in

Correct! Wrong!

Neanderthals lived in Eurasia.

2. When scientists first discovered a Neanderthal fossil,

Correct! Wrong!

When scientists first discovered a Neanderthal fossil, they didn't know what it was.

3. Some scientists believe Neanderthals went extinct because

Correct! Wrong!

Some scientists believe Neanderthals went extinct because they were absorbed into the human population.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Neanderthals aren’t the only related species that existed at the same time as early humans. In 2008, fossils of another human-like species were found in Russia. This species is now called the Denisovans. Do you think it’s possible that there are even more species that coexisted with humans?

Transcript

The Neanderthals were a relative of humans that lived in Eurasia until their extinction around 28,000 years ago. The first Neanderthal fossil was found in Belgium in 1829, but scientists did not know what it was. They only learned that the fossil came from a species similar to humans in 1856. Neanderthals were an intelligent species – possibly as intelligent as humans. It’s hard to know if they used language, but many scientists believe it’s likely. Today, most people have some Neanderthal DNA, especially people who originate from Europe or Asia. This is because many early humans migrated from Africa to Europe around 40,000 years ago. When they got there, they interbred with the Neanderthals. In fact, some scientists believe that the Neanderthals only went extinct because they were absorbed into the human population

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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