Neanderthals are our closest extinct human relatives. Our well-known, but often misunderstood, fossil kin lived in Eurasia 200,000 to 30,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene Epoch. Neanderthals’ appearance looked similar to ours - though they were shorter and stockier with angled cheekbones, prominent brow ridges, and wide noses. Often misremembered as dumb brutes, they used tools, buried their dead and controlled fire, among other intelligent cultural behaviors. Denisovans are cousins of Neanderthals who flourished in eastern Eurasia during the same historical period.

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