26 – Earliest Neandertals (per the fossil evidence)
430,000 years ago
The fossil community found at Sima de los Huesos, Spain, called the “Cave of Bones,” represents a “proto” or the earliest version of the earliest known fossils of Neandertals or Homo neanderthalensis. Neandertals are considered to be the closest fossil relatives of our own species and evolved in Europe and lived there for hundreds of thousands of years until their extinction around 40,000 years ago.
Image credit Yohannes Haile-Selassie/Musee de l’Homme, Paris
Environmental and Climate Changes
Earth’s climate remains relatively stable with alternating glacial and interglacial periods