Hominid is the term used to refer mankind with its relations. Though we see movies of human and dinosaur coexistence, dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago and the first trace of human existence dates back to 3 million years. Hominid lived along with many animals, plants and aquatic animals. Apes and early man appearance dates back to this period. Early human could stand in two legs while apes could not making early humans as hominids. Apes hands had the design for climbing and holding but the early humans could operate on things and make tools.
Talking about 3 million years of mankind existence, it was Lucy, a woman whose skeleton was found in Africa in 1974 that gave scientists idea about the first appearance of hominids. Scientists traced her existence as 3 million years ago with a height of about 4 feet and 60 pounds approximately 20 years old.
Early human gradually developed in various skills and became an upright man. Upright men with the knowledge of skilled existence moved from Africa to other parts of the world and started living in colonies.
A skeleton of early man from a different group was discovered by the scientists. Scientists call this man Neanderthal after the valley in which the skeleton was found. Analyzing the Neanderthal man, scientists found him to be low in intelligence with bent knees with forward lunging heads on huge necks. But ultimately the bent knees and the disposition was attributed to arthritic attack on the Neanderthal man.
Still, Neanderthal man had different attributes when compared to early men. They grew tall and possessed smartness living in caves with great hunting capability. They knew the art of fire making and known to have cooked food regularly. They buried the dead with religious ceremonies. Paint was found in their body directing towards their skills in art and probably the first ones to experiment with color. Evidence suggests that Neanderthals believed in after life.
Neanderthals belong to the species called Homo Neandertalensis that existed during 300,000 to 30,000 BCE. Ancestors of Neanderthals were H. heidelbergensis and the same applies to modern humans. This implies that Neanderthals coexisted with the modern Europeans. Smart weapons like stone tip spears came into existence during the Neanderthal existence confirming the fact that Neanderthals were marvelous hunters.
Extinction of Neanderthals has various causes with the predominant reason being the competition with modern humans. There is also another theory that Neanderthals got married into other human groups and in the evolution lost their separate identity. With inherent smartness, Neanderthals should have survived the challenges of time but they too died out. It is still a historical mystery puzzling the scientists today.