Modern humans overtook Neanderthals by hunting with wolves.
Dogs are our dedicated companions, but they once participated as crucial part of the survival of the human race. Professor Pat Shipman, a leading US anthropologist, says that modern humans, Neanderthals, and wolves were at the top of the foodchain 40,000 years ago. They competed against each other for resources and food, such as mammoths.
Shipman says that when the modern human joined forces with the wolf, we sealed the deal and determined our destiny. Together, wolves and modern humans ultimately defeated the Neanderthals.
Just a few thousand years after modern human's arrival, the Neanderthals disappeared. Even with climate change or better designed weapons, there is no doubt that an accomplice such as the wolf would have greatly increased our chances at survival. Not surprisingly, the modern human's alliance with the wolf developed soon after our arrival into Europe - the Neanderthal's original real estate.
Wolves helped humans by protecting them from other top predators and made hunting easier. The wolves did the grunt work by chasing the animals until they grew tired then the humans would have killed them with their weapons. This perfect teamwork and cooperation would have been too much for Neanderthals to handle.
Hunting dogs are still used today, which proves their usefulness and effectiveness as human companions. The connection between humans and dogs runs deep. In Shipman's new book, "The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction," he says that while we changed the wolf's look, they might have also affected us in ways we aren't totally aware of.
The human-dog alliance has been very useful and necessary for many parts of our history.