The Art Archive/Museo di Antropologia ed Etnographia, Torino/A. Dagli Orti

About 150,000 years ago, new offshoots developed in the human family, including the Neandertals (named after the region in Germany where some of their remains were found); these humans, members of our very own species, had large brains with long, low skulls (shown here, compare with photos of Homo sapiens sapiens skull and Homo erectus skull). The Neandertals mysteriously became extinct a little more than 100,000 years later, as modern Homo sapiens sapiens began to colonize the entire planet.