noun, plural: Neanderthals
The Neanderthals are believed to have lived concurrently with the early ancestors of modern human beings. However, their existence was cut short probably due to the extreme conditions they dealt with. Hence, they became extinct while modern human beings persisted to exist, survived and spread.
The taxonomic position of Neanderthals was obscure. Some scientists think that they are a subspecies of Homo sapiens, hence are called Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Others believe that they are distinct species, hence are called Homo neanderthalensis.