1. Homo heidelbergensis was our Shared Granddaddy
Like all life on Earth, Neanderthals and humans shared a common ancestor. That super-elder was likely Homo heidelbergensis, a highly successful species that emerged on the Mediterranean basin as early as 1.3 million years ago. Humans and Neanderthals broke off from the family around 250,000 years ago, and Homo heidelbergensis died out soon after. This evolutionary Granddaddy pioneered tool-using and complex social behavior, both of which would loom large in the culture of their evolutionary offspring. Respect them elders!