LONDON - Remains of the Neanderthal species in Europe are thousands of years older than once thought, according to new research.

The remains had been thought to be 24,000 years old but new tests show they are as much as 44,200 years old.

The new dating by Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator suggests that early humans and Neanderthals “overlapped” in Europe, interbreeding with each other.