Neanderthal


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Neanderthal

An extinct modern Homo that lived between 230,000 and 22,000 years ago (the last known Neanderthals have been found in the Gravettian region of France). Neanderthals mostly lived in cold climates; their body proportions are similar to those of modern cold-adapted peoples: short and solid, with short limbs. Men averaged ±168 cm; their bones were thick and heavy, and showed signs of powerful muscle attachments. Neanderthals would have been quite strong by modern standards, and their skeletons show that they endured brutally hard lives.

Many Neanderthal tools and weapons have been found and they were more advanced than the tools of Homo erectus. Neanderthals were hunters, and the first Homo spp known to have buried their dead—the oldest known burial site is ±100,000 years old. Neanderthal skeletons are found throughout Europe and the Middle East. The “classic” western European Neanderthals were more robust than those found elsewhere. The average brain size, about 1450 cc, is larger than that of modern humans, but this correlated with their greater bulk; the cranial cavity is longer and lower than that of modern humans, with a marked bulge at the back.

Anatomy
Like Homo erectus, Neanderthals had a protruding jaw and receding forehead. The chin was weak, and the midfacial area also protrudes, a feature not found in Homo erectus or Homo sapiens, which may have been an adaptation to cold. Other minor anatomic differences from modern humans include peculiarities of the shoulder blade and pubic bone.
References in periodicals archive ?
A new study of Neanderthals, the predecessors of modern humans, argues that they were far from the bunch of savage and brutal ape-like folks as portrayed in popular culture.
Up to now there have been claims of Neanderthals doing cave art," says Professor Chris Stringer, Britain's foremost authority on human evolution.
Plenty of evidence already exists to debunk the myth that Neanderthals were knuckle-dragging brutes, and instead were capable of decorative impulses and rituals, like burying their dead.
Sawyer's trilogy of science fiction novels, The Neanderthal Parallax, shows Neanderthals and Sapiens living in parallel universes, with the Neanderthals having developed far superior ways to cope with-or having serendipitously avoided-ecological and social evils that loom ever larger in the Homo sapiens world.
An international team from Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, German, Austrian, and Italian research institutions has changed our thoughts about the death of Neanderthals.
Modern humans cling to the idea that Neanderthals were a lesser species, and that's why Homo sapiens prevailed.
Most stone tools belong to mid-Paleolithic era [250,000-40,000 years ago], when the Neanderthal thrived," he said.
It gives a unique insight into the culture and traditions of Neanderthals thousands of years ago and demonstrates the exciting range of the UKs cultural heritage.
A third of the Neanderthal remains on this site display cut marks, and many remains bear percussion marks caused when the bones were crushed to extract the marrow.
Then, 50,000-100,000 years ago, groups of anatomically modern humans left Africa and moved to the homelands of their distant Neanderthal cousins.
Neanderthals passed on bad genes linked to smoking, obesity and depression when they had sex with early humans 60,000 years ago.