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 ?
Spikins and colleagues took a close look at Neanderthal fossil injuries and found in some cases, the condition occurred way before an individual's death and would have required regular care in the form of continuous monitoring, massage, fever and hygiene management.
No living ape has made any real art like the images now attributed to Neanderthals.
But cave paintings were one of the last bastions that appeared to differentiate anatomically modern humans from Neanderthals, who died out some 35,000 years ago.
The scientific establishment's reasoning was that the fossil evidence of Neanderthals contradicted the sacrosanct doctrine that creation was a perfect one-time act by God, an act that precluded the extinction of species, as well as the addition of new ones.
It is widely acknowledged that during this time, anatomically modern humans started to move out of Africa and assimilated coeval Eurasian populations, including Neanderthals, through interbreeding.
In The Last Neanderthal, Claire Cameron expertly intertwines Girl's and Rose's stories.
A visit to the site revealed that it contained a huge amount of evidence of Neanderthal activity.
After the Neanderthals, modern humans entered inhabited the caves around 20,000 years ago.
It has also been possible to date this collection of Neanderthal remains, revealing that these Neanderthals lived between 40,500 and 45,500 years ago.
Previous studies of DNA extracted from Neanderthal remains revealed that these Eurasian hominids were much more inbred and less genetically diverse than modern humans.
The Neanderthals, derived from species that first evolved in Africa, had already occupied Eurasia for around 200,000 years.
What matters is that Neanderthals did in fact contribute genes to people today.