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 ?
Scientists from MIT and the University of La Laguna in Spain identified human fecal remains from El Salt, a known site of Neanderthal occupation in southern Spain that dates back 50,000 years.
However, in some places, such as the DNA related to the skin, the genetic instructions are as much as 70 percent Neanderthal and in other places there's virtually nothing from the species that's often portrayed as brutish cavemen.
Arsuaga, director of the Centre for Research on Human Evolution and Behaviour, said: "This unexpected result points to a complex pattern of evolution in the origin of Neanderthals and modern humans.
Now the Great North Museum is to mark the 150th anniversary by staging a Neanderthal day tomorrow from 11am to 3pm.
FAMILIES are being invited to go Neanderthal to mark a scientific first on Tyneside 150 years ago.
Neanderthals are believed to have arrived in Europe from Africa around 250,000 years ago and scientists believe they evolved larger eyes in response to the longer, darker nights and murkier days in the north.
Scientists now know that there is some Neanderthal DNA in all of us, but more in Europeans than in Africans.
NEANDERTHAL cuisine was far more sophisticated than previously thought, experts have learned.
Other reasons may now have to be found to explain why Neanderthals vanished from Europe 28,000 years ago, after living alongside modern humans for some 10,000 years.
If successful, the results could reveal not just who the Neanderthals really were, but whether their genes live on in modern humans.
Robert McCarthy, an anthropologist at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, US, used new reconstructions of Neanderthal vocal tracts to work out how they would have sounded, NewScientist.