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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
DNA has been examined from few Neandertal fossils, and Denisovan remains have been found only in that single cave in Siberia.
--Betty McCollister, "Correcting the Neandertal Stereotype," May/June 1990
How to Think Like a Neandertal. By Thomas Wynn and Frederick L.
The new study "provides a new line of evidence that Neandertals were not as adept at long-distance running as modern humans were," Herman Pontzer told Science News.
With this data in hand, the authors convincingly demonstrate that Neandertals are more genetically similar to present-day humans in Eurasia than they are to present-day humans in sub-Saharan Africa - with the expectation being that if there had been no interbreeding, all human populations would be equally related to Neandertal.
Scientists subsequently determined that Neandertals actually had the same upright posture and way of moving as modern humans have.
These anatomical details have been emphasized to set as much taxonomic distance between Neandertals and modern humans as possible, with special attention paid to the details that Boule's colleagues would recognize as relevant for this purpose (see also Shreeve, 1995, pp.
Thanks to ancient hookups, between 20 and 35 percent of Neandertals' genes live on in various combinations from one person to another.
Study co-author Konrad Lohse, a population geneticist at the University of Edinburgh, said that their approach can distinguish between two subtly different scenarios that could explain the genetic similarities shared by Neandertals and modern humans from Europe and Asia.