blog 6

I will be focusing on Neanderthals and how paleontologists study them in order for us to better understand our history. Some evolutionists have claimed that Neanderthals were incapable of modern speech, lacking the ability to produce the full range of vowels with flat non-flexing at the base of the skull, and the larynx positioned higher in the throat than in modern humans or even chimpanzees. The result of this computer reconstruction was that the resonating chamber at the back of the mouth was all but eliminated. It is unbelievable to know that scientists can use computer reconstruction to dissect the wonders of the neanderthal body. So that was a bit about the language I researched and now ill be talking about the brains. A Neanderthal brain volume equals or exceeds modern human dimensions ranging from about 1200-1750 ml, and thus on the average about 100 ml larger than modern humans. I believe the Neanderthal brain was fully Homo, with no essential differences in its organization compared to our own. Although there is no direct correlation between brain size and intelligence, Neanderthal brain volume certainly does not support views that argue for an evolutionary expansion of Hominid brains. It so incredible the size of their brains back then and the evidence doesn’t support that just because they have a larger volume it means they are smarter, but they sure did a lot to help them survive and fend for themselves from hunting, living, scavenging, building, and mating. Neanderthal anatomy is essentially human in scope, with the same number of bones as humans, which function in the same manner. However, there are minor differences in thickness and strength. These differences can be found on an individual basis in modern living populations. Although there is no formal agreement of which physical characteristics are diagnostic of Neanderthal morphology, a suite of traits have been used to distinguish Neanderthal morphology. It is crazy to think that we have the same amount of bones and the minor difference in robusticity of course but they look way stronger than we are as homo sapiens. For example I lift weights and am a pretty big and strong guy I would like to think but I think I would lose in a fight everytime because of their brute strength. I think they could even take an NFL player in a fight. In addition, Neanderthals lived a life style that put rigorous demands on their bodies as seen from numerous skeletal lesions, many the result of traumatic bone breakage. Further, it has recently been suggested, based on intense dental study, that Neanderthals may have had a greater longevity than modern populations. This may have also affected their anatomy. It is just science the physical demands that they had to do everyday in order to maintain a functional life were way more extreme than we have nowadays and in turn makes them a race of pure athleticism. I wonder if they had sports because that would be one of the most entertaining things to watch.



2 thoughts on “blog 6

  1. Hi,
    Your blog on Neanderthals made me think about brain size and how it may not directly effect individual thinking or cognitive ability. Because these people had a larger skull which apparently had more brain tissue we should assume that these neurons had a purpose. If they could not think and reason as effectively as modern humans, maybe these neurons had another purpose. We are unaware if Neanderthals had better sensory organs than modern humans which would have allowed them some advantages for survival in a harsh environment. Maybe their eyesight was better with a larger visual cortex. Possibly their sense of smell was heightened to more effectively compete against predators. These people obviously had more muscle mass that might require a larger motor cortex but we can never be sure of their fine muscle control short of their ability to use primitive tools. Overall, brain size appears to be no guarantee of cognitive success.
    -Jaclyn Kyko

  2. Hello! Thank you for your insightful blog post! I too wrote about the Neanderthal and how it helps us better understand modern human development.
    Your information on the Neanderthal’s capability of speech as well as their brain size and expansion was very interesting. I think your theory on the equality of intelligence between the Neanderthal and the modern human is quite interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it said exactly that way from anyone before, but it certainly is interesting. Considering how closely related we are to the Neanderthal, I don’t think that theory is quite the stretch.
    It’s also interesting how much more muscular and athletic the Neanderthal was compared to us, simply due to the adaptations to Ice Age conditions.
    Neanderthal sports would be very interesting to watch, I agree!

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