blog 6

Neanderthals evolved from the hominid H. heidelbergensis between 130 and 30 kya in European regions. The studies of the fossilized remains of Neanderthals have provided supportive evidence that they appeared to have evolved anatomically into what became modern Homo Sapiens. Scientists found that Neanderthals had larger brains then both their precursor H. heidelbergensis and their predecessor modern humans, suggesting they had precocious brain growth. The Neanderthal skull can be characterized as long and rounded with a prominent occipital bulge in the back of the head in order to be able to anatomically support their large brains. Their dental anatomy was made up of large front teeth and small back teeth with molars that had fused roots. Their facial structure suggests that they had a large face composed of a massive nose and brow ridges with no evidence of having a chin. Neanderthal remains present evidence that they had a body structure made up of thick bones that were heavily muscled. Neanderthal body size is found to have been stockier as well as shorter than modern humans with evidence that supports faster growth and development than modern humans.

 

The examination of fossilized Neanderthal remains contributes several findings in regards to their culture. The remains of their teeth were found to be heavily worn which suggests that they consumed processed animal hides. Where the remains were found buried suggest that they buried their dead in organized graves sometimes accompanied by tools, food and flowers. Very few of the Neanderthal remains that have been found have been identified as older in age, suggesting that they lived short lives.  The few remains of older Neanderthals show evidence of tooth loss and arthritis. Many of the remains were found to have endured serious injury and old wounds, which are indications that they were cared medically by their peers.

 

The recent study of Neanderthal DNA by reconstructing the Neanderthal genome has made a few contributions to the study of human diversity with more to come as research advances. The discovery and study of Neanderthal remains and artifacts have provided scientists with a better understanding of the human evolution. We can tell what our ancestors ate just by examining their teeth. We can tell that they were bipedal by analyzing their left, feet and pelvic structures. We know that it was a part of their culture to bury their dead with particular artifacts similar as we do. We can learn about how they lived how we live in a very similar way as they did years before our existence. We can figure out why they behaved as they did and learn why behave in similar ways such as the innate maternal instincts of human women.

2 thoughts on “blog 6

  1. Hi! I enjoyed your post. I liked how you tracked brain growth between the different types of species and Neanderthals. I thought it was so interesting how we have such solid scientific evidence of the human form even that long ago! I also thought it was very interesting that Neanderthals were cared for medically by their peers. It seems that the more we study these animals and species, the more I understand that human behavior is not just human! It is very much animalistic. The burial of the dead really shocked me- especially with artifacts! It is also so awesome how much we can tell by simply examining remains and bone structures. So many things contribute to the study of human evolution! Keep up the good work!

  2. That’s incredible that we can tell what they ate based on their teeth fossil remains. How do we know for sure it is from animal hides though? What if they used their teeth as tools and we don’t know about. All this information we are learning is so great but do we actually know all of it for sure. I mean obviously fossils don’t lie but other assumptions we are making are wild. It could be just because I never knew much about this subject and that’s why I question it but it is all very interesting. And now we can tell different things about human diversity because of their DNA that is amazing. I wonder if there were different races or cultures back in their day or if they all lived the same way and looked the same?

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