Blog Six – Becoming Modern

Neanderthals are a very interesting species and play an important factor in scientist learning about human evolution. Neanderthals are supposedly one of human’s closest extinct relatives, which is why any information about them can give us some insight into the past. With the findings of Neanderthals scientist have learned there are many similarities and differences between Neanderthals and modern humans. For starters, Neanderthals lived in cold, harsh environments and small populations, unlike humans now. Now a day it feels like it is very hard to find small populations of people, especially in the United States and there is a small amount of places in the world that have such cold and harsh environments where humans can live. They had smaller back teeth and larger front teeth, which were also very worn from eating animals. Scientist said the roots of molars were fused which is the opposite of human teeth now. Neanderthals were shorter and stockier than us and lived very short, brutal lives. Those are just some of the many differences between Neanderthals and humans.

 

One of the biggest differences for Neanderthals is their brain size and capacity. Our lecture said that Neanderthals brain size was larger than modern humans, which is amazing. With this larger size brain Neanderthals were able live a more difficult and intricate life than past evolutions. The lecture even said it was suggested that Neanderthals developed faster than modern humans. The first difference between Neanderthals and past existences was their stone tools; their tools were more complex and easier to hunt animals with. With a larger brain Neanderthals are also able to have more emotions and would bury their dead, similar to the way we do now. Scientist also found remains that had wounds from before their death that were healed. This suggested that Neanderthals cared for their sick and wounded, showing just how smart and capable they were. With the burial of their dead scientist were able to get a lot of information and research from the bones. This is how we learned about Neanderthals body structure and features and the environments they lived in. Another huge discovery of Neanderthals was their speech. With their larger brain it is probable that Neanderthals had a similar speech to humans now. This helped them while hunting and most likely caring for one another.

 

I believe if not the biggest things but one of the more important facts learned from Neanderthals if their brain size and capacity. With the knowledge we learned from how much they could do and compare it to past and present existence we can learn a lot about our evolution. Studying Neanderthals gives us insight into how certain customs came about like burying our dead or caring for the wounded. Even the small amount of speech Neanderthals could have had would help scientist now figure out the speech patterns modern humans have. It’s crazy to me though that Neanderthals brain was larger than humans now and they developed much faster than humans do now.

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