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10 surprising facts you never knew about Neanderthals



There are several misconceptions that many believe about Neanderthals. One is that they were stupid and uncivilized, which is actually not true. This misunderstanding continues so long that we use "Neanderthals" as the word for an uncivilized and unintelligent person. Neanderthals were even referred to as Homo stupidus ("the stupid man").

Today we know that Neanderthals were as smart as humans. But that's not the only surprising fact we have about the Neanderthals. Read on to find out what interesting things we dug up.

10 They Walked Up

Neanderthals were often portrayed as lithe creatures with curved backs, almost as if they were another large species of monkey. This presentation is wrong. The Neanderthals had been upright and could have been better positioned than us. The myth of the Bent Neanderthal was created by Marcellin Boule, who believed that Neanderthals are the missing link between humans and other great apes.

The researchers concluded that Neanderthals were upright after creating a computer model for a Neanderthal skeleton. They found that the neck and lower spine were curved. Both indicate an upright posture. Neanderthals would have had a hunch if neck and back were straight, as originally thought.

The researchers also saw that the signs of wear on the hips of the skeletonization indicated an upright posture. The sacral bone (the bone between the hip bones) was positioned in the same way as Homo sapiens . This would only have been possible if they had an upright posture. [1]

9 Non-Africans Have Neanderthal Genes


Before Homo sapiens emigrated from Africa 70,000 years ago. At the time Homo sapiens divided the earth with two other human species: the Neanderthals and the Denisovans. The Homo sapiens went to Eurasia, where they met with Neanderthals and mingled there.

Today, the descendants of this Homo sapiens (Asians and Europeans) have some Neanderthal genes. Scientists have found that the DNA of an average Asian and European is about two percent Neanderthal. Sub-Saharan Africans have little to no Neanderthal DNA because their ancestors never left Africa and do not cross with Neanderthals.

Homo sapiens was associated with Neanderthals and Denisovans because they were all closely related. All three groups are descended from Homo heidelbergensis .

A group of Homo heidelbergensis left Africa 500,000 to 600,000 years ago. They split on the way. One group traveled to West Asia and Europe and became a Neanderthal. The other group went to East Asia and became a Denisovan. The Homo heidelbergensis remaining in Africa eventually became Homo sapiens .

8 Homo Sapiens Neanderthals


Top The Homo sapiens seems to have something for Neanderthal flesh, at least if the hypothesis of the Spanish Anthropologists Policarp Hortola and Bienvenido Martinez-Navarro apply. Anthropologists speculate that people at Neanderthals enjoyed their migration from Africa to Europe. [3]

The researcher Fernando Rozzi of the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris makes the same claims. He came to the conclusion when analyzing a Neanderthal jawbone. He and his team discovered that cut marks on the bones were made by humans.

If that was not enough, early humans probably also used Neanderthal teeth to make necklaces. However, other researchers dispute the claim that hunted and ate Homo sapiens Neanderthals. They say the early humans could have taken the jawbone from an already dead Neanderthal man.

If true, the claims would support the hypothesis that humans hunted the Neanderthals to extinction. Some researchers believe this because the Neanderthals died out by the time the early humans reached Europe. In fact, they have made the oldest cave painting in the world. About 65,000 years ago, a Neanderthal man used a red pigment to etch something like a ladder on the walls of a Spanish cave.

Researchers have found two more paintings of Neanderthals in two other Spanish caves. All three works of art were clearly the work of a Neanderthal man, since Homo sapiens was not yet in Europe at the time. The artworks show that Neanderthals had similar cognitive abilities as humans. [4]

6 They were almost called Homo Stupidus

The first Neanderthal fossil (that was recognized) (to be an early human) was discovered in 1856 in Neander Thal in Germany. Neander Thal was named after Joachim Neumann, a 17th-century German minister who often roamed the valley. Neumann also wrote hymns, which he published under the pseudonym "Neander", the Greek translation of Neumann (as in "new man").

"Neander" and "thal" were soon put together to create the name "Neanderthal". "In 1904, the" h "was removed from" thal "because German did not sound" th. "However, some languages ​​persisted with the" th, "creating a different spelling of the name.

In 1864, William King proposed the new one to designate human species Homo neanderthalensis after the Neander Valley where the fossil was found .. Two years later Ernst Haeckel proposed the new human species Homo stupidus ("the stupid man Fortunately for the Neanderthals, King's name was chosen because he first suggested it.

It is not surprising that Ernst suggested the name Homo stupidus for Neanderthals Little knowledge of Neanderthals – and probably still do today – Most people thought they were dumb creatures that could not draw or use tools. [5]

However, wi Now let's say that Neanderthals can draw and use tools. They were also effective hunters, taking care of their sick and elderly and probably speaking some language. Neanderthals were just like Homo sapiens in many ways.

5 Neanderthal Inbred A Lot

Inbreeding was common among Neanderthals. In 2014, researchers in the Altai Mountains of Siberia discovered a 120,000-year-old Neanderthal toenail bone. The analysis of his genome revealed that the Neanderthal had closely related parents. They could have been siblings, first cousins ​​or even an uncle and his niece.

The inbreeding hypothesis was found in a 50,000 year old Neanderthal fossil exposed in Vindija (Croatia) and 13 in Sidron (Spain). All bones showed that the subjects were descendants of closely related parents.

Like modern humans, inbreeding had its own problems among Neanderthals. Inbreeding Neanderthals had deformed body parts and bones. Many of her fossils had deformed kneecaps and vertebrae. At least one Neanderthal has received a baby tooth into adulthood. Inbreeding made the Neanderthals weaker and less replicable than in earlier Homo sapiens .

Unfortunately, Neanderthals transmitted some of these unfavorable genes to early humans as they mingled. The genes are still present in some people, although they were largely suppressed. Some researchers speculate that inbreeding may have been one of the reasons why Neanderthals became extinct. [6]

4 They were cannibals

while we are unsure whether they were at the beginning of Homo sapiens Neanderthals, we know that Neanderthals ate Neanderthals. Yes, Neanderthals were cannibals. The conclusion was drawn after the scientists analyzed the bones of five 40,000-year-old Neanderthals. The bones were broken in the same way the Neanderthals broke the bones of the animals they hunted.

The reason why Neanderthals enjoyed other Neanderthals remains unclear. For one, Neanderthals, the early Homo sapiens and even the modern Homo sapiens are not nutritious. Neanderthals clearly would have preferred to hunt larger and more nutritious animals such as horses, bison, reindeer and mammoths who lived nearby.

Researchers have speculated that Neanderthals may allow other Neanderthals to cannibalize because of their marrow. This could be true, considering that the bones were intentionally broken to reach the nutrient-rich bone marrow. The researchers also suggest that Neanderthals could have switched to cannibalism for cultural reasons, or simply liked to eat neighboring Neanderthals who were lost in their territory.

3 They were hunted by others Animals

Neanderthals probably spent much of their lives avoiding being eaten. In addition to the other Neanderthals and possibly humans, they were also hunted by wild animals of the day.

Researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing some Neanderthal fossils. They found that the fossils had bite marks that matched big carnivores. A fossil bone of a young Neanderthal child clearly showed he was being eaten by a big cat.

Analysis of the bone of another Neanderthal child from the Ciemna Cave in Poland revealed that he was being eaten by a large bird. The 115,000-year-old bone had holes that suggested he had passed through a bird's digestive system. However, researchers could not confirm whether the bird killed the child or fed on his body.

It should not be very surprising that Neanderthals sometimes get into the stomach of other animals. Neanderthals and these animals were virtually neighbors. Clashes would have been common as they fought for the same food sources and sought refuge in the same caves. [8]

2 They buried their dead

1908 Two archaeologists discovered the 50,000-year-old remains of a Neanderthal man in a cave in La Chapelle-aux-Saints, France. The anthropologists insisted that the Neanderthals had been deliberately buried there, even though no one believed them at the time.

Archaeologists returned to the site in 1999. In 2012, a team led by William Rendu of New York University confirmed that the Neanderthal man was really buried there. Since then, we have found over 20 other sites across Europe that contain the remains of the buried Neanderthals. The burials were often premature in order to prevent corpses being devoured by corpses.

The discovery of burials among Neanderthals increases the credibility of claims that Neanderthals cared for their sick and elderly. The Neanderthal found in the French cave had bone deformities and lost many teeth. It is unlikely that Neanderthals would have bothered to bury someone they refused to take care of. [9]

1 We do not know why they died out

We do not know why Neanderthals died out. As possible reasons we have already mentioned inbreeding and hunt until Homo sapiens but these are only hypotheses. Other researchers speculate that Neanderthals were infected with early disease after their migration to Europe.

Other researchers believe that Neanderthals could not reach the higher human reproductive rate. A recent theory refers to two ice ages.

About 44,000 years ago, an ice age began, which lasted 1,000 years. It was followed by another ice age, which began 40,800 years ago and ended 600 years later. Temperatures in Europe were below zero during both ice ages.

Plants died and hungered for the big game the Neanderthals hunted. The big animals died out and the Neanderthals soon followed as they were dependent on big game for food. Beginning The Homo sapiens survived the ice age as it was already adapted to eating plants and all kinds of meat and fish.

Some researchers believe that a small number of Neanderthals survived the first ice age, and the remaining Neanderthals entered humans when the second Ice Age began. They mingled and soon became part of the human gene pool. [10]



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