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NEANDERTHAL: ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS ANSWERED



  Apr 12, 2024

NEANDERTHAL: ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS ANSWERED



What is a Neanderthal?

Neanderthals, or Homo neanderthalensis, were a species or subspecies of archaic humans who lived in Eurasia until about 40,000 years ago. They are closely related to modern humans but are recognized as a distinct species due to unique skeletal and anatomical features.

When Did Neanderthals Live?

Neanderthals existed approximately 400,000 to 40,000 years ago, during the Middle to Late Pleistocene Epoch.

How Did Neanderthals Differ From Modern Humans?

Neanderthals were generally shorter and stockier than modern humans, with a more robust build and distinctive features such as a larger brow ridge and a smaller chin. They had a brain size comparable to or slightly larger than that of modern humans, adapted for the colder climates they lived in.

What Do We Know About Neanderthal Culture?

Neanderthals used tools, controlled fire, wore clothes, and were likely capable of language and complex social behaviors. They also buried their dead, which suggests a form of cultural or ritual behavior.

Did Neanderthals and Modern Humans Interact?

Yes, genetic evidence shows that Neanderthals and early modern humans interbred. As a result, a small percentage of Neanderthal DNA is present in the genomes of all modern humans outside of Africa.

What Happened to the Neanderthals?

Neanderthals went extinct around 40,000 years ago, but the exact reasons for their extinction are still debated. Factors likely include climate change, competition with modern humans, and interbreeding to the point of being absorbed into the modern human gene pool.

Where Have Neanderthal Fossils Been Found?

Neanderthal fossils have been found across Europe and parts of Western Asia, with significant sites in France, Germany, Spain, and Croatia.


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