Who were the Neanderthals?

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Who were the Neanderthals? Blog Image


Recent scientific findings have revealed that Neanderthal genes compose 1 to 4 per cent of the genome of modern-day humans whose ancestors moved out of Africa.

About Neanderthals:

  • Neanderthals are our closest extinct human relative.
  • Species: Homo neanderthalensis
  • They lived throughout Europe and parts of Asia from about 400,000 until about 40,000 years ago.
  • Neanderthals co-existed with modern humans for long periods of time before eventually becoming extinct.
  • Features:
    • Some defining features of their skulls include the large middle part of the face, angled cheek bones, and a huge nose for humidifying and warming cold, dry air. 
    • Their bodies were shorter and stockier than modern humans, another adaptation to living in cold environments.
    • But their brains were just as large as modern humans and often larger - proportional to their brawnier bodies.
    • Their bones reveal that they were extremely muscular and strong, but led hard lives, suffering frequent injuries.
    • Neanderthals made and used a diverse set of sophisticated tools, controlled fire, lived in shelters, made and wore clothing, were skilled hunters of large animals and also ate plant foods, and occasionally made symbolic or ornamental objects. 
    • Fossil evidence suggests that Neanderthals, like early humans, made an assortment of sophisticated tools from stone and bones. These included small blades, hand axe and scrapers used to remove flesh and fat from animal skin.
    • There is evidence that Neanderthals deliberately buried their dead and occasionally even marked their graves with offerings, such as flowers. 


Q1) What is Homo neanderthalensis?

Neanderthal, (Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis), also spelled Neandertal, member of a group of archaic humans who emerged at least 200,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago) and were replaced or assimilated by early modern human populations (Homo sapiens) between 35,000 and perhaps 24,000 years ago.

Source: New Study Reveals How Much Neanderthal DNA Still Exists In Modern Humans