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Transcript of Neanderthals
Neanderthals lived during the Ice Age so often took shelter in Eurasia’s limestone caves. The average life span for a Neanderthal was 30 years.
Neanderthals were carnivorous, and the harsh climate caused them to resort to cannibalism at times. It has also been discovered that Neanderthals actually ate cooked vegetables fairly regularly.
What killed them off
It is not known exactly why Neanderthals went extinct. Instead there are several different theories:
Dates and Location
Neanderthals originated in Africa but migrated to Eurasia. Neanderthals lived across Eurasia, as far north and west as the Britain, through part of the Middle East, to Uzbekistan. Popular estimates put the peak Neanderthal population around 70,000.
They lived 200,000 to 30,000 years ago.
What they looked like
- Short, stocky stature - smaller surface area to conserve heat (adaptation for cold weather)
- Wide nose - to warm and humidify cold air
- Flaring, funnel-shaped chest
- Flaring pelvis
-Robust fingers and toes
Neanderthals lived in family units. Skeletons suggest that they took care of their sick and those who could not care for themselves and also buried their dead.
Even though they have no known language it is suspect that the Neanderthals had a language due to their large brains.
Use of Tools and Fire
Neanderthals used stone tools similar to the ones used by early humans, including blades and scrapers made from stone flakes. As time went on, they created tools of greater complexity.
Neanderthals had some control of fire.
Some theories suggest that Neanderthals built boats which they sailed on the Mediterranean (although there is no evidence.)
Features of Skull and Teeth
Compared to Humans:
- The space for the brain was larger hence Neanderthals had, on average, larger brains
-Low, flat, elongated skull
-Eye sockets large and rounded
-No groove on canine teeth
-Teeth were larger
-Jaws were larger and more robust
-A Gap behind the 3rd Molars
- Gradual or Dramatic Climate Change
- Dietary Deficiencies
-Interbred with Humans