Using computers and MRI scans, researchers have created the most detailed reconstruction of a Neanderthal brain to date, offering new insights into the social and cognitive abilities of these extinct humans. But as to whether these characteristics were responsible for their ultimate demise remains an open question.
Compared to modern humans, Neanderthals had heavy eyebrows, huge noses, and large, long faces that bulged forward. Using 3D computer models, an international team of scientists has analyzed these facial features in detail, uncovering some likely explanations for these dramatic physical differences.
Back in 2012, archaeologists concluded that a series of cave paintings in Spain were created by Neanderthals, not early humans as was previously assumed. Critics complained about the dating method used, and more contentiously, claimed that only modern humans had the capacity for symbolic thought. Now, using an updated…
A re-analysis of a 50,000 year old Neanderthal skull shows that, in addition to enduring multiple injuries and debilitations, this male individual was also profoundly deaf. Yet he lived well into his 40s, which is quite old by Paleolithic standards. It’s an achievement that could have only been possible with the help…
A international team of researchers has completed one of the most detailed analyses of a Neanderthal genome to date. Among the many new findings, the researchers learned that Neanderthals first mated with modern humans a surprisingly long time ago, and that humans living today have more Neanderthal DNA than we assumed.
He was just seven-and-a-half when he died some 49,000 years ago, an otherwise healthy Neanderthal boy whose cause of death remains a mystery. An analysis of his well-preserved skeleton is providing new insights into how these extinct humans developed and matured, revealing an extended period of growth in certain…
Over a hundred thousand years ago, Neanderthals used tar to bind objects together, yet scientists have struggled to understand how these ancient humans, with their limited knowledge and resources, were able to produce this sticky substance. A new experiment reveals the likely technique used by Neanderthals, and how…
It’s a good thing Neanderthals didn’t brush their teeth, otherwise we humans might not have been able to find out what they ate.
A new paper suggests that Neanderthals, unlike humans, never figured out how to make coats to stay warm, and that the absence of this technological innovation contributed to their eventual demise. It’s an intriguing theory, but there’s more to the story of Neanderthal extinction than the absence of parkas.
For over a century, paleoanthropologists have been fascinated by a gory question: were Neanderthals cannibals? In recent years, we’ve found remains that suggest cannibalism did exist in various parts of southern Europe but new remains found in northern Europe add further evidence to the “yes” answer and tell us more…
We know that neanderthals and humans interbred, and that some people carry the genetic markers of that interbreeding. A new study looks at what it means to have neanderthal DNA—and researchers have found everything from a propensity for nicotine addiction to multiple genes affecting depression.
The oldest samples of Neanderthal DNA have been extracted from remains embedded in a cave in southern Italy, confirming that the so-called Altamura Man was a Neanderthal who lived around 150,000 years ago.
Archaeologists have identified a remarkable piece of Neanderthal jewelry comprised of eight white-tailed eagle talons. Worn 130,000 years ago, the discovery shows that Neanderthals were capable of making sophisticated ornaments long before modern humans appeared on the scene.
It's widely acknowledged that modern Europeans mated with Neanderthals at some point in the past. We're just not entirely sure when or where. The recent discovery of an ancient skull in Israel may represent the critical missing link anthropologists have been looking for.
The world's oldest genome shows when our ancestors had sex with Neanderthals. Analysis of a 45,000 year-old femur shows that modern humans and Neanderthals mated 52,000 to 58,000 years ago — a much smaller window than previously estimated (a 49,000 year span). It's the oldest-known human genome ever sequenced,…
They made jewelry, buried their dead, and left behind haunting abstract paintings on the walls of their caves. Now a new finding in Gibraltar, one of the last regions of the world where Neanderthals survived, is further evidence that Neanderthals had a recognizably human culture.
We may think of pigeons as "flying rats," but research published today in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that their wild counterparts were an important source of nutrition for some Neanderthals.
Around sixty-seven thousand years ago, someone ate a Rock dove. In doing so, that individual began an association between a primate and a bird that would persist up until the present.
The paleontologist known only as Yusra has been missing since the 1940s. And yet she's responsible for finding one of the world's most important early human fossils. We're still trying to piece together what happened to her.
The recent discovery of 50,000-year-old human faecal remains in a Spanish cave shows that Neanderthals, in addition to consuming meat, ate lots of vegetables. It's the best proof yet that Neanderthals were omnivores — a diet that modern paleo-eaters will find very familiar.