Comparing and Contrasting Neanderthals and Modern Humans

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Neanderthals have long thought to be lesser than modern humans in many ways, such as intelligence, wit, appearance, and ways of life; however, this is not entirely the case. The first Neanderthal discovered was in the Neander Valley of Germany, where part of a skull and limb bones were present (“Neanderthals | Evolution | Earth Facts,” n.d.). Although this is not the oldest Neanderthal skeleton ever found, it was the first and it led to the discovery and understanding of a whole new species. This species was known to us as Homo sapien neanderthalensis, or for those who believe the differences to be so vast that it should be its own distinct species, Homo neanderthalensis (O’Neil, 2010). Homo (sapien) neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens lived side by side for thousands of years (O’Neil, 2010), but it is speculated that it was because of the advanced nature of Homo sapiens which allowed them to strive and eventually outlive the Neanderthals. Although the Neanderthals eventually became extinct and Homo sapiens strived, there are many similarities in both appearance and behaviour that suggest that perhaps the few differences that exist between the two were the difference that allowed for one species to prevail while the other faded out.

Neanderthals and modern humans have many similarities in appearance which include, but are not limited to, the size of the cranial capacity and shortened limbs. The cranial capacity of a Neanderthal varies from 1200 to 1750 cubic centimeters (O’Neil, 2010) with an average of 1400 cubic centimeters (Haviland, & Crawford, 2009) with a modern human varying between 900 to 1880 cubic centimeters (O’Neil, 2010) and an average of 1300 cubic centimeters (Haviland, & Crawford, 2009), respectively. It has been speculated that this was only because of the difference in size between Neanderthals and modern humans and when compared to those of similar size, a similar cranial capacity was present (Berger, 2010). Aside from similarities in...
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