Neanderthals and Human Evolution

Topics: Human, Neanderthal, Human evolution Pages: 2 (527 words) Published: February 13, 2012
The Neanderthals are an extinct species in the homo genus. They lived during the Pleistocene age. The Neanderthals are believed to have lived in most of Eurasia from 120,000 years ago to about 30,000 years ago. They were a more advanced pre-modern variation of the homo genus. The reason they are viewed as more advanced than other Pre-modern hominids is because they made tools, buried their dead they also lived to around forty years of age. This is quite long compared to their contemporaries. Their tools and artifacts characterize what is known as the Mousterian. To be precise the Neanderthals created flake tools. Tools made by the breakage of flakes of stone off of a larger rock. One example of these are the hand axes and smaller tools with a sharp cutting edge. They were large game hunters who were specially adapted to thrive in the frigid conditions of the middle Pleistocene in Europe. They seem to have originally evolved in Europe at around 250,000 years ago, but latter expanded into southwest Asia. The Neanderthals appear to have been the first hominids who deliberately buried their dead. The graves sometimes included flowers, tools, and food. This could possibly signify a belief in an afterlife. There is also some evidence that they would as a group care for injured or deficient members of their community showing that they had likely had the capacity for compassion. The first Neanderthal remains were discovered in the Neander valley in Germany. The remains show that the Neanderthals were about five feet tall with a stocky and powerful build. While they did have prominent brow ridges and an occipital bun their brain size is comparable to modern day human size. Their population went in to decline and eventually became extinct when the Homo sapiens began to move in to their territory. There are a couple theories on what occurred at this point. One theory is that Homo sapiens either killed off the Neanderthals or took over so much of the land that the...
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