March 26, 2013
ANTHRO 3 Paper
Neanderthal vs. Modern Man
In the world today, all humans are classified as Homo sapiens. However, exactly 157 years ago, a completely new species is recognized by Johann Fuhlrott in a limestone quarry of the Neander Valley in Germany. In August 1856, a skull cap, two femora, three bones from the right arm, two bones from the left arm, a part of the left ilium, fragments of a scapula, and ribs are excavated and put together into a type specimen named Neanderthal 1. This specimen is believed to be a whole new species: Homo neanderthalensis. Scientists today are still arguing about the origin of the Neanderthals. Do they belong to the same species as modern men, or are they a species of their own? Neanderthals and modern humans have numerous amounts of similarities and differences, and based on these facts, scientists are trying to come up with a final conclusion on what the actual species of the Neanderthal may be.
Neanderthals and modern humans have many physical dissimilarities. Based on intensive studies of Neanderthal skulls, a team of scientists from the Leipzig-based Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology conclude that during the first year of life, new-born Neanderthals and human babies have remarkably similar brains. The similarities of their brains are solely due to the similar structures of both mothers' birth canals. However, as both species mature, the brain size and shape undergo changes. First of all, the face of a Neanderthal at birth is already larger than a modern human's face. As the bodies mature, the Neanderthal's brain grows to be slightly larger than a modern man's. The Neanderthal's nose is also different from a modern man's; it is broader and shorter. The forehead of a modern man is high-domed, and the jaw is smaller than a Neanderthal's. The larger frontal lobe of a modern man is what makes the species a more intelligent one. Since that region of the brain controls...
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