Neanderthals are modern humans closest extinct relative. They are part of the genus homo (Homo neanderthalensis) meaning they are very closely related to present day Homo sapiens, or modern humans. Fossil evidence suggests they lived from approximately 200,000 to 28,000 years ago when they became extinct. Neanderthals lived generally in central to southwest Asia and Europe. The first discovery of a Neanderthal fossil occurred in 1856.
Research shows that the Neanderthals had a “protruding jaw, receding forehead, and weak chin.” (Ansering Genesis) The average brain of a Neanderthal was slightly larger than a modern humans brain. It is also stated that this specific species generally was larger in body size. The Neanderthals also tend to live mostly in colder climates. Researchers and paleontologists found many remains left by the Neanderthals, which include bones and stone tools, found in Eurasia, Western Europe to Central, Northern, and Western Asia. “Neanderthals (or Neandertals) are our closest extinct human relatives.
As the earliest extinct human relatives to become known to science, the Homo neanderthalensis have snatched a relatively iconic influence in human evolutionary investigations. A significance that has been enormously reinforced by the substantial behavioral and fossil record that has expanded since the original Feldhofer Cave skullcap and partial skeleton were unexpectedly uncovered in 1856, by miners working in Germany’s Neander Valley (Tattersall & Jeffrey 1999: 7117-7119). ‘The Neanderthals’ is the informal classification of a particular group of large-brained hominids whom inhabited Europe and Western Asia between 130,000 to around 35,000 years ago. Complementary human populations lived at the same time in Africa and Asia. The Neanderthals were a highly successful race for a substantial period of time, but this situation chang... ... middle of paper ... ...IV burials are known to have had some 'traditional' medical uses, even among comparatively recent 'modern' populations.
Humboldt's Hog Nosed Skunk Fossil/Genetic Record: While skunks do not occur in Europe today, they did occur there in the past. The oldest recognized fossil identified as a skunk occurred in Germany about 11-12 million years ago. Skunks evolved from some of the earliest ancestors of the modern carnivores. Shared trials of the species: Anal scent glands. Capable diggers.
A. afarensis lived in eastern Africa between 3 and 4 million years ago. This australopithecine had a brain size a little larger than chimpanzees. Some had canine teeth more sticking out than those of later hominines. No tools of any kind have been found with A. afarensis fossils. According to Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia ’98, between about 2.5 million and 3 million years ago, A. afarensis clearly evolved into A. africanus.
NEANDERTHALS TO HOMOSAPIENS Neanderthal the most recent archaic human, who was introduced to this world between 300,00 and 100,000 years ago then after many years were replaced by humans between 35,000 and 24,000 years ago. Neanderthals inhabited Eurasia from the Atlantic regions of Europe eastward to Central Asia and from as far north as present-day Belgium southward to the Mediterranean and southwest Asia.” (www.britannica.com). Human populations that were very similar to Neanderthals lived in eastern Asia and Africa. Neanderthals lived in these locations because they had many limestone caves where they lived; limestone caves also preserve bones very well. “The name Neanderthal (or Neandertal) derives from the Neander Valley near Düsseldorf, Germany, where quarrymen unearthed portions of a human skeleton from a cave in 1856” (www.britnnica.com).
The fossils are dated between 154,000 and 160,000 years ago.i The fossils were dated radioisotopically.ii Since the fossils are the oldest known fossils of modern people, it is probable that these hominids represent the immediate ancestors of humans that are anatomically modern. Tim D. White’s (et al) article “Pleistocene Homo sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia” describes the discovery of the Herto fossils and the research of the artifacts in great detail. The new discoveries raise many questions about the origin of modern man. Tim D. White, the project’s director claims that the Herto fossils prove that... ... middle of paper ... ...ww.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v423/n6941/ful/nature01670_fs.html vii White, T.D. et al.
This cave has produced a 2 million year old mandible fragments with features supporting both ideas of origins from the Chinese and West, not yielding to a single, simple explanation. As to where these apes made their signature development onto the open, flat land is debated indefinitely. Approximately 1.7 million years ago, Homo erectus arose in Africa and shortly thereafter spread to other continents, as most scientists believe. As they expanded their range and increased in population, H. erectus may have exterminated H. habilis. Then transition from H. erectus to H. sapiens occurred about 400,000 years ago, and the dispute is over the place of origin of modern humans.
The species here are listed roughly in order of appearance in the fossil record (note that this ordering is not meant to represent an evolutionary sequence), except that the robust australopithecines are kept together. Ardipithecus ramidus It is the oldest known hominid species, found in the Middle Awash region of Ethiopia in 1994 by Tim White and dated at 4.4 million years. Most remains are skull fragments. Indirect evidence suggests that it was possibly bipedal, and that some individuals were about 122 cm (4'0") tall. The teeth are intermediate between those of earlier apes and A. afarensis, but one baby tooth is very primitive, resembling a chimpanzee tooth more than any other known hominid tooth.
The first morphological features that later would become typical of Neanderthals, the projecting middle part of the face and a depression at the back of the skull, have been observed in fossils found in Europe as old as 400,000 years (Stringer & Hublin, 1999). These fossils belonged to Homo heidelbergensis, which in one of the various evolutionary scenarios that ties Neanderthals and modern humans is considered the ancestor of both Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens (Hubmlin, 2009). Neanderthals lived in Europe and Western Asia between 200,000 and 30,000 years ago. Fossil record shows that around 150,000 years ago (Bar-Yosef, 1998; Grün & Stringer, 2000) their range extended from Europe to Middle East and Asia spreading to Uzbekistan and Russia (Herrera et al., 2009). They were probably the only hominin group living in Europe and Western Asia for a long period of time until the arrival of modern humans.