Neanderthals

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Is a Neanderthal's Carving the Oldest Art in the World?

Researchers say the bone fragment shows capacity for symbolism

(Newser) - A tiny object with no practical use has researchers all worked up. It’s a fragment of bone 2 inches long with deep marks carved into it found in a Neanderthal cave, and it might be the world’s oldest piece of art. The bone, thought to be 51,000...

What Researchers Just Did in This Cave Is a Marvel
What Researchers Just Did
in This Cave Is a Marvel
NEW STUDY

What Researchers Just Did in This Cave Is a Marvel

It's most comprehensive study of ancient DNA extracted from sediment at single site

(Newser) - As far as caves go, Siberia's Denisova Cave is a super prominent one, the place where scientists confirmed the existence of a species of hominins (we're one, as are Neanderthals) known as the Denisovans. But the prehistoric treasures the cave has given up have been few—just eight...

Remains of 9 Neanderthals Found, an 'Extraordinary Discovery'

Ancient landslide preserved fossils in caves near Rome

(Newser) - A major new discovery at a familiar prehistoric site was announced Saturday by Italy. Archaeologists have found the remains of nine Neanderthal men in Grotta Guattari, prehistoric caves near the Tyrrhenian Sea between Rome and Naples that were discovered—accidently, by workers—in 1939. The nation's culture minister called...

Neanderthal Thumbs Weren't Quite the Same as Ours
We Don't Use Our Thumbs
the Way Neanderthals Did
NEW STUDY

We Don't Use Our Thumbs the Way Neanderthals Did

Fossils suggest they regularly gripped handled tools

(Newser) - If you happen to travel back in time and encounter an angry Neanderthal, be sure to request a thumb war, rather than a full-blown one. According to new research, Neanderthals' hands were different than our own, with a thumb that stuck out at a wider angle than what you see...

Neanderthal Genes Are COVID Risk Factor
People With Neanderthal
Genes Hit Harder by COVID
NEW STUDY

People With Neanderthal Genes Hit Harder by COVID

Researcher say it's a major risk factor

(Newser) - Scientists say genes that some people have inherited from their Neanderthal ancestors may increase their likelihood of suffering severe forms of COVID-19. A study by European scientists published Wednesday by the journal Nature examined a cluster of genes that have been linked to a higher risk of hospitalization and respiratory...

50K Years Ago, Neanderthals Were Making String

Find hints at other abilities

(Newser) - It looked like a white splotch on the underside of a Neanderthal stone tool. But a microscope showed it was a bunch of fibers twisted around each other. Further examination revealed it was the first direct evidence that Neanderthals could make string, and the oldest known direct evidence for string-making...

Scientists Recreate Skull of Mysterious Neanderthal Cousin

DNA analysis yielded clues on Denisovans

(Newser) - Scientists say they've deciphered features of the skull and some other details of a mysterious, extinct cousin of Neanderthals by analyzing its DNA. The genetic material came from the finger bone of a female member of the Denisovans, a population known mostly from small bone fragments and teeth recovered...

'Incredibly Rare': Extinct Wolf DNA Turns Up in Texas

Canines on Galveston Island could be red wolf-coyote hybrid

(Newser) - The red wolf was declared effectively extinct in the American wild almost 40 years ago, but, like the Neanderthal, it lives on in descendants still thriving today. That's the welcome discovery revealed in a study in Genes , which found a substantial amount of red wolf DNA in two road-kill...

Humans of the Era as Prone to Violence as Neanderthals
200 Skulls Suggest Neanderthal
Stereotype Is Wrong
NEW STUDY

200 Skulls Suggest Neanderthal Stereotype Is Wrong

Early modern humans just as prone to violence: study

(Newser) - The perception of Neanderthals as big, stupid oafs has been mostly debunked . Now, a new study is helping buck another stereotype depicting the human relatives as especially prone to violence. The idea stems from trauma, particularly to the head and neck, visible among Neanderthal remains. When researchers compiled reports on...

Two Tiny Bones Tell Tale of Child Eaten by Bird

It happened about 115,000 years ago

(Newser) - Two tiny finger bones found in a cave in Poland tell a pretty grim story: Sometime about 115,000 years ago, a "large bird" ate a Neanderthal child, Live Science reports. According to CNN , scientists determined the fate of the child based on the bones' porous surface, which, per...

Child of 2 Extinct Human Relatives Found for First Time

Siberian bone fragment shows Neanderthal mixing with a Denisovan

(Newser) - Scientists say they've found the remains of a prehistoric female whose mother was a Neanderthal and whose father belonged to another extinct group of human relatives known as Denisovans, the AP reports. The 90,000-year-old bone fragment found in southern Siberia marks the first time a direct offspring of...

Humans Mated With Mysterious Species Twice
Humans Mated Outside
Our Species 3 Times
NEW STUDY

Humans Mated Outside Our Species 3 Times

Second instance of human-Denisovan interbreeding discovered

(Newser) - Ancient humans weren't against knocking boots with other species: We know they had sex with Neanderthals . We also know they mated with the mysterious Denisovans, as some Australasians (those from Papua New Guinea in particular) have 5% Denisovan DNA. But a "breakthrough" study shows the interbreeding wasn't...

Neanderthals Expertly Made Tools Still in Use Today

These were no dummies, say researchers in Italy

(Newser) - Modern hunter-gatherers used "digging sticks," crafted from wood, to search for edible roots and tubers, as well as to hunt. It's a tradition that stretches back at least 171,000 years, according to a new PNAS study. Digging in Italy, scientists have uncovered 58 wooden tools—including...

How a Bit of Cave Dirt Just Changed Archaeology

In first, scientists pull ancient human DNA from dirt

(Newser) - The study of humans has long relied on bones to reveal human DNA. The problem is that those bones are hard to come by. As the Atlantic points out, scientists have only a finger bone and two teeth belonging to the Denisovans, cousins of Neanderthals. It's no wonder then...

Neanderthals Used Aspirin, Too
Neanderthals Used Aspirin, Too
new study

Neanderthals Used Aspirin, Too

Plaque on their teeth reveals their dietary and medical ways

(Newser) - Scientists are thrilled to have discovered a gross buildup on a few fossilized teeth, and with reason. Not only were they able to discern the three Neanderthals' diets (two ate primarily meat, one primarily plants), they're also feasting their eyes on prehistoric microbiomes that are shedding more light on...

Ancients' Skulls Pose a Puzzle for Our Family Tree

They're not quite Neanderthal and not quite Homo sapien

(Newser) - First, back in 2007, they found tools. Then, a bone. Now archaeologists who've continued to return to the same dig in Lingjing, China, report in the journal Science that they've unearthed more than 40 separate skull fragments to pull together two partial skulls that date back 100,000...

Study: Neanderthals Were Doomed by Lack of Jackets

But ancient humans figured out warm clothing

(Newser) - Justifying concerned mothers everywhere, a group of researchers believes Neanderthals could have survived the Ice Age if they'd just worn a dang jacket. According to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology , dozens of ancient campsites—both human and Neanderthal—contain little evidence that Neanderthals ever...

Neanderthals 'Thoroughly' Butchered Their Own

Researchers excavated 99 bones and fragments from a cavern in Belgium

(Newser) - Neanderthals appear to have had quite the appetite for, well, one another, at least according to findings by researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Reporting in the journal Scientific Reports , they say that an analysis of 99 new Neanderthal remains from a cavern in Belgium that date...

Deep in a Cave, Neanderthals Did Something Remarkable

Two stone rings up to 16 inches high that were intentionally made

(Newser) - For tens of thousands of years, the secrets of France's Bruniquel Cave went unknown, its mouth closed off by a rock slide. That began to change in the late '80s, the Atlantic reports, when a boy named Bruno Kowalsczewski started clearing away what obstructed the opening; three years...

Humans' Nasty Gift to Neanderthals: Herpes?
Humans' Nasty Gift to Neanderthals: Herpes?
NEW STUDY

Humans' Nasty Gift to Neanderthals: Herpes?

Diseases out of Africa may have helped lead to their demise

(Newser) - Scientists claim Neanderthals were doomed by everything from climate change to their big eyes . A new study offers a different theory: humans were at least partly responsible. UK researchers say humans who migrated out of Africa were "reservoirs of tropical disease" and may have infected Neanderthals across Europe with...

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