Friday, April 10, 2015

Neanderthal Hearing

Remember about three weeks ago when I posted about Neanderthal jewelry and said the more we find out about them, the more like us they seem?

Maybe I was a little hasty.

For the first time, researchers in France have been able to isolate and identify the bones from the inner ear of a Neanderthal. It appears that there are significant anatomical differences between these bones and those of modern humans. The upshot may be that there may have been differences in the range of hearing between modern humans and Neanderthals. The research hasn't progressed to the point where any of these possible differences can be identified yet.

And my recurring comments on the value of re-studying old collections - this skeletal material was originally excavated in the early 1970s.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No wonder the Cro-Mags wiped them out, the Neanders couldn't hear them coming! But seriously--just read a GREAT book by Pat Shipman(JUST published! So kinda expensive....) "The Invaders; How Modern Humans And Their Dogs Drove Neanderthal To Extinction"--a theory I've personally found very interesting and possible. Despite the dramatic title, most of the book doesn't get into the dog-thing at all, but just the likely inevitability of conflict/competition between these two hominids when and if they met--the dog-thing being only one of many things that might have contributed to it. All supported by considerable archaeological evidence(unlike the Coppinger stuff), and, to those of us with dogs, just common sense! A great read on the subject, though--highly recommended!...L.B.