Neanderthal Facts

Neanderthal Facts
Neanderthals were a species with 99.7% the same DNA as humans. They became extinct approximately 40,000 years ago, leaving evidence of their existence in the Middle East, Northern Asia, Central Asia, Western Europe, and Eurasia, via stone and bone tools. Neanderthals are named after the Neandertal region of Germany, and are sometimes referred to as Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. The Mousterian stone tool culture dates back 300,000 years ago, in Europe. Neanderthals had larger heads than humans, but they were also larger than humans overall. Neanderthal fossils were first discovered in the 1800s in Belgium and Germany.
Interesting Neanderthal Facts:
It is believed that the DNA of modern humans came to include that of the Neanderthals about 50,000 to 60,000 years ago through interbreeding.
More than 400 Neanderthals have been found to date, by archaeologists digging up their bones.
Neanderthal skulls were found in 1829 in Belgium (then Engis).
A Neanderthal skull was found in 1848 in Gibraltar, called Gibraltar 1.
In 1856 Johann Karl Fuhlrott identified bones found in Neander Valley, Germany, as being those of ancient human relatives. More than 400 Neanderthals have been found since then.
Neanderthals are believed to have lived during the Ice Age, surviving in limestone caves in Eurasia. The name 'cave man' is derived from the fact that many of the bones of the Neanderthals have been found in caves.
Scientists believe that the short and stocky body shape of the Neanderthals was an evolved trait, due to the need to conserve heat in the cold weather.
Scientists debate as to whether humans and Neanderthals matured at the same rate. Some believe they matured at the same rate as chimps, while others believe they matured at the same rate as humans.
Neanderthals were intelligent enough to make tools out of bones and wood and antlers. They even created a type of glue called pitch to attach tips to spears.
It is possible that Neanderthals built boats and even sailed long the Mediterranean Sea.
Scientists used to believe that Neanderthals ate only meat however evidence is beginning to show that they also ate cooked vegetables on a regular basis.
Neanderthals were able to use and control fire to some extent, making it possible to cook their food.
While the Neanderthal's DNA is 99.7% identical to that of modern humans, the chimp's DNA is 99.8% identical to modern human DNA.
Until 2010 nobody thought a Neanderthal's genes could be read. That year a paleogeneticist sequenced the DNA of three Neanderthals that had been found in Croatia.
Three years after the 1856 determination of Neanderthal man, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species - his theory of evolution.
The anatomy of the Neanderthal vocal tract would have made it difficult to make the sounds of some of our vowels, but they may still have had a unique language of their own. They also liked to paint.
It is not known whether Neanderthals died out or whether humans killed their species off.
Some evidence suggests that Neanderthals even buried their dead as we do today.

Related Links:
History Facts
Animals Facts
Loire River Facts
Ephedra Facts
Cenozoic Era Facts
5th Grade History Quiz
Word Search Worksheets -Social Studies
European History Timeline
3rd Grade Math

Educational Videos