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Humanity's Best Friend: How Dogs May Have Helped Humans Beat the Neanderthals
The Atlantic ^ | 14 May 2012 | Megan Garber

Posted on 05/15/2012 11:00:12 AM PDT by Theoria

Over 20,000 years ago, humans won the evolutionary battle against Neanderthals. They may have had some assistance in that from their best friends.

One of the most compelling -- and enduring -- mysteries in archaeology concerns the rise of early humans and the decline of Neanderthals. For about 250,000 years, Neanderthals lived and evolved, quite successfully, in the area that is now Europe. Somewhere between 45,000 and 35,000 years ago, early humans came along.

They proliferated in their new environment, their population increasing tenfold in the 10,000 years after they arrived; Neanderthals declined and finally died away.

What happened? What went so wrong for the Neanderthals -- and what went so right for us humans?

The cause, some theories go, may have been environmental, with Neanderthals' decline a byproduct of -- yikes -- climate change. It may have been social as humans developed the ability to cooperate and avail themselves of the evolutionary benefits of social cohesion. It may have been technological, with humans simply developing more advanced tools and hunting weapons that allowed them to snare food while their less-skilled counterparts starved away.

The Cambridge researchers Paul Mellars and Jennifer French have another theory, though. In a paper in the journal Science, they concluded that "numerical supremacy alone may have been a critical factor" in human dominance -- with humans simply crowding out the Neanderthals. Now, with an analysis in American Scientist, the anthropologist Pat Shipman is building on their work. After analyzing the Mellars and French paper and comparing it with the extant literature, Shipman has come to an intriguing conclusion: that humans' comparative evolutionary fitness owes itself to the domestication of dogs.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: History; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: agriculture; animalhusbandry; dogs; domestication; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; huntergatherers; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthal; neanderthals; wolf

1 posted on 05/15/2012 11:00:18 AM PDT by Theoria
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To: SunkenCiv

bff, ping.


2 posted on 05/15/2012 11:01:03 AM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: Theoria
"Somewhere between 45,000 and 35,000 years ago, early humans came along."

Humans came along only 40,000 or so years ago? What did we come from?

3 posted on 05/15/2012 11:13:23 AM PDT by avacado
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To: avacado

4 posted on 05/15/2012 11:17:03 AM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: Theoria

5 posted on 05/15/2012 11:19:16 AM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: Theoria
"Somewhere between 45,000 and 35,000 years ago, early humans came along."

That is early... it's all I can do to drag my sorry butt out of bed by 6 AM.

6 posted on 05/15/2012 11:19:25 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Theoria

LOL!!! Good one!


7 posted on 05/15/2012 11:19:35 AM PDT by avacado
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To: Theoria

Neanderthals are not human?? I guess they are apes then, huh? If they are neither, that only leaves the “missing link”, and I don’t recall them being called that.


8 posted on 05/15/2012 11:19:35 AM PDT by fish hawk (Religion: Man's attempt to gain salvation or the approbation of God by his own works)
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To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; afraidfortherepublic; ...
WOOOF!

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

9 posted on 05/15/2012 11:23:00 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Theoria

"Get a dog? It'll clog the drain!"

10 posted on 05/15/2012 11:23:20 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: Theoria

“Neanderthal” is a term of abuse often employed by liberals to condemn conservatives.

I’d like to propose a new theory. The Neanderthals died out because they were liberals.

Perhaps they expected their dogs to do all the work for them, and the dogs finally revolted in disgust.


11 posted on 05/15/2012 11:24:20 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Theoria
The cause, some theories go, may have been environmental, with Neanderthals' decline a byproduct of -- yikes -- climate change.

Always gotta work in some climate change propaganda, no matter how ludicrous and out-of-place.

12 posted on 05/15/2012 11:26:26 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Do I really need a sarcasm tag? Seriously? You're that dense?)
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To: Cicero

“I’d like to propose a new theory. The Neanderthals died out because they were liberals.”

But liberals didn’t die out. They are as tenacious as rats.


13 posted on 05/15/2012 11:27:25 AM PDT by Pelham (Marco Rubio, la raza trojan horse.)
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To: Theoria

I still rely on dogs to keep Neaderthals out of my house.


14 posted on 05/15/2012 11:43:51 AM PDT by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: Theoria
What happened? What went so wrong for the Neanderthals -- and what went so right for us humans?

I would think it is rather obvious. The Neanderthals chose to follow the path to Socialism while the humans chose the way of capitalism. History is about to repeat itself!!!

15 posted on 05/15/2012 11:48:05 AM PDT by varon (The Patriots stand watch!)
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To: TexasRepublic
Heh. Good for you, but that would keep most of my relatives away.Especially on the holidays.
16 posted on 05/15/2012 11:51:59 AM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: Theoria

The muzzies are the new Neandrathals. They don’t get along with dogs either.


17 posted on 05/15/2012 11:53:27 AM PDT by chopperman
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To: Theoria

This theory actually makes a little sense.

Although, I prefer the theory that Neandertals were the descendents of Cain, and got wipe out in the Flood.

Or maybe they were the Nephilim.

Or maybe after they got a look at the Cro-Magnon, the Neanderthal males just couldn’t get it going with their own females. No, that couldn’t be it. They were men


18 posted on 05/15/2012 11:55:36 AM PDT by chesley (Eat what you want, and die like a man. Never trust anyone who hasn't been punched in the face)
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To: chesley

Sure, but we know there were survivors after the flood.


19 posted on 05/15/2012 11:59:59 AM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: Cicero

“The Neanderthals died out because they were liberals.”

I agree. The Neanderthals embraced the god of Diversity At Any Cost and eventually found themselves destroyed by the very people they celebrated.


20 posted on 05/15/2012 12:00:43 PM PDT by MeganC (No way in Hell am I voting for Mitt Romney. Not now, not ever. Deal with it.)
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To: Theoria

This “Article” is pure TRIPE!


21 posted on 05/15/2012 12:13:20 PM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Theoria
humans' comparative evolutionary fitness owes itself to the domestication of dogs.

Leftist academia is allergic to two fundamental characteristics of man: war and religion. Dogs are mostly useful as an early warning to an impending raid. Humans are especially smelly and dogs can easily smell two legged threats coming. The key competitive advantage Cro-Magnon man had over Neanderthals was religion, which both unifies a culture and makes warriors fearless and unshakably optimistic. The Neanderthals were not religious. Religion is an overwhelming competitive advantage in tribal warfare.

22 posted on 05/15/2012 12:14:59 PM PDT by Reeses
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To: Theoria

Yep Noah, his wife and 3 sons and their wives and LOTS of animals and NO others.


23 posted on 05/15/2012 12:20:34 PM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Theoria
Neanderthals died off from eating govt regulated school lunches.

Cro-Magnon moms filled schoolkids` lunchboxs with junk food.

24 posted on 05/15/2012 12:23:48 PM PDT by bunkerhill7 (Cro-Magnons live?`?? Who knew?)
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To: US Navy Vet

There were others. I was talking about the sons of Anak.


25 posted on 05/15/2012 12:28:41 PM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: Theoria
What happened? What went so wrong for the Neanderthals?

Maybe they elected a bunch of Socialists?
26 posted on 05/15/2012 12:47:20 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: chesley

All mankind, less true Africans, have more than a smattering of Neanderthal DNA in them.

I’d say they were just another variety of humans and bred into the population.

Also, for the record, Neaderthals were likely smarter than the average homo sapien, with larger brains. Stronger, too.


27 posted on 05/15/2012 1:01:15 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
...has come to an intriguing conclusion: that humans' comparative evolutionary fitness owes itself to the domestication of dogs.


Rufus Hotsauce

There is a legend in my family told to me by my daddy, Wolfgang, that the ancient and founder of all clans of poodle-kind wrote as an ancient scribe in Southwestern Germany many thousands of years ago, of a legend that a puppy wolf was rescued by a tribe of 'non harry people' and they nurtured him. In time, a marauding band of harry people with funny eyebrows attacked the non-harrys, the Wolf protected his adopted tribe, and thus a partnership of the eons was formed.
28 posted on 05/15/2012 1:09:02 PM PDT by BigEdLB (Now there ARE 1,000,000 regrets - but it may be too late.)
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To: Jewbacca
I’d say they were just another variety of humans and bred into the population

This is actually my true opinion. I never did understand why some many anthropologists were so eageer to designate them as a distinct species, unable to breed with modern humans, on what seemed to me to ve very little evidence. Or maybe I do.

29 posted on 05/15/2012 1:39:44 PM PDT by chesley (Eat what you want, and die like a man. Never trust anyone who hasn't been punched in the face)
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To: Jewbacca

Homo sapiens could outrun a neanderthal. Neanderthals would have a strength advantage, but modern humans could attack with projectile weapons and run out of reach. H. sap had atlatls and perhaps bows 50,000 years ago.

Constant warfare was the way of life for most primitive societies.

Our ancestors probably ATE the neanderthals.


30 posted on 05/15/2012 2:52:11 PM PDT by darth
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To: Theoria; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Theoria.
The Neandertal Enigma
by James Shreeve

in local libraries
Frayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


31 posted on 05/15/2012 4:30:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Theoria
Dogs, however, also recognize the power of the gaze.

That's for darn sure. My Golden doesn't have to whimper, or bark. He just gazes at a person with big brown eyes and people give him a treat. The same works in reverse. Catch his eye, and he will immediately sit and get another treat. Not a sound is passed between us.

32 posted on 05/15/2012 5:15:22 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: SunkenCiv

In fact, a guy might even choose his dog over his girl. :-))

33 posted on 05/15/2012 5:30:11 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Theoria

Maybe they can help us beat the Muslims too.


34 posted on 05/15/2012 6:41:57 PM PDT by ZULU (Non Nobis Domine Non Nobis Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Neanderthal dog walking in NYC


35 posted on 05/15/2012 6:45:46 PM PDT by Daffynition (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: Theoria

Haven’t you ever seen the movie, ‘It’s A Neanderthal Christmas’?

The meat rendering scene is so touching.


36 posted on 05/15/2012 6:46:44 PM PDT by Delta Dawn (The whole truth.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Would there have been Cro Magnon Magnon had Neanderthal genetic material not found its way into our DNA?
37 posted on 05/15/2012 6:49:15 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

“Living under the cloud of Israel’s cruel apartheid” was the bogus headline. Thanks BenLurkin.


38 posted on 05/15/2012 6:53:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: BenLurkin; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

Whoops.


39 posted on 05/15/2012 6:54:10 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: BenLurkin

As it stands, thanks to Neandertal, we’re Cro Magnon Mignon. :’)


40 posted on 05/15/2012 6:55:14 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: avacado
Humans came along only 40,000 or so years ago? What did we come from?
The ancestor of Homo sapiens sapiens is Homo sapiens idaltu. Homo Sapiens idaltu was descended from Homo rhodesiensis. However, Homo Sapiens Sapiens did interbreed with Neanderthals and Denisovians.
41 posted on 05/15/2012 7:05:11 PM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: Theoria

Yet another reason to choose dogs over cats.


42 posted on 05/15/2012 11:33:21 PM PDT by Crucial
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To: avacado; Theoria; rmlew
avacado quoting article: "Somewhere between 45,000 and 35,000 years ago, early humans came along."
comment: "Humans came along only 40,000 or so years ago? What did we come from?"

The article refers to the first arrival of humans in Europe, "Somewhere between 45,000 and 35,000 years ago".

After many decades of scientific debate, and several hypotheses, the "consensus" these days is that humans evolved in eastern Africa, and that "Mitochondrial Eve" and "Y-chromosome Adam" lived there between 142,000 and 200,000 years ago.

As to the "what" humans came from, we evolved from non-human hominids, of whom remains from dozens of species or sub-species have been identified.
So, which of those were, or were not, our ancestors? That's hard to say.
However, the DNA evidence we have from Neanderthals suggests that guys then were as horny as today, and would pretty much mate with anyone who'd let them... ;-)

And that suggests multiple-choice answer D: "all of the above."

43 posted on 05/16/2012 4:59:47 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: darth

http://www.themandus.org/
http://www.themandus.org/what_they_looked_like.html


44 posted on 05/17/2012 12:47:40 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: dsc

Thanks for the cool info.


45 posted on 05/17/2012 6:03:57 AM PDT by darth
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