Skip to comments.Neanderthal Extinction Pieced Together
Posted on 01/27/2004 1:31:28 PM PST by LibWhacker
Jan. 27, 2004 In a prehistoric battle for survival, Neanderthals had to compete against modern humans and were wiped off the face of the Earth, according to a new study on life in Europe from 60,000 to 25,000 years ago.
The findings, compiled by 30 scientists, were based on extensive data from sediment cores, archaeological artifacts such as fossils and tools, radiometric dating, and climate models. The collected information was part of a project known as Stage 3, which refers to the time period analyzed.
The number three also seems significant in terms of why the Neanderthals became extinct. One of the scientists involved in the research told Discovery News that a combination of three factors did the Neanderthals in.
"My general take on Neanderthal extinction was that they were in competition with anatomically modern humans at a time when there was increasing severe cold stress that was not only affecting them, but also the food resources they relied on," said Leslie Aiello, head of the University College London Graduate School, and an expert on Neanderthal response to weather.
Neanderthals appear to have tolerated temperatures as cold as zero degrees Fahrenheit, but during the last ice age, winter temperatures dipped to well below freezing. In order to cope, Neanderthals would have needed a lot more food than they were used to obtaining in winter.
"The costs of maintaining internal heat production at the required levels would have only been possible if Neanderthals were able to sustain a correspondingly high level of dietary energy intake," explained Aiello, adding that anatomically modern humans were better at dealing with the cold.
Early Homo sapiens, such as a group called the Gravettians that arose in Europe before the Neanderthals became extinct around 30,000 years ago, were loaded with the latest in prehistoric high tech.
They wore warm clothing made of fur and woven materials, lived in enclosed dwellings, and used effective weapons to ensnare animals and fish.
Paul Pettitt, a Neanderthal expert at the University of Sheffield who agrees with the new study findings, said, "(Gravettian) toolkits reveal a very sophisticated range of weaponry."
He said Neanderthals used spears that required close range contact with their prey, such as hyenas. Neanderthals probably thrust spears, like bayonets, into animals. Gravettians were better equipped.
"Far from general purpose spears deployed in the hand, we now see specialist projectile weapons (javelins) perhaps thrown with the aid of spearthrowers to increase effective range," Pettitt told Discovery News.
With such technologies, our ancestors won the prehistoric battle for survival.
While some researchers theorize that Neanderthals also are related to humans, yet another study, published in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, claims that the skulls of Neanderthals and humans differ too much for Neanderthals to be our relatives.
Lead author Katerina Harvati of New York University said in a press release that we now have "the most concrete evidence to date that Neanderthals are indeed a separate species within the genus Homo."
Anyway, it takes a lot of calories to spear your dinner. Not so many to snare it.
Tsk tsk tsk.. even then mankind was causing extinctions. When will we learn?
Comparison of the skulls of the Skhul 5 early modern human (left) and the Amud 1 Neanderthal, both from Israel, reveals some of the physical differences between these two human types.
This reconstruction depicts the adult male Neanderthal unearthed at the Amud cave site in Israel, who lived more than 50,000 years ago. His skull appears in the previous figure.
Scientists do. But we're discussing anthropologists here.
0-100 mph 7.8 sec. Not the fastest bike around. But all cars are easy meat. Eat my Dunlop dust, suckas. As soon as the ice melts off of my driveway I'll be back on it.
What about science fiction writers?
I dunno. We've all spotted our share. LOL! You know, the kind who'se forehead slopes back...a lot.
I think it is closer to 250,000 years. The cold didn't get them. We are Neanderthals.
TOP OF THE FOOD-CHAIN, MAW!!!! :) We wiped out those Neanderthals!
Loser species go extinct.
Since freezing is 32o F., I conclude that this writer doesn't know of what she speaks.
Yeah, that's right! Neandertal WENT EXTINCT because he ate too much meat. Nothing political about that, eh?Taste for flesh troubled NeanderthalsThe extinction of the Neanderthals could have been caused by their choosy appetites - they ate virtually nothing but meat... "They were picky eaters," says Dr Paul Pettitt, at the University of Oxford, UK. "And this tells me that they are really unchanging - doing the same old thing year after year... Neanderthals were excellent hunters," Dr Petitt told BBC News Online. "But the issue that was at stake was whether they hunted every day of their lives or whether it was just a summer outing." ...The early humans themselves may have been better hunters than the Neanderthals, depriving them of their kills. Or the hunted animals may have been struck by disease or migrated away.
by Dr Damian Carrington
BBC News Online
Monday, 12 June, 2000
Hey, Henry Ford tried feeding his employees grass sandwiches. Maybe that was during his vegetarian fanatic phase, not unlike that of Paul and Linda who threatened to fire anyone working for their last tour who ate meat for the duration, or Ford's good friend and role model, Hitler.What the Hominid AteAnalyzing carbon atoms locked up in tooth enamel, two researchers challenge the widely held belief that Australopithecus africanus -- an upright, walking pre-human hominid that lived in southern Africa -- ate little more than fruits and leaves. Matt Sponheimer, an anthropology graduate student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and Julia Lee-Thorp of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, looked at four A. africanus fossil skeletons unearthed from South Africa. Living about 3 million years ago, A. africanus may be a direct ancestor of modern humans. A. africanus teeth were large and blunt with thick enamel, ideal for crushing nuts and chewing fruit as opposed to the sharp incisors one would want to rip into meat. The first stone tools, which would help in eating meat, didn't appear until about half a million years later. Sponheimer and Lee-Thorp took a new approach, looking at the chemical composition of the tooth enamel. After chipping about two milligrams of enamel with a diamond-tipped dental drill, the researchers analyzed the samples for the isotope carbon-13, which contains one extra neutron in the nucleus compared to the usual form of carbon. What Sponheimer and Lee-Thorp found was that the teeth of A. africanus had an in-between amount carbon-13 -- more than the fruit eaters, less than the grass eaters.
by Kenneth Chang
Laden and Wrangham wouldn't be vegetarians by any chance, would they?
I guess Neandertal didn't invent bouillabaisse? ;')A Rumination on the Invention of SoupIt was a particularly tough and dangerous world back then. These hunter-gatherers were stuck in the last blast of the Wurm glaciation that killed off so much of their food and so many species. It was every man for himself as they ran fearfully from--and ran hungrily after--woolly mammoths, sabre-tooth tigers, wolves, and other hominids. And yet elderly Neanderthal skeletons have been found in France with teeth worn down below gum level--and deeply crippled skeletons have been found too. Implication: They could only have been kept alive through the compassion of their communities and the brilliance of some nouvelle cuisine chef who could find food alternatives to incredibly indigestible plants, meat tougher than my old aunt's shoes, and all of it cold. I try to put myself under the toque of that Stone Age Julia Child. I imagine him or her using bark to dip and carry water...putting food bits in it and noticing them soften or swell...marking how plants and berries, meat and marrow chunks would infuse the water with color and flavor. I imagine him or her getting the idea of warm broth from the 98.6 degree Fahrenheit mother's milk that kept little Neanderthal babies happy. That's when it hits me: Soup! It's an unbelievable achievement.
March 1, 2002
The Rev. Al Sharpton immediately made reparations for the Neanderthals a core component of his campaign to win the Democrat nomination for President.
Neandrethals are not extinct. Ted Kennedy says Bush is appointing them to the federal bench.Years ago Ted Kennedy also referred to the resistance of a previous Republican administration to combat roles for women as "antiquated and Neanderthal". Then he went home and got drunk. Hey, cut the guy some slack! He hadn't had anything to drink since breakfast!