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."
Fantasy writers got nothing on anthropologists.
Rapidly becoming the Fantasy Channel.
He said that Bush has nominated some for superior court judges.
I'd bet their heads got too big for their breeches. They had bigger brains than ours and might have started evolving bigger ones at a rate that cut into their birth rates. Mothers' bones don't change proportionately and maternal death rates went up.
As for food acquisition, it's kind of silly to think primitive humans depended on spears, just because we dig up more spearheads than traps and nets.
DUH! Freezing is 32 degrees F, not zero degrees F.
Clubs are even more severely underrated.
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!
And Stringer et al still can't figure it out, because it didn't happen. Pesky evidence is puzzling to those devoted to a false premise.Paganism and FoodFood is the product of the earth; the earth is the mother goddess, literally the matrix of our physical existence. We are all products of the stars: earth, animals, plants; all the elements were forged in the reactions in the heart of stars. We are what we eat, so it is important to eat healthily & well. Cooking and eating connect us to the earth and each other. All shared festivities involve special and symbolic food. In Paganism, the body and the earth are sacred; spirit is immanent in matter, not transcendent and beyond it... Herbs have been used for thousands of years as medicines - a Neanderthal burial included herbs for the various ailments the deceased was suffering from.
by Yvonne AburrowFossilized excrement may show links between Neanderthal Man and present day humansFossilized excrement found in a cave in Gibraltar may show whether there are links between Neanderthal man and present day humans, British scientists said Wednesday. Professor Chris Stringer of London hailed what he called a "spectacular discovery" earlier this year by a team of international experts. After they found the specimens near a fireplace, the scientists wrapped them in metal foil and plastic bags to prevent contamination. In January, the specimens will be sent to Munich to be sectioned and analyzed for DNA content. Scientists do not yet know why Neanderthal man died 27,000 to 35,000 years ago.
Thursday December 18th 1997
pabianice: DUH! Freezing is 32 degrees F, not zero degrees F.Seems like a reasonable conclusion.
Bonaparte: Since freezing is 32o F., I conclude that this writer doesn't know of what she speaks.
Calamari: Wide spread acceptance of same sex marriage?:'D Given the Neandertal upper body strength, I'm guessin' that the Cro-Magnons would have discovered Europe to be like a sea-to-shining-sea wide open great outdoors version of federal penitentiary, minus the bar of soap. Unless the Neandertal invented that, too...
highimpact: I think the Neanderthal extinction was most likely the result of \conservatism run amock. If a more liberal/socialist agenda had been adopted by rulers of their time (tax the homo sapiens!), they would probably still be thriving in a communist utopia today.
By the way -- your father and you are not related if you can't find any of his tissue. Only the mtDNA sez whether or not you're descended from anyone. :'PNeandertal DNAThe scientists obtained a sequence of 379 amino acid base pairs by replicating shorter, overlapping segments. They identified 27 differences between the Neandertal DNA and a modern reference DNA sample over the replicated sequence. By contrast, DNA from a random sample of a modern population might vary from the reference DNA in five to eight places.
by Mark Rose
July 29, 1997
Fathers can be influential tooBiologists have warned for some years that paternal mitochondria do penetrate the human egg and survive for several hours... Erika Hagelberg from the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues... were carrying out a study of mitochondrial DNAs from hundreds of people from Papua-New Guinea and the Melanesian islands in order to study the history of human migration into this region of the western Pacific... People from all three mitochondrial groups live on Nguna. And, in all three groups, Hagelberg's group found the same mutation, a mutation previously seen only in an individual from northern Europe, and nowhere else in Melanesia, or for that matter anywhere else in the world... Adam Eyre-Walker, Noel Smith and John Maynard Smith from the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK confirm this view with a mathematical analysis of the occurrence of the so-called 'homoplasies' that appear in human mitochondrial DNA... reanalysis of a selection of European and African mitochondrial DNA sequences by the Sussex researchers suggests that recombination is a far more likely cause of the homoplasies, as they find no evidence that these sites are particularly variable over all lineages.
by Eleanor LawrenceIs Eve older than we thought?"Two studies prove that the estimation of both when and where humanity first arose could be seriously flawed... The ruler scientists have been using is based on genetic changes in mitochondria, simple bacteria that live inside us and control the energy requirements of our cells. Mitochondria are passed from mother to daughter and their genes mutate at a set rate which can be estimated - so many mutations per 1,000 years... However, these calculations are based upon a major assumption which, according to Prof John Maynard Smith, from Sussex University, is 'simply wrong'. The idea that underpins this dating technique is that mitochondria, like some kinds of bacteria, do not have sex... Two groups of researchers, Prof Maynard Smith and colleagues Adam Eyre-Walker and Noel Smith, also from Sussex, and Dr Erika Hagelberg and colleagues from the University of Otago, New Zealand, have found that mitochondria do indeed have sex - which means that genes from both males and females is mixed and the DNA in their offspring is very different... Prof Maynard Smith and his colleagues stumbled over mitochondria having sex in the process of tracking the spread of bacterial resistance to meningitis... For the 'out-of-Africa' theory to hold water, the first population would have to have been very small. Sexually rampant mitochondria may put paid to this idea. Maynard Smith thinks that the origin of humanity is much older - may be twice as old - which, according to Eyre-Walker, means we are likely to have evolved in many different areas of the world and did not descend from Eve in Africa."
by Sanjida O'Connell 15th April 1999
ValerieUSA: Come on over and I'll broil some steaks for us.I like how you think. :')
Calamari: Are Neanderthals and Cro Magnons just different breeds and did a line of hybrids pop up that bred "true" and retained it's own outward characteristics generation after generation?The alternative is that the morphological characteristics, including the one mentioned above, and many others, including the Asian eyefold (a characteristic that won't show up in the fossil record, unless someone's face happened to be imprinted in hot lava or something) arose since the supposed egress from Africa in the past 50 to 100 thousand years.
Bonaparte: I've always found that "investigators" like the ones cited in the header article are impossible to embarass, no matter what you point out to them... No matter how many offenses against logic and methodology you identify and bring to their attention, they are married to their conclusion and won't abandon it.I agree. It's hard to embarrass people who are only interested in getting their next gubmint grant -- IOW, taxpayer dollars -- and grinding their political axes.
Modern multiregionalists still believe that there was a common African origin, but place it millions of years ago. The replacement camp sez that the previous hominids originated in Africa and spread out from there, but that for some reason a master race, er, AMH, with superior characteristics, skills, and weapons, migrated out of Africa 50 to 100 thousand years ago and took over everything, driving earlier hominids into extinction by about 20,000 years ago (at the latest). Since the continental shelf has been exposed plenty of the past 2 million years (at least it has been in the gradualist models, and due to glaciation), much of the formerly habitable land has never given up its fossils. And that 2 million year period is precisely when Erectus has been loping around.A new mystery evolves on trail of early humansNew studies of the Y chromosome, the bundle of DNA that distinguishes men from women, suggest that current branches of the human family tree derive from a male ancestor who may have lived only 50,000 years ago, scientists reported last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Previous studies, based on a type of DNA passed on only by women, indicate that the most recent common female ancestor, or "Eve," lived at least 150,000 years ago... "Something happened to the record 50,000 to 60,000 years ago," said Peter Oefner, a biologist at the Stanford DNA Sequencing and Technology Center and one of the authors of the study. "We started at ground zero again." ...The new evidence, based on analysis of the DNA of 72 males from 46 populations, is striking, Dr. Oefner said... Dr. Oefner is quick to warn that... [t]he average estimate coming out of the new data is 50,000 years, he said, but that male could have lived anywhere from 40,000 to 140,000 years ago.
by Emily Sohn
There was no such event, no going "their separate ways". With whom did the 23 chromosome pair newly human freak mate and reproduce? This genetic discontinuity results from a false assumption, and leads to speculation like that above.Did Viruses Make Us Human?The human genome is littered with scraps of DNA that serve no clearly defined function. Scientists believe these transposons -- so called because they can jump around the chromosomes -- were acquired millions or billions of years ago, when viruses inserted their own DNA into that of the host. Until recently, transposons were regarded as genetic junk. But when geneticists discovered that the junk accounts for nearly half of our genome, "people started to seriously consider that they might contribute to evolution," McDonald says... A single HERV-K element is present in humans but not in chimps. Judging from other measures of genetic change, this transposon appeared 6 million years ago, exactly when humans and chimps went their separate ways. McDonald hypothesizes that bits of viral DNA might have inserted themselves and altered functional genes, modifying the proteins they make, or the viral bits might have incited a reshuffling of the primate genome.
by Kathy A. Svitil
Morgan obviously uses this to buttress her Aquatic Ape theory, since the area where (in her view) hominids became Homo Sapiens was in a supposedly isolated chunk of eastern Africa, temporarily separated from the mainland by open water. It was a nice safe place, free of predators, and the hominids just lucked out when the land split. IOW, it's just an anachronistic fantasyland.The Scars of Evolution"The most remarkable aspect of Todaro's discovery emerged when he examined Homo Sapiens for the 'baboon marker'. It was not there... Todaro drew one firm conclusion. 'The ancestors of man did not develop in a geographical area where they would have been in contact with the baboon. I would argue that the data we are presenting imply a non-African origin of man millions of years ago.'"
by Elaine Morgan
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