Neanderthals weren't human, say scientists
- Neanderthals weren't human, say scientists
New research suggests Ice-age Neanderthals were not our close relatives but a
completely different species.
Until now many experts had believed Neanderthals, who co-existed with the
ancestors of modern humans 40,000 years ago, were a sub-species of Homo
The new research at the University of Zurich is based on an analysis of infant
Neanderthal and modern human skulls.
Their skulls were bulkier and had distinctive features including a projecting
face, heavy brows and a low forehead.
Now computerised fossil reconstruction has shown these features were
established in early infancy, possibly even in the womb, rather than gradually
The scientists write that such differences between Neanderthals and modern
humans during early development are consistent with "separation of Neanderthals
and modern humans at the species level".
The evidence suggests the ancestors of modern humans emigrated from Africa
about 100,000 years ago.
Neanderthals probably lived alongside humans but died out because they were
less adaptable to the changing climate.