Thursday, November 15, 2007

Leave It To the Ladies

A few weeks ago, I posted about the latest findings concerning our nearest human cousins, the Neanderthals. For some reason, I've got a soft spot for these evolutionary underdogs. As the Geico ads prove, 'cavemen' just don't get the respect they deserve.

Below I'll summarize some interesting facts about Neanderthals, then list some possible reasons for their demise. For the full article, click on the link below....
1. Neanderthals made fire and mastered tools.
2. Women as well as men hunted.
3. Some Neanderthals were believed to have flaming red hair & pale skin.
4. Neanderthals possessed a gene known to underlie speech and language.
5. The Neanderthal range is wider than thought, to Russia & possibly Asia.

Of course we know the Neanderthals died out. Why? Possible reasons are many, not a few.
1. If forced to hunt, too many Neanderthal women of childbearing age would be injured or killed.
2. Climate change led to a change in game herds. The Neanderthals could not adjust quickly enough.
3. The Cro-Magnons did have cognitive, adaptive, and practical (more tools) advantages.
4. Genocide. Modern humans killed the Neanderthals.
5. The Cro-Magnons may have brought diseases fatal to the Neanderthal.
6. If females were hunting, they weren't gathering & harvesting. The bulk of a tribe's food comes from the gals.

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