Significance of some previously unrecognized apomorphies in the nasal region of Homo neanderthalensis.

  • Schwartz J
  • Tattersall I
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Abstract

For many years, the Neanderthals have been recognized as a distinctive extinct hominid group that occupied Europe and western Asia between about 200,000 and 30,000 years ago. It is still debated, however, whether these hominids belong in their own species, Homo neanderthalensis, or represent an extinct variant of Homo sapiens. Our ongoing studies indicate that the Neanderthals differ from modern humans in their skeletal anatomy in more ways than have been recognized up to now. The purpose of this contribution is to describe specializations of the Neanderthal internal nasal region that make them unique not only among hominids but possibly among terrestrial mammals in general as well. These features lend additional weight to the suggestion that Neanderthals are specifically distinct from Homo sapiens.

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Authors

  • J H Schwartz

  • I Tattersall

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