Fossil foot of Neanderthal man, La Ferrassie

Fossil foot of Neanderthal man, La Ferrassie

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Credit: JOHN READER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Neanderthal fossil foot. Well-preserved fossil foot bones of an adult male neanderthal Homo neanderthalensis, discovered at La Ferrassie in France between 1909 and 1920. La Ferrassie fossils were found in a rock shelter. Eight skeletons include a foetus, a neonate, a 2-3 year old child, and adults. This adult foot belongs to specimen La Ferrassie I: a complete adult skeleton. The foot- bones show that the great toe of neanderthals was not divergent as in apes. The arches of the foot are well-formed and the structure corresponds to modern man, indicating that they stood upright like Homo sapiens. These short, thick-set, cold- adapted people lived 150,000 to 30,000 years ago.

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Keywords: anthropology, foot, foot fossil, fossil, fossil man, fossil skeleton, hominid, hominids, hominin, homo neanderthalensis, la ferrassie, neanderthal, neanderthal man, palaeoanthropology, palaeontology, paleoanthropology, paleontology, skeleton

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