Neanderthal jaw

Neanderthal jaw

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Credit: MARCO ANSALONI/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Neanderthal jaw (Homo neanderthalensis). Neanderthals were relatives of humans that inhabited Europe and western Asia between around 150,000 and 30,000 years ago. They were stockier than modern humans, with whom they co-existed, having prominent brow ridges, a heavier, more muscular frame and a barrel chest. These are thought to have been adaptations to the cold environment in which they lived. They did not use complex tools but had mastery of fire and built shelters. They lacked projectile weapons, though, and tended to use stabbing and hacking weaponry. It is not known why they became extinct, but many suspect they were outcompeted by modern humans.

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