MAURICIO ANTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAURICIO ANTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Neanderthal heads (Homo neanderthalensis), artwork. The skull is at top, the facial musculature at centre and the head at bottom. Neanderthals had several physical differences to modern humans. In the skull, these include more prominent brow ridges, a broader, flatter nose and a projecting mid-face region. Neanderthals were relatives of humans that inhabited Europe and western Asia between around 230,000 and 29,000 years ago. The physical differences are thought to have been adaptations to the cold environment in which they lived, as Europe was a far cooler region in that period. They did not use complex tools but had mastery of fire and built shelters. It is not known why they became extinct, but many suspect they were outcompeted by modern humans.
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