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Did we out-breed slow-maturing Neanderthals?

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posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 05:17 PM
i found this artical in the NewScientist web site..

Did we out-breed slow-maturing Neanderthals

Neanderthal women had just as much trouble in childbirth as modern women – and their kids took just as long to grow up.

Christoph Zollikofer and colleagues at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, have done the first three-dimensional reconstructions of the skulls of a newborn Neanderthal from Russia, and two toddlers from Syria. They found that the newborn's cranium was the same diameter as a modern human's.

Neanderthal mothers had slightly larger birth canals, but the prominent face of Neanderthal babies made it just as hard to push out as a modern human.

This suggests that both groups had the social structures needed to help with childbirth. It also means, says Zollikofer, that a big brain at birth must have evolved in some still-undiscovered common ancestor of modern humans and Neanderthals.

Moreover, conflicting estimates of Neanderthal growth rates based on teeth had led to disagreements about whether they grew up faster than us, amid theories that a prolonged childhood allowed us to develop greater intelligence.
Better brains?

The new skull reconstructions show that Neanderthal babies grew 5 to 10% faster than modern humans. But since Neanderthals also had bigger bodies, they took about the same time to reach adulthood that we do, says Zollikofer.

"The big question is, what happened to humans 50,000 years ago," he says. Early modern humans and Neanderthals now appear to have had similarly big brains at birth, that grew at similar rates. But the brains of today's babies are smaller than both of them. "Are they more efficiently organised? Or did we trade a bit of intelligence for smaller, cheaper brains that meant we could reproduce faster," he says.

If so, Zollikofer speculates, we may have succeeded the Neanderthals not because we were smarter, but because we bred faster – more like rabbits.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803917105)

posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 05:43 PM
Interesting, ive never read this before. Nice find.

Is it possible that the smaller modern brain could just be more efficient, the same intelligence, but in a smaller, more compact package? Like computers. A computer 10 years ago costing $3,000 and being a full-size desktop wouldnt be able to do half the stuff your modern $800 smaller laptop can do.

posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 07:35 PM
i dunno exactly why we came through and the neanderthals did not but doesnt it stand to reason that homosapien and neanderthals could have interbred and we are maybe a lil part neanderthal?

posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 07:47 PM
In response to constantwonder:

We have mapped the Neanderthal, but have found no direct matches that we humans are connected to them in any way, although... it's still possible. They do no share the same mitochondria we do.

Thread Starter, take a look at this picture. Like I said in my first psot, perhaps the brain got smaller because it evolved to store information more efficiently (assuming we are connected to them) This also shows how much smaller our frame is, it got smaller because we dont need such a large frame anymore, as we do not hunt by foot for our food anymore. (Or at least I don't!)

SOURCE: Science Daily

[edit on 9/8/2008 by Schmidt1989]

posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 07:50 PM
Double post. Sorry.

[edit on 9/8/2008 by Schmidt1989]

posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 07:55 PM

Originally posted by constantwonder
i dunno exactly why we came through and the neanderthals did not but doesnt it stand to reason that homosapien and neanderthals could have interbred and we are maybe a lil part neanderthal?

I think they just interbreed into extinction. Eight years ago I met a man that I swear could of passed off as a neanderthal. Extremely pronounced brow that almost went across the entire forehead, very pronounced facial features and he was built like a gorilla. The first thing that came to my mind was that he must have some neanderthal genes in him.

You must have seen him to understand but he made such an impression on me that I remember him to this day though we met extremely briefly.

posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 04:17 AM
i think lector is write because you can see neanderthal features in a number people you pass in the street everyday or more xtreme the yeti

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 03:39 PM
About the possibility of intermixing....

The mtDNA they've managed to sequence thus far has not shown up in our genome at all. The two groups may have mostly had an intersterile and intrafertile relationship.

I don't think all the facts are in, but that is a pretty serious hit. Its still an interesting question though along with the other mysteries of interaction between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon.

As a side note, this sunday @ 9 EST (US) there is a special on this subject on National Geographic. Hopefully, someone will make it available online.

[edit on 16-9-2008 by Kluge]

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