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Callaway E Nature , 15—16, DOI: Choi CQ Inside Science Jul. The first Indo-French Prehistorical Mission in Siwaliks and the discovery of anthropic activities at 2. Anthropic activities in the fossiliferous Quranwala Zone, 2. Intentional cut marks on bovid from the Quranwala zone, 2. Douglas K a. New Scientist Jul. Douglas K b.

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How fossils found in Asia could rewrite history of human evolution and migration out of Africa. Greshko M a. National Geographic Jan. Greshko M b. National Geographic Jul. Groucutt HS et al Stone tool assemblages and models for the dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa. Quaternary International , 8—30, DOI: Han F et al Hershkovitz I The earliest modern humans outside of Africa.

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Science , —, DOI: Hu Y et al Late Middle Pleistocene Levallois stone-tool technology in southwest China. Nature , DOI: Kamrani K Kappelman J An early hominin arrival in Asia. Nature , —, DOI: Katz B Marshall M Someone made advanced stone tools in India , years ago. New Scientist Jan.

Pickerell J Qiu J The thickness and high density of their leg bones suggest that they did a great deal of walking and running. Their lower arm and leg bones were short compared to modern humans. These traits were likely adaptations to an aggressive hunting and gathering way of life as well as to the cold climates in which most Neandertals lived.

The fact that adult Neandertal skeletons frequently have multiple healed bone fractures suggests that these people had rough lives.

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Some researchers believe that many of the broken bones were the result of hunting large game animals up close with jabbing spears--a dangerous enterprise. It is likely that at least some Neandertals had pale skin color and red hair. This is based on the discovery of a variant of the MC1R gene associated with these traits in the bones of two European Neandertals dated to around 50, years ago.

This was very likely an adaptation that helped their bodies produce more Vitamin D and subsequently absorb more calcium from their food in ice age Europe. Neandertal heads were long from front to back compared to ours. This resulted in relatively low, sloping foreheads. At the back of their skulls, they had a prominent bulge or projection called an occipital bun.

They had large faces especially in the middle part with big noses and prominent brow ridges that extended between the eyes.

The region holds a unique position in the story of human evolution

They lacked the pointed chin that is common in modern Homo sapiens. These traits give the Neandertal face and head an appearance more reminiscent of late Homo erectus and Homo heidelbergensis than of modern people. T he brain size of Neandertals was close to that of modern humans, and the structural organization of their brains was essentially the same as well.

The average Neandertal brain was actually somewhat larger than the brains of most people today. However, the difference is minimal when people of similar body size are compared.

Neandertals and Modern Humans in Western Asia

In fact, the average Neandertal brain may have been slightly smaller from this perspective. The l arge heads and stocky bodies of Neandertals very likely were more efficient in cold climates and were probably selected for by nature. This trend has been observed among contemporary Native American populations living in sub-arctic environments.

CARTA:The Orangutan Neandertal and Denisovan Genomes

A larger head and more compact body shape potentially produce more body heat relative to the amount that is lost to the environment through radiation. A bigger brain carries a high energy overhead. It is hard for a pregnant woman's body to feed her own brain and that of her baby at the same time. It is even more difficult when there are twins. Female Neandertal brains were about cm 3 smaller than those of males.

This sexual dimorphism should not be a surprise since female bodies were smaller. However, the gross difference in cranial capacity between the earliest human species 2. In order to trace the development of intelligence, speech, and other mental capabilities, it is more useful to examine changes in specific brain regions and the genes that control their development. It is now clear that upright bodies and bipedal locomotion long preceded the evolution of the large human brain. The early 20th century speculation that our ancestors would be large brained apes proved to be incorrect.

We attained the full human form of bipedalism by about 2. However, the size of our brains continued to increase in a punctuated evolutionary pattern. There apparently was a period of comparative stasis beginning around 1. However, by , , years ago, human brain size began to grow very rapidly. This skyrocketing trend continued until around , years ago or a bit earlier. In other words, there was a mosaic pattern of evolution. We continued to evolve above the neck after the rest of the body essentially reached its modern form. This process of the brain increasing in size over and beyond that explainable by an increase in body size has been referred to as encephalization.

The overall increase in brain size was, in fact, mostly a result of changes in particular regions of the cerebrum , where most high level brain functions occur. It is likely that nature was selecting for the mental capabilities needed to adapt rapidly to new environments. The brain was being neurally reorganized for processing complex information. This can be seen indirectly in the evolution of culture. We are still left with the question of whether Neandertals were members of our species or another species with whom we share a distant common ancestor.

Two sources of evidence have shed light on this issue --DNA and bones. In , a first draft of the Neandertal genome was completed. They were sequenced mostly from bones found in Vindija Cave in Croatia. Based on this information, Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany concluded that the Neandertal and modern human genomes share He estimated that the Neandertal line began to diverge from ours by about , years ago and that we were "genetically distinct" by , years ago. Therefore, he suggested that there must have been some interbreeding between modern humans and Neandertals around 8 7 - 37 , years ago.

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This most likely occurred in Southwest Asia, shortly after modern humans migrated out of Africa. It has been suggested that this gave early modern human immigrants to Europe and Asia critical protection to diseases that had not existed in their African homeland. Mating with Neandertals and other archaic humans in Eurasia would have helped the modern Homo sapiens adapt to viruses, bacteria, and parasitic worms that they had not been exposed to before. Supporting evidence of interbreeding comes from 4 Neandertal skulls found in different locations in Europe. They appear to have a mixture of Neandertal and modern Homo sapiens anatomical characteristics. The implication is that some of the Neandertals interbred with modern humans resulting in gene flow between the populations.

If that is true, then the genetic difference between us and them must not have been as great as would be expected between two distinct species.