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Science in Seconds - Who Killed the Neanderthals?

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Science in Seconds Know Everything RANTS – Who Killed The Neanderthals? Brit Trogen: Imagine you have moved into a new neighborhood, and you wanted to make a good impression on the neighbors. Would you send over a fruit basket, or destroy every living member of your neighbor's species with projectile weapons? If you were an early human living in the Paleolithic Era, you would choose option B or, in some cases, option C: eat the flesh of your friendly neighbor, and make their teeth into a necklace. New research indicates that our evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals, with whom we coexisted up to 24,000 years ago, didn't disappear just by coincidence. When humans migrated to Europe and began competing for resources, things got violent. A Neanderthal skeleton called Shanidar 3 offers particular evidence of this. Shanidar was killed by a clean spear wound, that nicked one rib. And using myth-buster style tests on pig carcasses, Duke University researchers found that this could only have been caused by a projectile spear, something only employed by humans. Another excavation of a human settlement unearthed Neanderthal bones that were covered in cut marks, similar to those found on animal bone that has been stripped of its flesh by stone tools, and a Neanderthal jawbone from which the teeth had been removed, potentially for use a jewelry. The Neanderthals used tools and fire, had basic language skills, wore clothing, makeup and jewelry and had complex social groups. They weren't the idiotic knuckle-dragging brutes we often envision. Even if we didn't kill all the Neanderthals, we certainly helped the other predators and pathogens in speeding their extinction. Which raises the question, why couldn't we, just once, be the species that gives the fruit basket? Courtesy of Science in Seconds – All rights reserved Only for educational/non-profit purposes. (Translators are invited to put their name here)

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 10 seconds
Year: 2010
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Science in Seconds
Director: Science in Seconds
Views: 56
Posted by: tradottiinitaliano on Sep 10, 2011

What would you choose between a fruit basket and a projected spear?

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