Neanderthal baby found in Belgian cave

Published on October 20th, 2010 | by Admin

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neanderthal

An 18-month-old Neanderthal has been found, along with the bodies of two adults, in a cave in Belgium.

Neanderthal youngsters that made it to the “terrible two’s” were large, sturdy and toothy, suggests a newly discovered Neanderthal infant. The child almost survived to such an age, but instead died when it was just one and a half years old.

The remains of this infant — a lower jaw and teeth unearthed in a Belgian cave — are the youngest Neanderthal ever found in northwest Europe, according to a study that will appear in the Journal of Human Evolution.

Since the remains of two adults were also previously discovered in the cave, the fossil collection may represent a Neanderthal family.

If the trio said “cheese” for a family portrait, their smiles would have been hard to miss, since Neanderthal front teeth were larger than those for modern humans.

When the infant died, “he already possessed Neanderthal characteristics, notably a strong mandibular corpus (toothy part of the lower jaw),” lead author Isabelle Crevecoeur told Discovery News.

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