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Neanderthal facial features not due to cold

Researchers have disproved the theory that “ugly” Neanderthal facial features, such as large noses and foreheads, are due to an adaptation that allowed them to live in freezing conditions.

They believed prehistoric human relatives had enlarged sinuses which helped to warm the air as it was inhaled.

New research that used three dimensional scans and X-ray images of Neanderthal skulls has revealed that their sinuses were no bigger than modern humans, Homo sapiens, who evolved in more temperate climates, and so played no role in increasing the size of their facial features.

The researchers behind the study claim the findings suggest Neanderthals, which died out around 30,000 years ago after surviving for more than 400,000 years, did not evolve to survive in the harsh frozen tundra of Europe but instead were better suited for living in warmer climates.

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