Some Neanderthals had brown eyes, dark skin
Published on March 21st, 2012 | by Sevaan Franks4
The study has provoked deep skepticism among several outside researchers, however, who criticize numerous aspects of its methodology. The results also run contrary to other genetic evidence and to a long-held hypothesis that Neandertals, who lived mostly in northern latitudes, must’ve had light skin to get enough vitamin D.
But even scientists who have doubts about the new research say it still provides food for thought. “Neandertals occupied a wide geographical range,” says John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who was not involved in the study and who is also studying the physical traits of ancient humans, so “it’s likely that they were variable in pigmentation. … We are really at the first step.”
Story: Traci Watson, Science Magazine | Photo: Philippe Plailly & Atelier Daynes / Photo Researchers, Inc