Neanderthals had more mundane lives than previously thought

Published on July 31st, 2012 | by Sevaan Franks

New research has revealed that Neanderthals, who were presumed to have spent most of their time hunting prey, actually spent most of their time doing mundane chores. This new finding comes after a study looking into the possible causes for overdevelopment of the right arm bones found in many Neanderthal skeletons.

While humans typically have a right arm which is between five and 15 per cent stronger than their left, some Neanderthals had upper arm bones which were 50 per cent stronger on the right side.

Previously, it had been assumed this was caused by right-handed Neanderthals spending an excessive amount of time hunting large animals with spears, which built up their arm strength.

The new paper, published in the PLOS One journal suggests the imbalance more likely developed as a result of spending hours scraping animal hides with stones – a stage in the production of clothes.

[tweetmeme][Full story] Story: Nick Collins, The Telegraph | Photo: PA

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