Species of the month
Some facts on this primate:
Period of existence: From 200,000 to 28,000 years ago.
Height: Males average: 164 cm; Females average: 155 cm.
Weight: Males average: 65 kg; Females average: 54 kg.
Origin of name: After the fosil found in a German cave of the Neander Valley; tal or thal means "valley" in German.
Range: Europe and southwestern to central Asia.
First described: By the geologist and palaeontologist William King in 1829.
Homo neanderthalensis were, believe it or not, our close relatives. Their bodies were shorter and stockier than ours, an adaptation to living in cold environments. This ancient hominid that had brains as large as ours controlled fire, lived in shelters and crafted a diverse set of sophisticated tools and ornamental objects. They also wore clothing and were skilled hunters of large animals which they supplemented with plant foods. There is evidence that Neanderthals used to bury their dead in graves adorned with offerings such as flowers. They were the first primates ever to practice this sophisticated and symbolic behavior. Also they are the first to be found praising the dead. This means they are first to practice religion.
(Archived from Template:Species of the week)