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Neanderthal babies had crowded breasts like their parents


Neanderthal babies had barrel-shaped breasts and short, deep spines that curved inward more than humans, a construction that until now was only known to Neanderthal adults, the researchers say.

A team led by paleobiologist Daniel García-Martínez of the National Center for Research on Human Evolution in Burgos, Spain, must say that Neanderthals inherited these skeletal features rather than developing them as their bodies grew. Large-brained hominid scientists, such as Neanderthals, needed thoracic cavities arranged in this way from birth to accommodate lungs large enough to meet their energy needs.

Garcia-Martinez and colleagues digitally reconstructed the chest boxes of four partially excavated partial Neanderthal skeletons of infants and young children. It is estimated that the young died when they were about one or two weeks, four months or less, 1.5 years and 2.5 years old. These finds, dating back to about 40,000 and 70,000 years ago, came from sites in France, Syria and western Russia. Each fossil child had a short, deep rib cage and a short spine behind the ribs relative to human babies. In the most complete specimen, the 1.5-year-old boy, the researchers determined that the spine curved sharply in the thoracic cavity.

Investigators reconstructed the ribbons of four young Neanderthals, aged from a couple of weeks to a few years. Even the youngest possessed a short, deep rib cage relative to human babies, suggesting that Neanderthals inherited their stout body.Marcos Galeano Prados, D. García-Martínez

Neanderthal chest coffinsInvestigators reconstructed the ribbons of four young Neanderthals, aged from a couple of weeks to a few years. Even the youngest possessed a short, deep rib cage relative to human babies, suggesting that Neanderthals inherited their stout body.Marcos Galeano Prados, D. García-Martínez

“The stout form of Neanderthals has not only passed from parents to children. but it also probably passed from ancestral species to its Neanderthal descendants, "says García-Martínez. Neanderthals, or perhaps their direct ancestors, probably inhabited Europe about 430,000 years ago (SN: 14/3/16). And a box Neanderthal-like thoracic appeared 1.5 million years ago in an African skeleton of Homo erectus, Garcia-Martinez argued in a paper published online July 6 in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

If Neanderthals inherited a strong construction of H. erectus, then the longer legs, flatter ribs, and other body features of H. sapiens evolved in stages after an evolutionary division of our Neanderthal species, perhaps about 300,000 years ago. , scientists speculate (SN: 13/12/17).

It appears to be a likely scenario, says paleoanthropologist Timothy Weaver of the University of California, Davis. It is unclear, however, why the first H. sapiens evolved into lighter bodies that contrasted with what had been a normally resistant physicist in other homo species, adds Weaver, who did not participate in the new study.



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