Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #neanderthals

Most recents (15)

The Mitochondrial #Eve is the most recent woman from whom all living humans descend. 🧵🔽 Painting of Eve, the first ...
The mitochondrial haplogroup mt-MRCA was split at around 155,000 years ago, which is later than the speciation of Homo sapiens.
The Y-chromosomal #Adam is the male analog to the "Mitochondrial Eve", and is the individual from whom all living humans are patrilineally descended.

The age of the Y-MRCA is subject to substantial uncertainty.
Read 14 tweets
V excited to see this out.
I talk a lot in #Kindred about #GrotteMandrin, its strange Néronien layer & who might have made it.
Now strong evidence it was Homo sapiens... who then apparently were replaced for millennia by #Neanderthals.
We need more nuanced extinction narratives!
The Néronien at #GrotteMandrin has +1300 Levallois points, a uniquely huge amount, plus some are tiny (smaller than from any #Neanderthal contexts) & suggest light projectile weapons.
Even before tooth ID, this was culturally distinct & much more like IUP assoc w/ H. sapiens. Image
This really is a HUGE deal. It upsets neat narratives about what happened to "the #Neanderthals" - forces us to ask instead *which* Neanderthals, when?
And what do we mean by Homo sapiens' "success" if initial Euro populations +50ka went extinct for another 10,000 yrs...?
Read 5 tweets
1/9 #Colonial #Victorian tropes of #primitive and #civilised are never funny @BBCNews @BBCWorld. They were actively used to justify colonialism.

Small-scale societies are as complex as large states, and values and morals are #HumanUniversals. Also, #Neanderthals were smart! Image
2/9 #Hunter-gatherers live in small groups but have large social networks. San societies in southern #Africa maintain these by exchanging ostrich eggshell beads across hundreds of kilometers. And they have been doing this for over 30,000 years.…
3/9 #Aboriginal societies in #Australia have complex ways of transmitting knowledge across space and time. Their #OralHistories preserved information on the impact of #SeaLevelRise at the end of the last #IceAge over 10,000 years.…
Read 9 tweets
As promised, here is my #tweetorial for our @capra_lab @NatureComms paper! Interested in complex trait #genetics, #heritability, #Evolution , or #Neanderthals ? 🧬

"Behind the paper" article:…

We have examples of how Neanderthals gave Eurasians individual genetic variants that contribute to traits; however, most medically/evolutionarily relevant traits are complex, with contributions from thousands of parts of the genome. We wanted something more comprehensive...

We use partitioned heritability to investigate the relationship between introgression and diverse traits. First, we show that genomic regions with Neanderthal ancestry are depleted of heritability for all traits considered, except those related to skin and hair.

3/ Image
Read 14 tweets
New paper showing more structured material engagement by #Neanderthals: alternating engraved marks on giant deer bone, Einhornhöhle (Unicorn Cave), Germany.
Congratulations to the authors!

(transparency: peer review docs are available, I signed as R1)…
3D model publicly available here :…
Paper is not OA, but as usual the Supplementary materials docs (appendices) are, and contain a lot of info including on the marks analysis.…
Read 5 tweets
Bizzare Migration of #Earth’s Poles Could Have Triggered Extinction of #Neanderthals, Giant Animals 42,000 Years Ago - By @MrigDixit…

(📸: NASA/JPL) Image
@MrigDixit Before us—the modern human beings or Homo sapiens—tens of thousands of years ago, the planet was dominated by an ancient sibling of ours called #Neanderthals or Homo neanderthalensis.
@MrigDixit While their existence dates back to at least 200,000 years ago, Neanderthals went extinct roughly 40,000 years ago. Several theories have emerged in recent years explaining the cause of their extinction—from #climatechange to a deadly disease.

Read 14 tweets
Just did more organising of #TetZooMCon with @thejohnconway, we're aiming to launch website today. #Paleoart event will HAVE to have limited places (sorry!), but we're anticipating most interest in the talks. Still more to get sorted, but I can confirm some speakers... (thread) ImageImage
Ok, we definitely have Becky Wragg Sykes @LeMoustier - author of #Kindred - on #Neanderthals, Natalia Jagielska @WryCritic on #pterosaurs, David Lindo @urbanbirder on supposedly extinct #birds.... #TetZooMCon ImageImageImageImage
We also have THE RJ Palmer @arvalis on matters of creature design, a BRITISH BIG CAT discussion event involving me, Rick Minter and others... #TetZooMCon ImageImageImage
Read 4 tweets
Flint and clay-ironstone resharpening flakes, Ash Tree Cave, Derbyshire.

Even tiny objects show #Neanderthals moving around their land.
These two artefacts were waste from tool edge maintenance (scrapers or bifaces), but don't match anything in the cave.
1/n Red-brown thin stone flake, under 2 cm long.White flint flake with fine tiny scars, 2 cm wide.
But a few kms from Ash Tree Cave is @CreswellCrags, where scrapers & bifaces made of these stones were found in Church Hole and Robin Hood Cave.

We can't know if they were directly connected, but #Neanderthals were using the caves at Creswell & Ash Tree differently.

Clay-ironstone is a local, quite soft stone, probably used casually.
Flint however is trickier; there are occasional glacial cobbles of northern-type flint, but southern-type flint – which the scraper looks like – was probably brought into the region by #Neanderthals.

Read 5 tweets
Aaaand it's out!

#Neanderthals made fine twine 45-50,000 years ago!…

I gave comments to the above article, and here's my more detailed thread (on THREAD)

This find comes from Abri du Maras, SE France, which has already shown exceptional organic preservation due to unusual thin mineral films on the artefacts.
Previous finds included proof of small game butchery: fragments of raptor feathers, rabbit/hare fur and fish scales.
Another find from 7 yrs ago was *possible* evidence of 'string' .
Tiny plant fibres were found on stone artefacts, twisted in a way that didn't look natural.
It was slim evidence and some (inc. me) were skeptical. But the team continued, upping digging & conservation protocols.
Read 15 tweets
Oh my GOSH
1st new #Neanderthal skeleton in +20 years

This is BIG stuff: plenty of bits & pieces found in that time plus vital re-examination of old claimed burials, but what's been missing is a new mostly-complete find we can use 21stC methods on

[off to read paper]
Might tweet as I read 😁

But note: Shanidar is a tricky site and there's long been evidence of both potential intentional body deposits, AND natural rockfall as ways #Neanderthal bodies got into the ground.
Plus there's a lot of individuals but while some are close to each other spatially (and relative to unexcavated area of this humungous rockshelter, all are clustered in centre), they're not all from same period in time.
Read 26 tweets
"A team of scientists on Wednesday reported that the #fossil belonged to a 160,000-year-old #Denisovan, a member of a lineage of mysterious, #Neanderthal-like humans that disappeared about 50,000 years ago."… #Sapiens #Tibet
1. "The new fossil demonstrates that #Denisovans were remarkably hardy, able to endure harsh conditions on the Tibetan plateau, at an elevation of 10,700 feet, with only simple stone tools."
2. "The find also suggests that these #Denisovans may have evolved genetic adaptations to high altitudes, and that living #Tibetans may have inherited those genes thanks to interbreeding between Denisovans and modern humans in prehistoric times."
Read 10 tweets
Right I can't bear #Brexit so am treating everyone to a GIGANTIC THREAD on TRADE- #Neanderthal-style.

Hold onto your handaxes!
DID #NEANDERTHALS TRADE? An excellent question but extremely hard to answer (even for early Homo sapiens) because it relies on a lot of assumptions about how Neanderthal society was organised.
We’ve got two ways in:
- how things were moved around
- how people moved around
The biggest & best-studied category of artefacts to help us look for #Neanderthal trade is lithics: stone tools. Decades of research on where rock was sourced vs. where it ended up shows everybody, including Upper Palaeolithic H. sapiens, mostly shifted stone small distances.
Read 33 tweets

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