Neanderthals Could Talk and Hear much Like Modern Humans: New Study

A recent study conducted by researchers reveals similarities between auditory and speech dimensions of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. The past researches on fossils of initial stage hominins and sima de los huesos hominins of the Middle Pleistocene epoch depict some relationships in vocal communication. But this present study unwinds the secrets of voice and hearing capacities of Neanderthals.

Reconstruction of a Neanderthal lady, credits: Bacon Cph, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Traditionally, scientists know very little about the communication capabilities of the Neanderthals. The development of the speech and hearing capabilities in Neanderthals is one of the biggest queries in the study of human evolution. 

This study has used several methods to retrieve data about Neanderthals such as computerized tomography scanning. It also required an inclusive platform from auditory bioengineering. Researchers have recognized sound power transmission via the outer and middle ear. They depend on high-resolution Computed tomography to establish computer-generated three-dimensional ear structures for both species. This experiment has mainly focused on Homo sapiens and Neanderthals. These samples were also correlated with the fossils of descendants of the Neanderthals of the Atapuerca archaeological region.  They have found occupied bandwidth in Neanderthals species through this transmission data. The occupied bandwidth is directly proportional to the competence of the vocal communication arrangement of a species. The key outcomes of the study illustrate that the Neanderthal species’ occupied bandwidth was higher in comparison to the Sima de los Huesos hominins. But these auditory capabilities were almost equal to the speech and hearing capacities of modern humans.  

Neanderthal is adherent of an assembly of ancient humans. The timeline of Neanderthals in the evolutionary history of humans found its origin about 200,000 years BP. They main habituated the planet during Pleistocene Epoch. The scientific theories say that Neanderthal was substituted or integrated by the initial stage Homo sapiens about thirty-five thousand years ago. The main regions of Neanderthals are Europe, Central Asia, and southwest Asia. The neanderthal word originates from the Neander Valley of Germany. The first fossils of Neanderthal were discovered here in 1856. 

The study was conducted by the Departamento de Ciencias de la Vida, Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain, Centro Mixto (UCM-ISCIII) de Evolución y Comportamiento Humanos, Madrid, Spain, Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University (SUNY), Binghamton, NY, USA, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Tarragona, Spain.

For the original research article, Click on Nature

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