HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Neanderthals used both hands to kill

NEANDERTHALS and early humans knew how to make spears but they didn't know how to throw them. Instead, they had a limited hunting strategy, and used their spears merely to stab animals they had already trapped or ambushed. This finding by a team of anthropologists provides an important insight into a defining moment in our ancestors' development, when early humans evolved from hunters who killed at close-quarters to sophisticated killers capable of bringing down large beasts from a distance.

The first direct evidence of thrown spears dates back to about 19,000 years ago. That's the age of the first known atlatl, or spear thrower- a device that allows a long, flexible dart to be thrown accurately at a range of 35 metres or more (New Scientist, 15 May 1999, p 40). Stone points that look like they were designed to be used with thrown spears date back to about 35,000 years ago.

But other evidence seemed to support the idea that spear throwing evolved much earlier. Analysis of the arm bones of Neanderthals, who lived between 230,000 and 30,000 years ago, and early humans living at the same time show that both were much stronger in one arm than the other; the difference is as great as that seen in professional tennis players today. That suggests they threw spears, rather than using both arms to thrust them.

But Steven Churchill at Duke University in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, thinks this reasoning is flawed. A two-handed spear thrust will put far more stress on the dominant arm holding the back end of the spear than the front arm, he says. This would explain the differences in strength found in fossil bones.

To test this idea, Churchill and his colleagues Daniel Schmitt and William Hylander initially measured the dimensions of a number of Neanderthal humerus bones. This showed they are thicker front to back than side to side, which is what would be expected if the bones had adapted to cope with an asymm
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-207-331-2751
New Scientist
20-Nov-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. New study shows Neanderthals were not our ancestors
2. Bones from French cave show Neanderthals, Cro-Magnon hunted same prey
3. Dinosaurs And Neanderthals
4. Prenatal exposure to second-handsmoke greater for disadvantaged children, study finds
5. Portuguese teacher gets hands-on look at cutting-edge research at EMBL, Germany
6. Scientist says ostrich study confirms bird hands unlike those of dinosaurs
7. Babies hands move to the rhythm of language
8. Taking the show on the road - Leading researchers to conduct hands-on science symposium for 500 San Francisco area high school students
9. University of Florida researchers test drug from transgenic sheep in study at Shands at UF teaching hospital
10. New targets for nerve diseases, nerve regrowth: Its all in the handshake
11. Journalists put hands on science

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Neanderthals used both hands kill

(Date:10/18/2014)... suspected genetic conditions, a certain type of exome sequencing ... than traditional molecular diagnostic methods, according to a study ... released to coincide with the American Society of Human ... protein­coding region of the genome (the complete set of ... organism), has been rapidly applied in research settings and ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... Cancer constantly wages war on the human body. ... a stalemate. In pancreatic cancer, this stalemate—known as ... becoming aggressively malignant, a phenomena that is poorly ... in the laboratory of Salvatore Torquato, a Professor ... the conditions surrounding tumor dormancy and the switch ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... Syncytial Virus causes severe respiratory tract infections and ... year. Scientists at VIB and Ghent University have ... counteract this common virus infection. , Xavier ... that paves the way for the development of ... virus that causes suffering in numerous small children ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Study examines type of exome sequencing and molecular diagnostic yield 2Study examines type of exome sequencing and molecular diagnostic yield 3Modeling tumor dormancy 2New perspectives for development of an RSV vaccine 2
(Date:10/20/2014)... Oct. 20, 2014 PureTech , a ... big healthcare problems, announced today the closing of ... participation from Invesco Perpetual, a $120 Billion group ... drive PureTech,s existing pipeline forward and to advance ... the scientific creativity to really go for the ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... (PRWEB) October 19, 2014 The Latin ... the market in Latin America with analysis and forecast ... in 2013, and is expected to reach $2,366.8 million ... to 2018. , Browse through the TOC of the ... idea of the in-depth analysis provided. It also provides ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... The Asian Automatic patient billing report ... and forecast of revenue. The Automatic patient billing market ... million by 2018, at a developing CAGR of 7.2% ... of the Asian Automatic patient billing market, to get ... provides a glimpse of the segmentation of this market ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... (PRWEB) October 19, 2014 The ... Defense, & Homeland Security), Technology, Payload, Type & ... and segments the global unmanned ground vehicle market ... and forecasting of market sizes. The report also ... and opportunities impacting it along with the adoption ...
Breaking Biology Technology:PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 2PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 3PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 4PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 5PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 6The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3The Asian Automatic patient billing market is estimated to grow to around $463.9 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Asian Automatic patient billing market is estimated to grow to around $463.9 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Market Estimated to Reach $8.26 Billion by 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Market Estimated to Reach $8.26 Billion by 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Market Estimated to Reach $8.26 Billion by 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Market Estimated to Reach $8.26 Billion by 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 5
Cached News: