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:6/17/2015)... , Deutschland und GERMANTOWN, Maryland ... Investigator ®   Produktlinie mit DNA-Tests ... QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: ... neue STR-Testkits der Produktlinie Investigator ... in den Markt eingeführt. Die neuen Kits zur Erstellung ...
(Date:6/17/2015)... 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), ... that Xiaomi, one of the world,s largest mobile ... ® family of capacitive touchscreen solutions and ... for its latest smartphones, the Xiaomi Mi Note ... in-cell display solutions and DDICs in discrete display ...
(Date:6/16/2015)... CITY , June 16, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ ... their partnership centralized around the incorporation of handyem,s ... point-of-care diagnostic laboratory, the Mo-POD™. This unprecedented model ... BIO International Conference at the Pennsylvania ... from June 15 th to 18 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):QIAGEN bringt in den USA neue Kits für die forensische DNA-Analyse auf den Markt 2QIAGEN bringt in den USA neue Kits für die forensische DNA-Analyse auf den Markt 3QIAGEN bringt in den USA neue Kits für die forensische DNA-Analyse auf den Markt 4QIAGEN bringt in den USA neue Kits für die forensische DNA-Analyse auf den Markt 5QIAGEN bringt in den USA neue Kits für die forensische DNA-Analyse auf den Markt 6Synaptics Touchscreen and Display Driver IC Solutions Power Xiaomi's Latest Flagship Smartphones 2Synaptics Touchscreen and Display Driver IC Solutions Power Xiaomi's Latest Flagship Smartphones 3handyem and FlowMetric Diagnostics announce their partnership in the development of Flow Cytometry- Based Solutions in diagnostic capabilities 2handyem and FlowMetric Diagnostics announce their partnership in the development of Flow Cytometry- Based Solutions in diagnostic capabilities 3
(Date:6/26/2015)... ... June 26, 2015 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is ... and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) awarded a five year contract to Charm Sciences to ... Charm’s ROSA DONQ-FAST5 Test. This 5 minute quantitative test extracts DON from samples ...
(Date:6/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Claremont BioSolutions, LLC, a pioneer of ... into a sample prep module intended to enable real-time quantitative gene expression analysis ... WetLab-2 Project. , On June 28, 2015, SpaceX CRS-7 will launch from Cape ...
(Date:6/26/2015)... 26, 2015 The report "Biolubricants ... Fluids, Metalworking fluids, Chainsaw oils, Mold Release Agents), End ... - Global trends and Forecasts to 2020" published by ... Million by 2020 at a CAGR of 6.27% between ... data Tables and   66 Figures spread through 170 ...
(Date:6/25/2015)... , June 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/vxtfvv/2015_market ) has announced the addition ... of the Global Cancer Diagnostics Industry: ... Hormones, Immunohistochemical Stains--Hospitals, Commercial Labs, POC ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:USDA-GIPSA (FGIS) Awards 5 Year Contract for Vomitoxin Tests to Charm Sciences 2Claremont BioSolutions’ SimplePrep™ Products Deployed in NASA Wetlab-2 Project Slated for June 28th Flight to International Space Station aboard SpaceX CRS-7 2Claremont BioSolutions’ SimplePrep™ Products Deployed in NASA Wetlab-2 Project Slated for June 28th Flight to International Space Station aboard SpaceX CRS-7 3Biolubricants Market Worth $2,972.13 Million by 2020 2Biolubricants Market Worth $2,972.13 Million by 2020 3Analysis of the Global Cancer Diagnostics Industry 2015-2020: Oncogenes, Biochemical Markers, Lymphokines, GFs, CSFs, Hormones, Immunohistochemical Stains 2Analysis of the Global Cancer Diagnostics Industry 2015-2020: Oncogenes, Biochemical Markers, Lymphokines, GFs, CSFs, Hormones, Immunohistochemical Stains 3
Cached News: