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:10/14/2014)... is how to produce enough food to feed the ... Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that food ... to feed a growing global population, and plants are ... production. Plants—grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables, and more—feed humans ... must tap into our knowledge of how plants work ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... Montreal, October 14, 2014 – High doses of fish oil ... fibrillation, a common type of irregular heartbeat in which the ... The results of the AFFORD trial led by the Montreal ... American College of Cardiology on October 7th. , For ... antiarrhythmic therapy were randomly assigned to 4 grams of fish ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... – A team of scientists led by researchers ... and the University of Miami Miller School of ... key genetic pathway underlying bipolar (manic depressive) disorder, ... for treating bipolar affective disorder, as well as ... new findings, published online this week in Nature ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture 2Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture 3Rare genetic disease protects against bipolar disorder 2Rare genetic disease protects against bipolar disorder 3
(Date:10/22/2014)... 22, 2014 Involution Studios , ... of a new infographic, Understanding Ebola . ... beautifully designed, easy to follow informative tool for anyone ... outbreak, symptoms and prevention. , "As the news has ... 2014 Ebola outbreak represents not only a healthcare crisis ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... 22, 2014 Currently offering a ... & D Weighing, Rice Lake, and Ohaus, Pipette.com ... . The Sartorius CPA Semi-Micro Balance is ideal ... precise, and user-friendly laboratory balance. , Sartorius is ... their laboratory balances are well known for their ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... Physicians Choice Laboratory Services (PCLS) ... which enables healthcare providers to individualize therapeutic treatments ... results, healthcare providers are better able to assess ... minimizing risks for adverse drug reactions and interactions. ... FDA [1] more than 2.2 million adverse drug ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... , Oct. 22, 2014   Synthetic Biologics, Inc. ... pathogen-specific therapies for serious infections and diseases, announced today ... a Notice of Allowance for a composition of matter ... C. difficile program, SYN-004. This is Synthetic Biologics, ... the U.S. and adds to the Company,s extensive ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Involution Studios' Ebola Infographic Provides Key Disease Information and Statistics at a Glance 2Pipette.com Launches the Addition of Sartorius CPA Semi-Micro Balance to Their Product Portfolio with Special Promotional Pricing 2Pipette.com Launches the Addition of Sartorius CPA Semi-Micro Balance to Their Product Portfolio with Special Promotional Pricing 3PCLS Announces Expansion of Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetic Testing Menu 2PCLS Announces Expansion of Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetic Testing Menu 3Synthetic Biologics Announces Allowance of Key U.S. Composition of Matter Patent for C. difficile Program 2Synthetic Biologics Announces Allowance of Key U.S. Composition of Matter Patent for C. difficile Program 3Synthetic Biologics Announces Allowance of Key U.S. Composition of Matter Patent for C. difficile Program 4
Cached News: