Neanderthals do not use their toes like modern humans

A Neanderthal male and female compositions.

A Neanderthal male and female compositions.
Photo: Martin Meissner (A.P.)

Analysis of Neanderthal hand bones suggests that these extinct humans have better suited toes for power grips, as precision is the opposite of grip, which may mean they use them differently than our hands.

Researchers have found major physical differences between the toes of Neanderthals and modern humans (Homo sapiens), Which suggests that both races used their hands in different ways. Search, e.g. Described Scientific reports talk about potentially behavioral differences between the two sexes, although they can be difficult to prove.

Technically speaking, Neanderthals were men, but they displayed some key characteristics that, if they were around today, would make them stand out in the crowd. Neanderthals were a little shorter and ga than the early modern humans, and they had a wider nose with a wider nose. They also had weak chins and well-known brown stripes. Their hands were also larger than ours, and as new research points out, Neanderthal hands could not work exactly like ours.

“If you go to shake hands with Neanderthals, you’ll see the difference,” explains Emily Bardo, an associate of the postdoctoral research associate at the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent, in an email. Looks like you’re going to win in terms of speed and movement. “

Information to know.

More practically, Neanderthals ’toes are more suitable for squeeze grips – such as holding a hammer when we bring it down. In particular, we use these power grips, as it is also called, to hold tools or other hold objects between our fingers and palm, while the thumb is used to give direct force. Neanderthals did not have hammers with handles, but these power grips may be useful when there is a hectareFatting stone tools, or when to use stone throwers as hammers.

At the same time, this probably means that accurate grasping – in which the object is held between the finger and the tip of the thumb – can be more challenging for Neanderthals. Challenging, but not impossible. As contradictory Research From the beginning of 2018, Neanderthals grip precision while working on their own. The new research suggests that the grip of precision was not very comfortable for Neanderthals, and they may be more inclined towards power gripping. Unfortunately, we will not be able to travel on time and we will be able to see for ourselves, so there will be a healthy discussion between archaeologists and ethnographers among women for this potential future.

That said, and as Bardo explained in his email, his “hand anatomy and archaeological records make it abundantly clear that Neanderthals were very intelligent, sophisticated tool users and used the same tools that contemporary modern humans did.”

Previous research in this area has shown how the shape of the Neanderthal thumb differs from that of modern humans, but these bones were studied in isolation. Bardo and his colleagues tried to learn how the bones of the Neanderthal hand actually move in time and space, using 3D mapping of the joints between the bones responsible for the movement of the thumb.

In particular, the researchers looked at the trapeziometcarpal complex. More specifically, they looked at the near end of the trapezium (the wrist bone at the base of the toe) and the metacarpal (the first bone in the toe that connects to the wrist). They analyzed how changes in the shape or position of one bone affect the shape or position of another.

For the analysis, the scientists studied the remains of five Neanderthals (acceptablely the size of a small sample), beginning with five modern human bones and 50 recent modern individuals. The results pointed to a “favored toe position” in Neanderthals that was typically different from ours.

As the new paper points out, the joint at the base of Neanderthal’s toe is flatter than ours, and the surface of contact is also lower. According to Bardo, this is “more appropriate for the extended toes on the side of the hand.” The advantage of Neanderthal anatomy, which is beneficial for the use of some tools such as spears and scrapers used for hunting, is that it limits the capture of strong precision, such as the use of small flakes to cut meat.

In modern humans, these joint surfaces are more curved, which is better for holding objects between the finger and thumb pads, i.e. grip of precision.

This difference between the two species “may be the result of a genetic and / or evolutionary difference, but, in part, may also reflect the functional requirements imposed by the use of diverse tool-kits,” Bardo explained. “Indeed, the diversity we have discovered in modern humans and Neanderthals can reflect the different renaissance activities with their hands in individuals of each species.”

Again, we can’t know for sure, and this new paper will discuss the matter again.

What we can say is that Neanderthals have been successful for a long time, appeared some 2,000,000,000 years ago, and became extinct about 45,000 years ago (and for some reason we still don’t really understand). ). Neanderthals were also molded, as they created their own Jewelry, Created Cave picturesDecorated with Feathers, And used Lissosorવિશિષ્ટa special bones to work through the hiding of hard animals ..

If it was difficult for the Neanderthals to grasp the accuracy, we do not know for sure from the cultural archaeological record left behind.