Neanderthal Composite Skeleton

Built for the cold

Neanderthals of Europe, who had evolved by about 200,000 years ago, had to endure winter cold and even ice ages. A short, broad body shape helps to retain heat, which is useful in cold environments like those inhabited by Neanderthals. The lower arm and leg bones in this Neanderthal skeleton are short compared to the upper arm and leg bones, a feature that also reduced heat loss. This skeleton is reconstructed based on La Ferrassie 1 and Kebara 1.

Image of Neanderthal Composite Skeleton, front view
Neanderthal Composite Skeleton
Exhibit item
Site: 
La Ferrassie Cave, France and Kebara, Israel
Age: 
Between 70,000 and 60,000 years old
Text: 
<bold>Built for the cold</bold> Neanderthals of Europe, who had evolved by about 200,000 years ago, had to endure winter cold and even ice ages. A short, broad body shape helps to retain heat, which is useful in cold environments like those inhabited by Neanderthals. The lower arm and leg bones in this Neanderthal skeleton are short compared to the upper arm and leg bones, a feature that also reduced heat loss.