Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unique Neandertal arm morphology due to scraping, not spearing

Date:
July 18, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Unique arm morphology in Neandertals was likely caused by scraping activities such as hide preparation, not spear thrusting as previously theorized, according to new research.

Unique arm morphology in Neandertals was likely caused by scraping activities such as hide preparation, not spear thrusting as previously theorized, according to research published July 18 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The researchers, led by Colin Shaw of the University of Cambridge, took muscle measurements of modern men performing three different spear thrusting tasks and four different scraping tasks. They found that muscle activity was significantly higher on the left side of the body for spear thrusting tasks relative to the right side of the body. This does not explain the observed Neandertal morphology, though, which shows dominant strength on the right side, casting doubt on the hypothesis that spear thrusting was responsible for the observed asymmetry.

When the study participants performed scraping tasks, however, the activity was much higher on their right side compared to their left, suggesting that scraping behavior may be the actual source of the arm morphology asymmetry and offering interesting insight into Neandertal behavior.

Shaw explains, "The skeletal remains of Neandertals suggests that they were doing something intense or repetitive, or both, that significantly impacted their lives. While hunting was important to Neandertals, our research suggests that much of their time was spent performing other tasks, such as preparing the skins of large animals. If we are right, it changes our picture of the daily activities of Neandertals."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shaw CN, Hofmann CL, Petraglia MD, Stock JT, Gottschall JS. Neandertal Humeri May Reflect Adaptation to Scraping Tasks, but Not Spear Thrusting. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (7): e40349 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040349

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Unique Neandertal arm morphology due to scraping, not spearing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718192007.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, July 18). Unique Neandertal arm morphology due to scraping, not spearing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718192007.htm
Public Library of Science. "Unique Neandertal arm morphology due to scraping, not spearing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718192007.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

40,000-Year-Old Mammoth Skeleton Found On Texas Farm

40,000-Year-Old Mammoth Skeleton Found On Texas Farm

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A mammoth skeleton was discovered in a gravel pit on Wayne McEwen's Texas farm back in May. It's now being donated to a museum. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pawn Shop Buys Lincoln Signature For $50, Worth $50,000

Pawn Shop Buys Lincoln Signature For $50, Worth $50,000

Newsy (Aug. 25, 2014) The signature is one of a couple Lincoln autographs that have popped up recently. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neanderthals Probably Died Out Earlier Than We Thought

Neanderthals Probably Died Out Earlier Than We Thought

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) A new study is packed with interesting Neanderthal-related findings, including a "definitive answer" to when they went extinct. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins