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 April 24, 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 April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) — A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couple Finds Love Letters From WWI In Attic

Couple Finds Love Letters From WWI In Attic

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A couple found love letters from World War I in their attic. They were able to deliver them to relatives of the writer of those letters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Explicit Chinese art works dating back centuries go on display in Hong Kong, revealing China's ancient relationship with sex. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

AFP (Apr. 15, 2014) — Parisians and local historians are fighting to save one of the French capital's iconic buildings, the La Samaritaine department store. Duration: 01:42 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