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Large eyes cause Neanderthal demise

Large eyes cause Neanderthal demise

‘LONDON: Scientists have finally found the reason behind the demise of the Neanderthals.
An Oxford University study of Neanderthal skulls says that their large eyes were to blame for their extinction as their brains were adapted to allow them to see better and maintain larger bodies at the expense of high-level processing and intelligence.

On the other hand, this capability allowed Homo sapiens to be a lot more intellectually innovative and public, supporting us to live life the Ice Age in Europe.However Neanderthals’ brains were the same in size to their advanced human being alternatives, new research of fossil data recommends that their brain design was quite different. Results suggest that bigger areas of the Neanderthal brain, in comparison to the modern human brain, was dedicated for vision and action and this left fewer room for the higher level imagining necessary to form large social groups.

The research was carried out by Eiluned Pearce and professor Robin Dunbar and is published in the online version of the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society.
Looking at data from 27,000-75,000-year-old fossils, mainly from Europe and the Near East, when they compared the skulls of 32 anatomically advanced humans and 13 Neanderthals to analyze brain size and organization.

In a subgroup of these fossils, the scientists found that Neanderthals had considerably larger eye sockets than advanced humans. They then computed the standard size of fossil brains for body weight and vision processing needs. Once the variances in body and vision system size were taken into account, they were ready to analyse how much of the brain was remaining over for other intellectual tasks. Earlier research by the Oxford scientists highlighted that advanced humans living at higher latitudes evolved bigger vision areas in the brain to deal with the lower light levels. “Because Neanderthals evolved at higher latitudes and as well have bigger bodies than advanced humans, more of the Neanderthal brain would have been devoted to vision and body control, leaving fewer brain to work with other tasks like social networking,” said Pearce.

“Little social groups may have made Neanderthals fewer able to deal with the troubles of their severe Eurasian environments due to the fact that they would have had less friends to assist them out in times of desire. Overall, variations in brain organization and social knowledge may go a long way in the direction of describing why Neanderthals went died out while advanced humans survived.”

About the author

Paul Morris

Paul Morris is an entrepreneur, consultant and author. He is an advisor at Xpert Automation, a tech-based business incubator focused on scalable startups, and founder of ContentFy.


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