Topic ID #21629 - posted 7/19/2012 1:21 AM

Why Neanderthals Sported Arms Like Popeye

Jennifer Palmer

Why Neanderthals Sported Arms Like Popeye
Charles Q. Choi, LiveScience Contributor
Date: 18 July 2012 Time: 05:00 PM ET

The unusually powerful right arms of Neanderthals may not be due to a spear-hunting life as once suggested, but rather one often spent scraping animal skins for clothes and shelters, researchers say.

The Neanderthals are our closest known extinct relatives, who were probably less brutish and more like modern humans than commonly portrayed. Their brains were at least as large as ours. They controlled fire, expertly made stone tools, were proficient hunters, lived in complex social groups, buried their dead, and perhaps artfully wore feathers. Genetic research even suggests they interbred with modern humans.

Neanderthals apparently had unusually strong right arms, judging by their right humerus — the long arm bone underlying the biceps and triceps — which often boasted protrusions with which to attach powerful muscles.

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