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5/2/15 Cover


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Neandertals' inferiority to early humans questioned

Despite differences in the bone structures of early modern humans and Neandertals, the archeological record does not provide evidence that the extinct hominids were cognitively, technologically or socially inferior, a new study suggests.

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Early modern humans may not have been smarter or more technologically or socially savvy than their Neandertal neighbors.

Like early modern humans, Neandertals may have used specialized bone tools, decorated with ornaments, such as feathers, and innovated, an analysis of the archeological records suggests. The results do not support the idea that Neandertals went extinct because they were inferior to early modern humans. Instead, the extinct hominids may have disappeared as a result of interbreeding with and assimilation into early human communities, researchers argue April 30 in PLOS ONE.

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