News FocusAnthropology

A New Look Into Neandertals' Noses

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Science  02 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5424, pp. 31-33
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5424.31

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Anthropologists have long disagreed over whether Neandertals were basically like us or built differently enough to qualify as a separate species. The noses of these heavyset ice age bipeds hold clues to how they lived and breathed, and thus to the hard-driving Neandertal lifestyle, as a half-dozen presentations at the meetings of the Paleoanthropology Society and the American Association of Physical Anthropology this spring in Columbus, Ohio, showed. But because noses don't fossilize, researchers have to rely on models and extrapolation in using noses to answer the species question.