The human race, as we know it today, is the result of evolution over thousands of years. In fact, Homo sapiens coincided in time with other hominids, such as Homo erectus and Habilis, but with whom he lived the longest was the Neanderthal. Therefore, if you are wondering if Neanderthals and Sapiens lived together, the answer is yes. Extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago, it was the last species before leaving Homo sapiens as the sole inhabitant of Earth. On the other hand, the Neanderthal was another human species more intelligent than its predecessors. Living together for years with Homo sapiens, it is important to establish the main differences between the two, both in physical features and behavior. But not all were differences, since they shared some similarities.
To learn about the Differences between Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals , as well as the similarities between the two species, we recommend that you continue reading this article.
The anatomy of the chest
One of the main physical differences between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens is detected in the thorax. Neanderthals needed a much higher amount of air to breathe due to their physical mass, which was much higher than that of Sapiens. As they needed much more air to breathe, the characteristics of the Neanderthal showed that their thorax was broader and wider to be able to inhale a much greater amount of oxygen in each breath of air.
The shape of the brain
The brain of today’s sapiens has two major differences from that of Neanderthals. This has two more developed brain areas compared to other hominids. What do you think about this difference between Neanderthal and Sapiens?
The first most developed area of the brain is the dorsal and posterior part of the superior parietal lobe. The second is found in the inferior parietal lobe, more specifically in the intermediate zone of the intraparietal sulcus. They are two areas related to visuospatial skills, that is, those that allow the management of time and space, visual imagination, social relations and even the creation of tools. These are aspects that define Homo sapiens as the most developed human species. In the superior parietal lobes, there is an element called the precuneus, which is the most active for the integration of body and vision. For its part, the intraparietal sulcus is involved in eye-hand coordination. Comparing these sapiens brain regions with those of Neanderthals, they are significantly larger.
This superior development of the brain allows Sapiens to be considered specialists in body, brain and vision functions compared to other hominids such as Neanderthals.
Diet and food
Modern humans (sapiens) have limitations in converting protein to energy. In contrast, Neanderthals had a bell-shaped torso due to their adaptation to a protein-rich diet. This diet was based on meat from large animal species and carbohydrates of plant origin. During glacial winters, carbohydrates were harder to come by, so about 75-85% of the calories they ate came from animal fat. With this diet, they evolved and allowed them to convert protein into energy more efficiently compared to sapiens.
High-protein diets created a need for an enlarged liver in Neanderthals and a larger lower structure urinary system due to metabolic needs to expel toxins, such as urea. The developed metabolism of Neanderthals increased their renal capacity and influenced the expansion of other organs, such as the kidneys. Evolutionarily, it allowed to thicken the pelvis and the lower part of the torso.
The formation of social groups
The social groups formed by Neanderthals were smaller than those created by Sapiens. Graphic culture and embellishments were minimal or absent compared to modern man. They also did not have propulsion weapons such as arrows or bows. Neanderthals needed to use their teeth and mouth much more than Sapiens for tool manipulation. Due to this, it can be concluded that the representation of the hands was less in their brain schemes. Therefore, the cultural differences between Neanderthals and Sapiens were obvious.
Similarities between Neanderthals and Sapiens
The coexistence in space and time of Neanderthals and Sapiens helps to find similarities between the two species, but recent studies have provided clarity when it comes to detecting similarities:
- One of them is the gene flow between the two hominids . Hybridization between Neanderthals and Sapiens was possible, allowing DNA to pass from one to another. These genetic flows allow us to understand the evolution of the human being. Thanks to this, it can be affirmed that the Neanderthals are evolutionarily closer to Homo sapiens than the Denisovans, contrary to what was believed for many years.
- European Neanderthals also developed actions and behaviors very similar to Sapiens. Highly complex economic, technological and symbolic strategies , such as the creation of rock art in caves, were shared between the two species.