Evolution and humans: Neanderthals are sprinters (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 23:17 (1939 days ago) @ David Turell

Note the recent post that sapiens are endurance runners but recent genetic research shows that Neanderthals were most likely sprinters:


"We may have to rewrite what we know about Neanderthals — they were sprinters rather than long distance joggers, and occupied forests, not bleak tundra-like wasteland.

"Evidence had suggested they were adapted to the cold, harsh conditions of the last ice age and Neanderthal fossil remains have often been associated with ice age mammals such as mammoths, woolly rhinos, horses and reindeer.

"However, a new analysis suggests a different view. “A closer look at the layers in which their fossils are found suggest Neanderthals actually lived at the same times and places as animals that are associated with warmer, woodland ecologies,” says John Stewart at the University of Bournemouth, who led the study.

"In such an environment, hunting in short bursts would be more favoured, says Stewart, “more power sprint than endurance jog.”

"This conclusion was also backed up by a genetic analysis that found a high proportion of gene variants linked to power sports performance in modern-day athletes in the Neanderthal genetic code."

“'We found that the majority of these power-associated genetic variants were typically more common in Neanderthals than in humans today, who are known to be more endurance-adapted, reflecting their generally more slender builds,” says Yoan Diekmann, a member of the team at University College London."

Comment: with their bulkier bodies it makes sense.

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