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Palaeoecological and genetic evidence for Neanderthal power locomotion as an adaptation to a woodland environment

Stewart, JR; García-Rodríguez, O; Knul, MV; Sewell, L; Montgomery, H; Thomas, MG; Diekmann, Y; (2019) Palaeoecological and genetic evidence for Neanderthal power locomotion as an adaptation to a woodland environment. Quaternary Science Reviews , 217 pp. 310-315. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.12.023. Green open access

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Abstract

The prevailing explanation for Neanderthal body form is the cold (glacial) adaptation hypothesis. However, palaeoecological associations appear to indicate a less cold woodland environment. Under such conditions, encounter and ambush (rather than pursuit) hunting – and thus muscular power and sprint (rather than endurance) capacity – would have been favoured. We hypothesise that the highly muscular Neanderthal body form reflects an adaptation to hunting conditions rather than cold, and here both review the palaeoecological evidence that they inhabited a mainly woodland environment, and present preliminary genetic analyses in support of this new hypothesis.

Type: Article
Title: Palaeoecological and genetic evidence for Neanderthal power locomotion as an adaptation to a woodland environment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.12.023
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.12.023
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Endurance, Power, Running, Encounter/ambush hunting, Human evolution
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Experimental and Translational Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064703
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