The ecology and adaptation of Neanderthals during the non-analogue environment of Oxygen Isotope Stage 3

This source preferred by John Stewart

Authors: Stewart, J.R.

Journal: Quaternary International

Volume: 137

Pages: 35-46

ISSN: 1040-6182

DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2004.11.018

The ecology of Neanderthals is discussed using an analysis of the fauna present in Europe during OIS 3, the period during which they became extinct. The environment of the Neanderthalsis demonstrated to be without modern analogue. The non-analogue nature is characterised by the combination of mammals living together in OIS 3 Europe that are not found in sympatry today as well asthe extinct elementsof the fauna. The singularity of OIS 3, in termsof the arrival of modern humansand climatic variability, has been formerly implicated in the extinction of the Neanderthals. These perspectives are discussed in the light of related work on evolution and extinction. Finally, the cold-temperature adaptations of Neanderthals, such as their robusticity and limb proportions, are considered in the light of the interpretations of similar traits in other animals in the Late Pleistocene.

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