The Neanderthals were a sophisticated species extremely similar to modern man. Image Credit: Randii Oliver
A new fossil discovery suggests that humans were not the only species capable of complex speech.
Far from the stereotypical 'cave man' seen in movies, the Neanderthals are believed to have been capable of using complex language and spoke in a way not dissimilar to the way people do today.
The revelation is based on new research in to a fossilized Neanderthal hyoid, a bone that is instrumental in enabling speech. By producing a computer model of the bone and comparing it to that of a modern human, researchers were able to ascertain that the two would have had very similar linguistic capabilities.
"Many would argue that our capacity for speech and language is among the most fundamental of characteristics that make us human," said researcher Stephen Wroe. "If Neanderthals also had language then they were truly human, too."
This discovery combined with other recent studies in to the Neanderthals has shown us that our prehistoric cousins, far from being primitive pre-humans, were extremely similar to ourselves in almost every respect and were ultimately just as 'human' as we are.
Source: BBC News | Comments (26)