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Did large eyes lead to Neanderthals' demise ?

Posted on Thursday, 14 March, 2013 | Comment icon 54 comments | News tip by: seeder

Image credit: Ryan Somma

A new study of Neanderthal skulls has suggested that their large eyes may have been their downfall.

The reason Neanderthals disappeared is a topic that has been debated for years with new theories and explanations springing up on a regular basis. Scientists now believe that one of the main contributing factors to their extinction could have been the fact that they had larger eyes than modern humans, a trait that meant more of their brain power was devoted to seeing at the expense of higher processing.

"Since Neanderthals evolved at higher latitudes, more of the Neanderthal brain would have been dedicated to vision and body control, leaving less brain to deal with other functions like social networking," said Eiluned Pearce of Oxford University.

"A study of Neanderthal skulls suggests that they became extinct because they had larger eyes than our species."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (54)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #45 Posted by ufonuts on 18 March, 2013, 23:47
Large Eyes?? I have (3) consonants for you: Al-ie-ens!
Comment icon #46 Posted by Eldorado on 19 March, 2013, 0:04
Eyes too big for their bellies? (You ever eat so much you can't move? I hate that. *sigh*)
Comment icon #47 Posted by third_eye on 19 March, 2013, 18:44
No you don't
Comment icon #48 Posted by rustygh on 20 March, 2013, 22:17 of course, its called Rabbit starvation.
Comment icon #49 Posted by rustygh on 20 March, 2013, 22:24
That's not because of species, I hear that is red rice yeast. Look it up its kind of interesting. Even though they eat tons of high cholesterol foods they have much lower numbers then the western world.
Comment icon #50 Posted by Hilander on 21 March, 2013, 0:54
Their eyes are too big. Next week it will be their feet were too big and they kept tripping over them so they became dinner.
Comment icon #51 Posted by thewild on 21 March, 2013, 2:08
This made me laugh so hard...tis funny cause it's true
Comment icon #52 Posted by Geldoblam on 30 March, 2013, 10:42
First it was because they couldn't hunt rabbits now it's because they had huge eyes. What is next?
Comment icon #53 Posted by goodconversations on 1 April, 2013, 21:39
It makes sense... eyes too big.. too big they joined together and became one big eye... The Neands are the Cyclopes in Greek mythology!
Comment icon #54 Posted by Blizno on 17 April, 2013, 1:57
"Since Neanderthals evolved at higher latitudes, more of the Neanderthal brain would have been dedicated to vision and body control, leaving less brain to deal with other functions like social networking..." What? Just...what? They MAY have had larger eyeballs so that means more of their brains were devoted to vision? Giant squid have eyeballs that dwarf ours - therefore giant squid visual centers are much larger than ours, right? This is nonsense.

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