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Ever since the discovery of the Neanderthal fossils, expert opinion has been divided as to whether Neanderthals should be considered a separate species (Homo neanderthalensis) or a subspecies (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) relative to modern humans.The question depends on the definition of Homo sapiens as a chronospecies, which has also been in flux throughout the 20th century.They are known from numerous fossils, as well as stone tool assemblages.
Anatomical comparison of skulls of Homo sapiens (left) and Homo neanderthalensis (right) (in Cleveland Museum of Natural History) Features compared are the braincase shape, forehead, browridge, nasal bone, projection, cheek bone angulation, chin and occipital contour.The valley itself was named for Joachim Neander, Neander being the graecicized form of the surname Neumann ("new man").Neanderthal 1 was known as the "Neanderthal cranium" or "Neanderthal skull" in anthropological literature, and the individual reconstructed on the basis of the skull was occasionally called "the Neanderthal man"."Neanderthals" by conventions are fossils which date to after this gap.Early Neanderthals, living before the Eemian interglacial (130 ka), are poorly known and come mostly from European sites.Middle Palaeolithic artifacts have been found up to 60° N on the Russian plains.Total Neanderthal effective population size has been estimated at close to 15,000 individuals (corresponding to a total population of roughly 150,000 individuals), living in small isolated, inbred groups.(2010) Homo heidelbergensis, dated 600,000 to 300,000 years ago, has long been thought to be a likely candidate for the last common ancestor of the Neanderthal and modern human lineages.However, genetic evidence from the Sima de los Huesos fossils published in 2016 seems to suggest that H.The type specimen is Neanderthal 1, found in Neander Valley in the German Rhineland, in 1856.Compared to modern humans, Neanderthals were stockier, with shorter legs and a bigger body.