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TaxonomySimilar to Homo sapiens skeletally but the pelvis was more primitive in shape, broad and with an extended and thinner superior pubic ramus.The cranium was long and relatively low, with a double-arched supraorbital torus and a large nose, accompanied by mid-facial projection. The anterior mandible lacked the full development of a chin.
Distinct in trunk shape and limb proportions, some of which may reflect cold adaptation.
Cranium displays mid-facial projection anteriorly, and a suprainiac fossa posteriorly.
Fossil and genetic data suggest that Neanderthals shared a common ancestor with Homo sapiens in the Middle Pleistocene (perhaps the species Homo heidelbergensis).Primitive/ancestral Neanderthals are known from about 400,000 years ago, while the best-known examples date from between 35-130,000 years ago.
Whole mitochondrial (mtDNA) genomes have been sequenced, indicating that Neanderthals represented a distinct lineage from all recent humans, with an inferred Middle Pleistocene divergence date. The newly published composite Neanderthal genome indicates a level of about 2% introgression of Neanderthal genes in modern humans outside Africa, perhaps from geneflow in the middle east about 60,000 years ago.