Washington: A new study has revealed that Neanderthals were not subspecies of modern humans rather they were a distinct species separate from Homo sapiens.
In an extensive, multi-institution study led by SUNY Downstate Medical Center, researchers looked at the entire nasal complex of Neanderthals and involved researchers with diverse academic backgrounds.
The research also indicated that the Neanderthal nasal complex was not adaptively inferior to that of modern humans, and that the Neanderthals' extinction was likely due to competition from modern humans and not an inability of the Neanderthal nose to process a colder and drier climate.
The recent study joins a growing body of evidence that the upper respiratory tracts of this extinct group functioned via a different set of rules as a result of a separate evolutionary history and overall cranial bauplan (bodyplan), resulting in a mosaic of features not found among any population of Homo sapiens.
Samuel Marquez, associate professor and co-discipline director of gross anatomy in SUNY Downstate's Department of Cell Biology, said that the strategy was to have a comprehensive examination of the nasal region of diverse modern human population groups and then compare the data with the fossil evidence and they used traditional morphometrics, geometric morphometric methodology based on 3D coordinate data, and CT imaging.
The study is published in The Anatomical Record.