Among scholars, there has been considerable debate about whether or not the Neanderthals developed as we do as humans, that is taking years to move into adulthood, or like other primates, which have relatively short childhoods.

In the journal Science, Antonio Rosas and their coauthors show that the skeletal remains of an 8-year-old Neanderthal found in Spain supported the long childhood theory to account for a bigger brain. The team estimate that the child’s brain size would have been approximately 88% of what the normal adult Neanderthal brain would have been.

This furthers the growing discoveries that the Neanderthals were much more complex than previously thought. A fascinating new study reveals that Neanderthals were distilling tar for tool-making 200 thousand years ago. Recent discoveries such as this have posited that Neanderthals were creating art, used fire, and tried to medicate themselves. In fact, they may have been quite similar to humans.

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