Re: Neanderthals' Noses Blow Scientists Away

Ralph L Holloway (
Tue, 1 Oct 1996 23:56:01 -0400

On Tue, 1 Oct 1996, Stephen Barnard wrote:

> I saw a piece in the paper this morning that described how scientists
> have discovered a radical difference between the noses of Neanderthals
> and modern humans. (Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural
> History and Jeffrey Schwartz of the University of Pittsburgh)
> They claim that this difference would "force a reorganization of the
> sinuses and the delicate membranelike bones called turbinates." The
> claim is that this difference, along with other long recognized
> differences in musculature, brow ridges, etc. lead to the conclusion
> that Neanderthals were a distinct species.
> Predictably, Milford Wolpoff was unimpressed.

I guess that until we find a snot-ridden kleenex embedded in a block of
ice, we just won't know. Seriously, I know of no evidence relating to the
turbinate bones in Neandertals(inferior conchae, and superior and medial
of the ethmoid ). They, much as in our own species, or
subspecies (whichever you prefer), are too delicate for survival. Why
these bones would lead (or add) to enough reproductive isolation for
speciation would probably best be studied by cartoonists....I can hardly
wait for the first discovery of an intact Neandertal medial conchae...
Sorry for the irreverance,
R. Holloway