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Neandertal Femora

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  • Neandertal Femora

    Dear Colleagues,

    On Wednesday night here in NYC the
    PBS program Infinate Voyage presented UNM
    anthropologist Eric Trinkaus' work on
    neandertals. He claims his diagrams of
    the shaft and medullary cavity of Neander-
    tal femora which are "rounded" rather
    than the modern "tear drop" shape (linea
    aspera is apex of tear) show that modern
    humans are adapted to running whereas
    neandertals were adapted to side-to-side
    movements on rough (highly uneven glacial)
    terrain. How does this square with the
    biomechanical community's take on femoral
    midshaft outlines? A large portion of his
    sample is from the Zagros Mt.s of Iraq but
    there are many specimens from flatter areas
    of Europe. I would like to repost all re-
    sponses on ANTH-L if nobody minds. Many
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