International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Condemi S, 1998: The Neanderthals: A Cold-Adapted European Middle Pleistocene Population?. Anthropologie (Brno) 36, 1-2: 35-42'.
The Neanderthals, a typical European population, are perhaps the best known fossil population with well-distinguished features. The attempt has often been made to explain the anatomical particularities of the Neanderthal fossils in terms of adaptation. Their traits would thus result from an adaptation to a cold natural environment. This hypothesis seemed all the more plausible, given that for a long time only European fossils belonging to stages 4 and 3 - recognized as cold stages - were considered to be Neanderthal. However, as we will see more closely in the second part of the present paper, we recognize today that the evolution of the Neanderthal lineage took place over the course of a long period of time and that certain Neanderthal features became differentiated before the stages 4-3. We recognize, therefore, that they cannot be interpreted solely as a consequence ofadaptation to a rigorous climate. According to the present state of our knowledge, it appears that the particularity of the Neanderthal population should be principally interpreted as the result of geographic isolation. Of course, this isolation must be related to the unique geographic position of the European peninsula and to the particular climatic conditions that prevailed in Europe during the entire Pleistocene.
Neanderthals - Pre-Neanderthals - Proto-Neanderthals - Cold-adaptation - European Middle Pleistocene populations

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