Neanderthals Talked And Listened Like Humans, Study Finds

The study report suggested that Neanderthals had the same internal infrastructure as ancient humans.

A new study report published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution has suggested that Neanderthals had talked and conceived words just like ancient humans. After analyzing the vocal communication system of Neanderthals, researchers found that this species had the same internal infrastructure as humans.

Details of Milestone Study

During the study, researchers created 3D models of the middle and outer ears of five Neanderthal individuals and determined the types of sound frequencies the structures could hear well. Researchers noted that Neanderthals were capable to produce all the sounds in that frequency range as humans can.

The Neanderthals
An exhibit shows the life of a neanderthal family in a cave in the new Neanderthal Museum in the northern town of Krapina February 25, 2010. Reuters

"Neanderthals could have produced all the sounds in that frequency range like we can. There does not seem to be any difference in their ability to produce speech sounds. So they definitely could have said 'hello' or 'OK' if those utterances had any meaning for them," Rolf Quam, an associate professor and director of the evolutionary studies program at Binghamton University told CNN.

Quam also made it clear that this was the first comprehensive study that analyzed the auditory capabilities of Neanderthals. Before making the final conclusion, researchers studied more than 30 variables including the ear canal, eardrum, ear bones, and air-filled spaces in the ear.

Researchers who took part in the study believe that this finding could help to understand more about human evolution. With this new finding, researchers have concluded that human ancestors Neanderthals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech.

Neanderthal Interbreeding with Humans was Common

A few years back, another study had found that interbreeding between Neanderthals and humans was quite common. Earlier, scientists believed that interbreeding between Neanderthals and humans was confined over a single period of time, but this study found that multiple instances of interbreeding had happened between these two species, and as a result, many people, still have traces of Neanderthal DNA in their body.

However, people whose ancestors lived exclusively in Africa do not have Neanderthal DNA in their bodies, as they did not get a chance for interbreeding. In the ancient days, Neanderthals lived in Europe and Asia, it was humans who migrated from Africa to these regions interbred with this species.