Could Neanderthals Talk Like Us?

Neanderthals, an ancient cousin-species to humans, lived for a while at the same time as Homo Sapiens. Could this now-extinct species talk just like you and I do? Trace is here to tell you about a tiny bone found in Neanderthals and modern humans might hold the answer.

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Talking Neanderthals Challenge The Origins Of Speech
"We humans like to think of ourselves as unique for many reasons, not least of which being our ability to communicate with words. But ground-breaking research shows that our 'misunderstood cousins,' the Neanderthals, may well have spoken in languages not dissimilar to the ones we use today."

How The Hyoid Bone Changed History
"The hyoid bone, which is the only bone in the body not connected to any other, is the foundation of speech and is found only in humans and Neanderthals."

Hyoid Bone
"The primary function of the hyoid bone is to serve as an anchoring structure for the tongue."

What Modern Humans Can Learn From The Neanderthals' Extinction
"Neanderthals were humans who went extinct between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago. Though there is some debate about who these people were, there is no question that there are none left."

Micro-Biomechanics of the Kebara 3 Hyoid and Its Implications for Speech in Neanderthals
"The description of a Neanderthal hyoid from Kebara Cave (Israel) in 1989 fuelled scientific debate on the evolution of speech and complex language."

Watch More:
Ancient Words We Still Use
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Did We Hunt Neanderthals?

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