Neanderthals `had ability to speak like humans`
Washington – Researchers analyzing Neanderthal’s fossilised hyoid bone – a horseshoe-shaped structure in the neck – have suggested that the species, just like humans, had the ability to speak.
This theory has been suspected ever since the 1989 discovery of a Neanderthal hyoid in the Kebara Cave in Israel, however, the theory gained credence after a team of researchers analysed a fossil Neanderthal throat bone using 3D X-ray imaging and mechanical modelling, the BBC reported.
This model allowed the researchers to see how the hyoid may have behaved in relation to the other surrounding bones.
Stephen Wroe, from the University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia, said that it showed that the Kebara 2 hyoid didn’t just look like that of modern humans but was used in a very similar way.
The study has been published in journal Plos One.