Why our babies are just like infant Neanderthals

Neanderthal brains were like modern human ones at birth but developed differently to ours as they grew older, it was revealed today.

Anthropologists were surprised to discover that the grey matter of our infant ancestors, who became extinct about 28,000 years ago, shared the same shape and size.

Adult Neanderthal brains were less globular and more elongated than ours. They also grew quicker and were slightly larger.

Researchers suggest that this is because human brains spend the first 18 months developing more neural circuitry, helping them think.

Professor Phillipp Gunz, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, said this difference could have helped us survive natural selection.

It is thought that our comparatively slow development growth helped our species evolve additional learning and complex cognition capabilities.

Unlike, a Neanderthal, the size of a modern human brain is no indication of increased intelligence.

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