Thrown or not thrown by Neandertals14 Jan 2009
Jennifer Viegas reports on a new study by Jill Rhodes and Steve Churchill:
"When engaged in overhead throwing activity, such as throwing a baseball, or a spear, this increases the movement arm of the muscles and gives greater strength and velocity to the throw," said Rhodes, a visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Bryn Mawr College.
She explained to Discovery News that modern athletes, like baseball pitchers and handball players, often show a characteristic backward displacement at the shoulder joint. Usually just one joint shows this, since most people have a preferred throwing arm.
The anthropologists found this telltale skeletal characteristic in the early modern European fossils, but not in the Neanderthals.
The recent bitumen hafting article by Eric Boëda and colleagues also gets a mention.