A lost Neanderthal neonate found

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A remarkable discovery in a French museum answers some long-standing questions.


Fossil remains of adult Neanderthals are well documented, but juvenile specimens are rare and information about them is scant. Here we identify a beautifully preserved skeleton that has been lost to science for almost 90 years as the Neanderthal neonate known as 'Le Moustier 2', which was originally found at Le Moustier in the Dordogne, southwest France. This find will be a rich source of data for studying the evolution of human ontogeny1 as well as the phylogenetic relationship between these extinct hominids and anatomically modern humans.

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Figure 1: The neonatal skeleton Le Moustier 2, one of the most complete Neanderthal individuals ever discovered.



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Correspondence to Bruno Maureille.

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Maureille, B. A lost Neanderthal neonate found. Nature 419, 33–34 (2002) doi:10.1038/419033a

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