New research suggests that about 50,000 years ago, an older Neanderthal who had multiple injuries and became deaf must have relied on the help of others, Futurity.org reports.
“More than his loss of a forearm, bad limp, and other injuries, his deafness would have made him easy prey for the ubiquitous carnivores in his environment and dependent on other members of his social group for survival,” said Erik Trinkaus, a co-author of the study and professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis.
American archeologist Ralph Solecki discovered the Neanderthal remains — known as Shanidar 1 — in 1957 in Iraqi Kurdistan.
But recent analysis by French researchers shows that bony growths in Shanidar 1’s ear canals would have produced profound hearing loss. In addition to his other injuries, this sensory deprivation would have made him highly vulnerable.
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