Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Hum Evol. 2013 Jun;64(6):608-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.02.008. Epub 2013 Mar 29.

The Neandertal vertebral column 1: the cervical spine.

Author information

  • 1PAVE Research Group, Division of Biological Anthropology, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK.


This paper provides a metric analysis of the Neandertal cervical spine in relation to modern human variation. All seven cervical vertebrae have been analysed. Metric data from eight Neandertal individuals are compared with a large sample of modern humans. The significance of morphometric differences is tested using both z-scores and two-tailed Wilcoxon signed rank tests. The results identify significant metric and morphological differences between Neandertals and modern humans in all seven cervical vertebrae. Neandertal vertebrae are mediolaterally wider and dorsoventrally longer than modern humans, due in part to longer and more horizontally oriented spinous processes. This suggests that Neandertal cervical morphology was more stable in both mid-sagittal and coronal planes. It is hypothesized that the differences in cranial size and shape in the Neandertal and modern human lineages from their Middle Pleistocene ancestors could account for some of the differences in the neck anatomy between these species.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center