Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jay of the Bizarre Zoology blog. For info on weird and amazing facts/theories of zoology, paleontology, and cryptozoology go to bizarrezoology.blogspot.com or follow him on Twitter.
Some researchers of cryptozoology (the study of unknown animals for which only testimonial or circumstantial evidence, which is considered insufficient by some, is available) such as Ivan Sanderson, Myra Shackley, Dmitri Bayanov, Igor Bourtsev, Bernard Heuvelmans, and others theorize that living Neanderthals may still survive in parts of the world such as Central Asia. Their theory is supported by reports of hairy wild men, footprints that have a striking resemblance to fossil Neanderthal prints, and other evidence such as the strange guttural sounds (said to have been possibly made by a primitive voice box) heard by scientists investigating "Barmanu" sightings. However, there is (or was) also evidence for possible relic Neanderthals in the form of remains!
Neanderthals were members of the genus Homo which lived in Pleistocene Europe and southwestern to central Asia. Genetic analysis shows that they were our closest (known) extinct human relative and may have interbred with us. Neanderthals are thought to have averaged about five feet but had a longer skull and face, large brow ridges, a large nose, no jutting chin, and a relatively stockier body. They also had generally stronger bodies and greater musculature (due to a unique hormonal status). While Neanderthals were once thought to have looked like hairy and brutish ape-men, many reconstructions of today look very similar to us!
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