Neanderthals looked much like modern humans only shorter, more heavily built and much stronger, particularly in the arms and hands. Their facial feature which included large nose and strong double-arched brow ridge distinguished them from modern humans. Their skulls show that they had no chin and their foreheads sloped backwards. The brain case was lower but longer housing a slightly larger brain than that of modern humans. Because they were largely carnivorous, both male and female Neanderthals hunted prey. The evidence of a huge number of injuries, like those sometimes seen with today's rodeo riders, suggests that hunting involved dangerously close contact with large prey animals.
Are the Neanderthals a different species?
To prove this a scientific researcher, Eiluned Pearce of Oxford University, checked this theory. She compared the skulls of 32 Homo sapiens and 13 Neanderthals. She found that Neanderthals had significantly larger eye sockets, usually by as much as an average of 6mm from top to bottom.
Although they had survived for hundreds of thousands of years and mastered the cold climates of the last Ice Age, Neanderthals had a tendency to be over-specialized meaning that they weren’t the dynamic race that would easily or necessarily change to meet environmental features. Moreover, they were never very populous to begin with. They were eventually edged out by Homo sapiens, but not before hybridization had occurred. Hybrid vigor due to Neanderthal admixture may have played a role in what human populations best succeeded at during the changing climate of Europe. But in a sense, Neanderthals never became totally extinct. Their genes live today on in hybrid populations.