January 10, 2013

Canis Neanderthalensis

Last night I watched the Nova episode about Neanderthal people, with its focus on the genetic discoveries.

As I did so, the dogs sprawled on the rug in front of the wood stove, and something occurred to me.

Shelby, the collie-mix, is clearly a modern dog, like Homo sapiens sapiens — gracile and cunning.

Fisher the Chessie, on the other hand, is a Neanderthal — strong, hearty, with a high caloric need, possessed of (canine) language yet with a shorter attention span. Instinctual, in a word. And check out that heavy brow ridge.

Maybe that is what the dog psychic-in-training was getting at when she said his real name was Gunter. (But I apologize to all men named Gunter who possess advanced academic degrees.)

And now a Neanderthal trivia question (from Wikipedia, not from the show).

Q. The patterns of healed skeletal injuries in Neanderthal remains suggest a comparison with what contemporary occupational group?

A. Rodeo cowboys, another group that has frequent combative contact with large animals.

1 comment:

Anne Hill said...

Thanks for that luscious piece of Neanderthal trivia. Fascinating!