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Fri Aug 16, 2019, 08:56 AM

Were Neanderthals Getting Surfer's Ear From Diving for Seafood?

From https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/neanderthals-had-lots-surfers-ear-suggesting-they-were-seafood-180972917/

Were Neanderthals Getting Surferís Ear From Diving for Seafood?
The bony growths appear after repeated exposure to cold water and were found on half of the Neanderthal skulls examined

image: https://thumbs-prod.si-cdn.com/yT1oMdHk0-aZQOg3tl9DrrlXAEg=/800x600/filters:no_upscale()/

Surfer's Ear growths in Neanderthal ear canals. (PLOS One)

By Jason Daley
AUGUST 15, 2019 4:03PM

New evidence that Neanderthals got surferís ear suggests our extinct relatives spent a lot of time in the water. They probably werenít catching sick waves, but instead they were perhaps hunting fish, mollusks or other marine resources, a new study in the journal PLOS One shows.

Surferís ear is different from the more common swimmerís ear, which is a bacterial infection in the outer ear canal. In exostosis, the ear canal begins to grow bony protrusions in response to repeated exposure to cold, moist conditions. Itís the bodyís way of protecting the eardrum, but the growths can lead to hearing loss, wax impaction and increased infection.

Issam Ahmed at AFP reports that as far back as 1911, paleontologists noticed exostosis growths on a Neanderthal skull, but until this most recent study, no one had looked deeper into the matter. Thatís why a team led by paleoanthropologist Erik Trinkaus at Washington University in St. Louis examined 77 remains of early Homo sapiens and Neanderthals uncovered in Europe and West Asia.

They found that surferís ear existed in about a quarter of the human skulls, similar to the rate the disease occurs in humans today. But nearly half of the Neanderthals examined had the mild to severe cases of the condition, suggesting that the ocean played a big role in their lives. And if they were fishing, it means they may have been more advanced than some researchers believe.


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Reply Were Neanderthals Getting Surfer's Ear From Diving for Seafood? (Original post)
sl8 Aug 16 OP
underpants Aug 16 #1
CentralMass Aug 16 #2

Response to sl8 (Original post)

Fri Aug 16, 2019, 09:15 AM

1. That's some science there!

Very interesting

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Response to sl8 (Original post)

Fri Aug 16, 2019, 09:39 AM

2. My brother developed this from swimming in the ocean while training for a triatholon.

To be exact it was a series of half triatholons. He did some extensive training in both cold freshwater and in the ocean up in Cape Cod and was eventually diagnosed with this. He had to have some surgery to correct it.

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