Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Anthropologist Gets a Grip on How Humans Progressed.

Byline: John Fleck Journal Staff Writer

* Theory suggests a subtle grasp on tools, compared to powerful Neanderthal clutch, may be key

The way you hold a knife to cut open a grapefruit might be one of the fundamental things that separates you from the Neanderthals.

The grip is not as strong as the ham-fisted, stabbing way Neanderthals grasped their tools.

But when early humans adopted the knife grip, it might have offered dexterity and new styles of tool use that helped vault them ahead of their Neanderthal contemporaries 100,000 years ago, according to new research by University of New Mexico anthropologist Wesley Niewoehner.

Niewoehner's work is aimed at one of anthropology's great puzzles why did the big, burly, successful Neanderthals give way to their far less physically endowed early modern human contemporaries? …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.