This early human species was a large-brained biped, tool-making and tool-using, with a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Behaviour included apparent burial of the dead.


The Neanderthals were evidently highly carnivorous, but they undoubtedly ate other foods, although only limited evidence of plant foods survives in the archaeological record.

In Mediterranean regions the Neanderthals also exploited marine resources such as shellfish and seals, but their use of aquatic foods was certainly more limited than that of Homo sapiens.


The Neanderthals evidently suffered from degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, and their skeletons also bear traces of lesions indicating systemic infection or carcinoma.