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>Auditory exostosis is not proof of aquatic habits in Neandertals.It surely is.
>The etiology of auditory exostosis is more complex than that.There's no doubt among ENT specialists that ear exostoses occur "exclusively
>See Hutchinson, D.L. et al. 1997. A Reevaluation of the Cold Water
>Etiology of External Auditory Exostosis. American Journal of Physical
>Anthropology 103: 417-422.
as a direct result of exposure to relatively cold water in swimmers" PH Rhys
Evans 1992 J Laryng Otol 106:214-225.
Hutchinson etc. don't question the cold water factor, but say it doesn't
explain everything & discuss the mechanism of formation of AEs.
This means AEs underestimate aquaticness, since AEs only develop in cold
water <18°C & perhaps only in some predisposed persons.
The presence of AEs proves diving habits, their absence does not.
>Neither are their "dense" bones such proof.I said they're a strong indication.
>Increased skeletalI mean denser bone plus thicker cortex - typically seen in slow divers like
>robusticity (if that is what you mean by "dense") in general is a
>response to increased mechanical loading of the bone. (Ruff, C.B. et
>al. 1993. Postcranial Robusticity in Homo I: Temporal Trends and
>Mechanical Interpretation. Am. J. Phys. Anth. 91: 21-53)
walruses & sea-cows.
Mechanical stress strengthens the bone & can explain localised hypertrophy
(right arm in tennis players) but not the general denser bone & thicker
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