For my students/former students. I hate and love you all.
Neanderthals had shorter lower legs than we do, leading scientists to theorize that this was an adaptation to the cold times in which they lived, even if it slowed them down.
But two scientists offer a new explanation for those short lower legs: They allowed these early humans to move efficiently across the sloped terrain of their mountainous homes. Instead of being at a disadvantage on rugged terrain, as was generally thought, Neanderthals even may have been at an advantage, depending on the nature of the slope, they found. The research team also found the same connection between shorter lower-leg bones and mountain life among modern animals.