Neanderthals were more like Bolt, says study

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usain-bolt-july-1.jpgNeanderthals were long-legged, muscular sprinters capable of quick bursts of acceleration, according to new research.

It challenges a long-reigning school of thought that suggests neanderthals were small and lean, primed for endurance and distant running.

Scientists studying the ancient human ancestor revealed they are 'more Usain Bolt than Mo Farah'.

The study also claims neanderthals hunted in forests and not the cold, open tundra-like environments they were previously thought to inhabit.

Researchers at Bournemouth University and University College London claim they occupied warmer woodlands, where short bursts of speed would have been favoured for ambush and close-quarter hunting.

Neanderthal genomes carried a higher proportion of DNA regions associated with power and sporting excellence than living humans do.

Dr John Stewart, an Associate Professor at Bournemouth University, led the study and said: 'A closer look at the layers in which their fossils are found suggest Neanderthals actually lived at the same times and places as animals that are associated with warmer, woodland ecologies.